8 Common Sump Pump Problems & How To Fix It
A sump pump is majorly used to protect your commercial or residential property from flooding and excessive water buildup. Even if you live in an area where there is no chance of flooding, a sump pump can help reduce or even avoid the formation of excess moisture in your property’s foundation.
These pumps are designed to quickly detect rising water levels and remove excess water immediately. Sump pumps contain valves that can easily sense increasing water pressure. Whenever the water pressure or water level exceeds a certain limit, these pumps automatically start pumping the excess water out of your basement or away from your house. A discharge line, also known as effluent, is used to connect the sump pump to a drainage area, where this excess water gets collected.
A sump pump helps you avoid any flooding or water buildup in your home, foundation, or basement. But sometimes, like any mechanical device, a sump pump is prone to malfunction. Usually, because of overworking or overloading, this pump system can stop functioning. A faulty sump pump system is a common issue, but neglecting it for a long period of time can create major problems that can put your health and safety in danger.
Here is a list of common sump pump problems that you can easily detect and fix:
Clogged sump pump system
A drain pipe that moves the water buildup away from your house can become clogged over time. An easy way to detect a clogged drain pipe is to notice if the water buildup reduces slowly or the water doesn’t move out of your house at all. Usually, a drain pipe can get blocked because of mud, small stones, or debris in the water.
A quick way to fix this problem can be to remove the drain pipe by removing the clamps that hold it to the sump pump. Another thing you can do is to remove any obstruction from the pipe, use a plumber’s snake or metal hanger wire. After that, you can clean the walls with a hose (if possible, using a higher pressure).
Gassy smell around the sump pump
It is possible for you to smell something similar to gasoline coming from the sump pump. Sump pumps have drain traps that hold water. The purpose is to prevent gas and sewage from backing up or entering your property. This released smell comes from the collected waste or dirty water which contains toxic substances and results in a gasoline-like smell. It usually happens during hot and dry weather.
A quick way to resolve this problem can be to dump a huge amount of clean water down the drain so the water inside the sump pump can change. This solution works as a temporary resolvement, but for a more permanent solution, you might want to take help from a professional sump pump repair expert.
Continuously running sump pump
There can be numerous reasons behind a sump pump constantly running even when there is zero amount of water around it. Usually, a stuck switch on the “on position” keeps the sump pump running continuously. This mishap can overwork or overheat the pump and create a faulty system prematurely. It is pretty common in cheap models or plastic switches.
A quick way to resolve this problem is to fix the float switch. Opening up the sump pump and completely changing the float switch can be a task you don’t want to do if you have no experience in fixing electrical appliances. A emergency plumber or sump pump repairer can provide you with better guidance and fix it in a more efficient way.
If you live in a flooded area or if you constantly get your basement filled with water, and your sump pump is not big enough to pump out the large amount of water, it can make it overwork and gradually degrade. Another possibility can be that your sump pump was installed poorly. There can be a missing valve or a faulty switch inside the pump that doesn’t let it function properly. Sump pumps usually contain a valve inside the drainage line that blocks water from coming out of the waste pit.
This valve sometimes gets missed out in installation and creates a huge mess if it is not included in the system. The pit that collects dirty water can also become a problem if not placed properly. A problem in the installation can make the pit overfilled with dirty water. A small sized pit incase of an overfilled basement can worsen the flood situation in your house.
There can be an array of problems when the sump pump is not installed properly. The best way to fix the installation of a pump system is to completely change its placement. You should always fix your pump system immediately if you live in a flood-prone area to avoid any future problems.
Depending on the size of your pump system, a size inappropriate to your flooded basement can easily overwork the sump pump. Another situation can be, if you have had the sump pump system for a long period of time. When you don’t maintain your plumbing plan or if you don’t regularly check your sump pump for faults, there can be a chance of it malfunctioning when in use.
An overworked system can reduce the life cycle of a sump pump tremendously. Sometimes, the installation of a powerful system can also overwork the sump pump. To resolve this problem, you can check the float switch, valve in the drain pipe and the whole drainage system. Or you can make this task easy for yourself and call for professional help. Sump pump solutions sometimes require an overall checkup of the whole system, and this is where help from an expert might be necessary.
Improper drainage system
There are many ways that you can avoid a sump pump failure, like having a regular or annual checkup of your plumbing system. A sump pump is usually connected to your house’s drainage system to pump out the excess water. If your plumbing system has faults or missing valves, it can easily ruin the whole drainage process of water through the sump pump. You should always check your house’s plumbing system first, if you have noticed a fault in the drainage process of your sump pump.
Frequent power failures
It may be pretty common to forget to check the electricity flow to your sump pump when it has stopped functioning. Sometimes because of gaps in the wiring, there may be blockages in the power flow to some appliances. Before analyzing in depth, checking the power first helps reduce unnecessary trouble.
If you live in an area where there are frequent power outages, you may experience faults in electrical appliances around your house. Frequent on and offs in the sump pump system while it is pumping out water can make it outburn itself prematurely. As any usual electrical appliance, constant power cuts can create a faulty system. A regular checkup in the power flow can ensure continuous flow and reduce the chances of blockages in the flow.
Making noises that seem strange
Technically your sump pump shouldn’t make much noise while it’s running. But if it still does, there can be a number of reasons behind it, such as a jammed impeller. Even a failed bearing in the motor can create noise while it’s functioning. Despite the reason behind it, if you have noticed strange noises coming out of your sump pump, there is a heavy chance of your pump system having bad or loose parts. A checkup of your whole system can help you detect the source of this strange noise.
A problem with the sump pump is very common to experience. What makes it difficult is finding the solution to fix the sump pump. Some information you should know when dealing with a faulty pump system include “how long do sump pumps last”, “how to keep your outside sump pump from freezing”, or “how often should a sump pump be replaced”.
If there is a faulty system in your basement and you need a replacement, you should always call for a commercial sump pump installation company to avoid poor installation. There are various types of sump pumps and recognizing its type or condition helps reduce and avoid a lot of future problems. Sometimes, there can be an issue of the maintenance or sometimes you may need a sump pump replacement.
One thing you should always keep in your mind is to always call for professional help in need of fixing an electrical appliance. An additional benefit of expert help is that you get emergency repair services. In the situation of a flooded basement, if your sump pump stops functioning, you may need emergency sump pump repair.