What Causes A Faulty Sump Pump

Last updated 1 month ago

What is a Sump Pump? A Sump Pump is used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes. The water may enter via the perimeter drains of a basement waterproofing system, funneling into the basin or because of rain or natural groundwater. Sump pumps move water from your basement out of your home.

A basic sump is a pit, usually, a hole carved below the main surface of your basement floor. This pit, known as a basin, holds the sump pump. The pump is equipped with valves that sense escalating water levels or pressure, making it very helpful for keeping basements dry. A sump pump is a pretty common fixture in homes, especially in lower-level areas of the country or in places where the rapid melting of heavy snow and heavy rain can cause flooded basements. Sometimes sump pumps can fail, causing a problem to the basement or the foundation of the house. Below are some of the causes of a faulty sump pump.

  • Power Failure - Heavy rains and thunderstorms can knock out the power to your home, and if you rely on a sump pump to keep up with rising groundwater, your home could be at risk for severe flooding. Bad weather, storms, and power failure most of the time concise to make one combination that makes the basements or foundations flood. If you experience a power outage and the water level rises over the float, the pump will not turn on to protect your home. This can be avoided by simply purchasing a backup power supply for your sump pump.

  • Overwhelmed Sump Pump - During heavy rains, the pump might not be reliable enough or powerful enough to handle the volume of water pouring in. Your sump pump can easily become overwhelmed by an influx of water if it is not the right size or capable of requires horsepower. Also having a too large sump pump results in overwork and a shortened lifespan. Having a too small sump pump results in underwork and shortened lifespan as well. The quality of your sump pump matters too: a cheap, plastic model is more likely to burn out or fail to keep up with the water when it matters most. So if your house is located in a high water table it is advised that you purchased a ½ horsepower sump pump which can pump 60 gallons of water per minute. Minimally, you need ⅓ horsepower sump pump capable of pumping 35 gallons of water per minute.

  • Improper Installation - It is possible that your sump pump was initially installed incorrectly and has resulted in its current state of ineffectiveness. If installed incorrectly, the back-flow of water may result in the pump impeller rotating in a backward motion and coming loose from the motor shaft. So installing a sump pump must be done exactly right or your sump pump will sound differently especially if you did not install a Check Valve on the Discharge line. Make sure to check if there’s an Air Relief Hole in Discharge Line to prevent air pressure from building up within the discharge pipe. Lastly, setting your Sump Pump in gravel or dirt since this causes debris to enter into your pump and can result in interference with the pump’s on and off switch or float arm. 

  • Frozen or Clogged Discharge Lines - When a sump pump system is improperly designed, it becomes vulnerable to clogs in the system, including clogs related to frozen discharge lines. As a discharge line begins to clog, a sump pump system will be forced to work harder to keep up, leading to overheating and sometimes pump failure. When this occurs, the newly discharged water has nowhere to go but back into the sump basin, resulting in not only a flooded basement floor but a sump pump that is constantly running. Your sump pump system won’t work. Discharge lines should be clean and covered. To prevent your discharge pipe from clogging, make sure the opening of your pipe is protected with a grate. A special grated discharge line attachment will help. Your goal is to make sure your discharge lines can transport water out of the basement and far away from your foundation even during the winter.

  • Lack of Maintenance - Some of the sump pump manufacturers recommend to run a maintenance check every 2-3 months to make sure your sump pump machine is doing good. In many cases, your sump pump just needs a good cleaning and some quarterly maintenance. Sump basins and sump pumps must be maintained. Though it is recommended that sump pumps need replacing every few years. Because the US Department of Housing and Development estimates the average life expectancy of a sump pump is up to 10 years if it has proper maintenance and not overused.

If you own a home and live in an area susceptible to excessive snow or rainfall, a sump pump is a smart choice. Not only does a Sump Pump contribute to your homes water management strategy, it keeps you and your possessions dry and reduces risk of mold, mildew and the various health and breathing issues they contribute to. Having a fully functioning sump pump should be a priority.

Contact us today to schedule your free quote! We proudly serve Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, Saginaw, Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Jackson as well as Flint, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Sterling Heights and nearby. We can help you dry your basement!