They can also be improperly installed, which can interfere with the way they function and, since there are so many types, brands, models and capacities, it is hard for a homeowner without the proper knowledge, to pick the right pump for the job.
Below are the most common types of sump pump failure:
- Overwhelmed Sump Pump
Sometimes a single sump pump just isn’t enough to handle the job, or the pump is simply not powerful or reliable enough. Plastic, cheap sump pumps for example, often can’t keep up with the high volume of water that pours in, especially during heavy rains. It will burn out or fail to pump water as quickly as needed. Upgrading your sump pump and adding a battery backup sump pump to the system, usually solves this problem.
- Pump works but there is no water coming into the sump pit
This is a classic sign of improperly installed sump pump. Many contractors install a sump pump in the basement but do not link it to a drainage system. A sump pump only works properly if there is a drain tile installed externally or internally, along the internal perimeter of the basement. The drain tile collects all the ground water from around the foundation, and relies on gravity to channel and discharge it into the sump pump. If the drain tile is clogged, collapsed, inexistent, or just not installed with the proper pitch, it won’t divert the water to the pit, and the best sump pump in the world will not keep your basement dry.
- Clogged Sump Pumps and Switches
Sump pits that do not have a lid can easily fill with dirt and debris which can cause a sump pump to clog. Likewise, if you have a sump pump that sits straight against the bottom of a dirty sump pit its mechanical parts are liable to clog with dirt and debris. If this interferes with the pump’s operation, the system will slow or stop. These same debris can cause the “float switch”, which causes the pump to turn on and off as the water level in the pit changes, to clog or jam as well.
- Frozen or Clogged Discharge Lines
If the discharge lines are frozen or clogged, the system can’t get rid of the water being pumped. The discharge line needs to be kept clear and it is a good idea to protect the end of the discharge line with a cover.
- Power Lost to the Sump Pump
When the pump stops working it is a good idea to check if it has power. In these cases, the sump might be working properly, but has no electricity to power it on. Often, the sump is unplugged – accidentally or someone forgot to plug it back in. Check the circuit breaker, it might have tripped and need to be reset.
There are of course, the cases in which the pump is down because of a power outage. The storms and torrential downpours that have the potential to flood a basement are often the same ones that knock down the power lines. It is imperative that you have a high capacity battery operated backup sump pump to keep your basement protected when power is.
- Sump Pump Running Non-Stop
Sump pumps that run continuously, non-stop, or way too often, regardless of the weather conditions or season, may be a sign of different problems. The sump could have a stuck switch, the Sump Pump Liner can be too small or too big, or the check valve may be missing or broken.
At Foundation Systems of Michigan, we are experts in Sump Pumps! We only recommend and install our exclusive Elite 365™ Sump Pump System—engineered with triple protection to ensure your basement stays dry.
Upgrading your sump pump and adding a battery backup sump pump to the system can protect the investment you’ve made in your home and give you peace of mind during the next rain storm.
Call us today to schedule your free inspection!