How to Avoid Sump Pump Failure

How to Avoid Sump Pump Failure

If your home is located in an area that is prone to flooding, whether from heavy rain or as a result of a high water table, there’s a good chance your home has a sump pump.

This piece of equipment can help you avoid the risk of having thousands of dollars of damage to your home, including the accumulation of mold in a damp basement. Of course, it will only provide these valuable services when the sump pump is operational.

What is a “Sump,” Anyway?

The word “sump” refers to a low space designed to collect liquids. In an industrial setting, this could include chemical runoff. Hopefully, the only liquid you’ll ever have to deal with is water.

The function of the sump pump is to clear out this accumulated liquid. In residences, they can be installed in a basement or even a crawl space. A hole might be cut it in the lowest spot in a foundation, and the pump placed inside.

Perhaps you’re already aware that you have a sump pump in your home. If you don’t know, and you have legitimate reason to be concerned about flooding, you might want to do some investigating.

Keeping the Pump Pumping

If your pump is in good shape, it simply does its job when the need arises. It has a float that is similar to the ones used in toilet bowls. In this case, when the water rises enough to raise the float the pump turns on.

What happens next? An “impeller,” a fan-like device, is activate and it forces water out through a pipe, your home is protected and there’s no need for emergency plumbing help.

Making Sure Your Sump Pump Will Work When You Need It

The wrong time to find out that your sump pump is out of order is when your home is filling with water. What could happen that would cause your sump pump to fail to respond when you need it?

  • No Power – Sump pumps run on electricity. In a bad storm, it’s possible that your home will lose power. The preventive measure is to install a backup generator.
  • Stuck Switch – If you’re able to do so, take a look and see if your sump pump has shifted in position. If it’s positioned in a way that keeps the float from rising, the switch won’t come on and water will not be removed. While you’re looking, check for debris that could interfere with the movement of the float.
  • Discharge Pipe – If the discharge pipe is clogged or frozen, it won’t matter how hard or how well your pump works.
  • No Maintenance – Any piece of equipment needs some attention. If you have no idea when a qualified technician last took a look at your sump pump, it would be a good idea to schedule maintenance.
  • Useful Life – After seven to ten years, any pump can be prone to failure.

Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

If you see a problem with your pump that needs fixing and you’re not able to do it yourself, or if you’d rather have a professional evaluate the condition of your sump pump, give Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Bay Area a call. We hope you never have to deal with flooding, but our expert technicians can make sure you are prepared.