A sump pump is often an unsung hero in home maintenance, quietly working away in your basement or crawl space to keep your home dry and safe. However, like any other household appliance, sump pumps can fail—and when they do, the results can be disastrous. In this blog, we will explore the signs that indicate your sump pump may be failing, the risks associated with sump pump failure, and best practices to avoid these problems in the first place.
Signs of Sump Pump Failure
Strange noises coming from your sump pump can be an early warning sign. If you hear grinding or gurgling sounds, it’s possible that the pump’s motor or impeller is damaged. A sump pump that suddenly goes silent may also indicate a problem, as it should be audibly discharging water during heavy rain or thaw periods.
Poor Water Ejection
If your sump pump isn’t effectively moving water out of the sump pit and away from your home, you may already have a dying sump pump. Pooling water around the sump pit can also signal an issue, especially if it’s not a rainy season.
A sump pump that turns on and off too frequently—often within seconds—may be facing impending failure. This usually indicates a float switch problem or that the pump is overwhelmed by the amount of incoming water.
The age of your sump pump is another factor to consider. Most pumps have a lifespan of 7-10 years. If your pump is nearing or past this age, the risk that the pump may fail is higher.
Frequent tripping of the electrical circuit that your sump pump is connected to can be a red flag. Also, if your pump doesn’t respond during manual test runs, you could be on the brink of a sudden failure.
Risks of a Failing Sump Pump
The most immediate and devastating consequence of sump pump failure is water damage. Basements and crawl spaces are susceptible to flooding, which in turn can ruin walls, floors, and any furniture stored in those areas.
Mold and Mildew
A failed sump pump can lead to damp conditions, which are a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Not only do these fungi cause property damage, but they also pose a variety of health risks, especially for those with allergies or respiratory conditions.
Long-term water accumulation due to sump pump failure can weaken the foundation of your home. This can result in costly structural repairs and even pose a safety risk to you and your family.
Best Ways to Avoid Sump Pump Issues
One of the most effective ways to prevent sump pump failure is through regular maintenance. This includes quarterly inspections for wear and tear, as well as annual servicing by a qualified professional to ensure all components are in good working condition.
Investing in a backup system can be a lifesaver. Battery-powered and water-powered backup sump pumps can keep your system operational in case of a primary pump failure or during power outages.
A sump pump that is too small for your home’s needs will be overwhelmed easily, leading to possible failure. Make sure to consult professionals for sizing recommendations tailored to your home and geographic conditions.
Even the best sump pump can fail if improperly installed. Hiring a qualified contractor and adhering to local building codes can go a long way in ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your sump pump.
The health of your sump pump is not something to be taken lightly, given the severe damage and costs it can inflict when it breaks. Being proactive in recognizing the signs of a failing pump, understanding the associated risks, and implementing best practices for maintenance can save you both stress and money in the long run. Remember, the best defense is a good offense. Act now to protect your home from the consequences of sump pump failure.
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The best way to keep your basement dry is with professional waterproofing. EverDry Toledo can help with a FREE 20-point basement inspection! We’ll help you find out if your home is at risk for water damage and which solutions will best serve you.
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