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Sump Pumps: Common Problems and Repairs

The advantages in having a sump pump in your crawlspace has been touched on previously and in more detail in our blog. Needless to say a sump pump is as great an investment as it is a smart and efficient way to keep your home dry, safe and healthy.

However as with any piece of equipment, problems and troubleshooting come with the territory so here we will tell you how to identify some of these issues and what to do when it happens, in order to ensure that your sump pump enjoys a longer and healthier life span.

The first step to make sure your pump works properly is an adequate installation. Remember the importance of hiring an expert to install your sump pump as sometimes it may require concrete removal and replacement depending on the intended location and its situation. A certified installer will make sure your system is up and running in no time.

First thing that might cause some issues with your sump pump is a mechanical failure. There are many factors that could cause this. With excess water, the pump could be overloaded.

Clogged pumps are also a significant problem. This can be the result of improper installation or due to foreign matter; leaves and debris in the sump pit could clog the water intake pipe could cause the motor to run slowly or fail.  

Blockage brought about by debris in the central pit, switch or discharge line is also a common possibility.

Now, another common cause of problems is lack of maintenance. For sump pumps maintenance should be a yearly occurrence. A maintenance appointment by a professional is essential to keep your pump running smoothy and in peak condition, not to mention that they can identify any issues before they even become a problem.

Remember that a lack of maintenance can lead to different problems from failure to electrical power outages, so a periodic inspection will always ensure this doesn't happen. Additionally you should clean and check its float and discharge line air holes.

Having a backup plan in case of emergencies will always be a good idea. Power outages can happen regularly during storms and in case this happens and it does not come back quickly enough rainwater can accumulate quite quickly, so a backup is essential. An uninterruptible power supply or batter back up system will ensure your sump pump continues working and making sure that water does not accumulate either in your basement or crawlspace. 

Another critical aspect that you need to remember is to make sure you choose the correct sized pump for your property. If the sump pump does not have the required capacity needed to handle the amount of water coming into your basement or crawl space it will shut off from overfilling. This will in turn cause two different problems. First, flooding issues will escalate the problem. And second; you will be forced to wait for the pump to turn back on before it starts working. This can take up to a few hours. Hours during which water will keep on flowing inside your basement or crawl space.

So to summarize these are some of the things you can do to take good care of your sump pump and troubleshoot it. Check water levels in basement and/or crawl space. If the level is too high then you may need to clean out the pump. Unblocking pipes can be done by removing debris that might be caught inside them. This includes leaves, pieces of wood, rocks and more. Debris should also be removed from the pump itself and its gears. One way to check if there are any clogs is by pumping water through the pipes from the outside to see if it will drain into a nearby sewer. This is what is known as a siphon test. A colander over the inlet of your pump is also a good piece of advice to check for any blockages. Replacing gaskets with new ones regularly will also be of great assistance.

When all is said and done, it all comes down to regular check ups and maintenance; remember that a certified expert will always be the best option to ensure that your sump pump is fully operational and ready to keep your home dry, safe and healthy, whether it is installed in a crawl space or in a basement alike.

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