Sump pumps have one job, to pump out water from your basement when it needs to be kept dry. They do this by using pipes and hoses and making sure that your basement isn’t flooded. However, as is the case with most machines, sometimes sump pumps will break.
The homeowner needs to know what causes the sump pump to stop working as well as what they can do to fix the issue once it arises. If not, they need to be in contact with the experts that will help them along when this happens.
What Causes Sump Pumps to Fail?
Most homeowners don’t even notice that their sump pump has failed until there’s a flood. It’s important to find the root cause of the issue and fix it rather than just replacing the sump pump. That way, you’ll avoid future issues.
Dead Battery or Electrical Outage
Your sump pump can run on a battery or it can be plugged into an electrical socket. When there’s no power, the sump pump won’t work. Sometimes storms that cause floods also cause power outages that disable the pump. Batteries, on the other hand, can simply run out over time.
It’s best to have both options at the same time, that way, a battery-powered sump pump can serve as a backup in case you lose power. However, this also means you need to make sure that the batteries are charged.
Misaligned Drainage System
The sump pump is a part of a bigger drainage system. There are pipes and hoses that are connected to the pump and used to move water away from the home. If you find leaks coming into the pump itself, that means that one of the pipes is leaking or it isn’t as aligned as it should have been.
It’s best to let the experts check out the drainage system and make the decision about its repairs for you. It’s a delicate system and one that you should take care of in line with expert advice. They will identify the source of the leak and repair it for you if needed.
Poorly-Designed Sump Pump
Sometimes, homeowners choose a bad sump pump system. That’s mostly because they try to save some money and don’t buy the best option out there. In those cases, the cost of the repairs and the flood damage usually outweighs the savings you’ve made on the sump pump.
Make sure you do proper research when buying a sump pump. The least expensive option is rarely the best and the most expensive one isn’t always what you need.
It’s also useful to have a sump pump with a battery to back it up when there’s a power outage. Many homeowners have two sump pumps that are powered in different ways and are therefore ready for both the power problems and excess water that may come about during rainy months in Detroit, MI.
Signs That There’s a Problem with Your Sump Pump
A good sump pump can remove all the excess water from your home without you even noticing that it’s working. However, this also means that most homeowners don’t pay attention to how the pump is doing and they end up not noticing the signs that there’s a problem. The signs could include:
This is the simplest way to figure out if your sump pump is working. It’s meant to prevent basements from flooding. If the basement has flooded that means that the sump pump isn’t doing what it’s supposed to. Sometimes, this is because there was too much water and there’s nothing wrong with the pump itself. However, in some cases, it’s a sign of a faulty pump.
Cities such as Detroit, MI that have to deal with wet weather during the whole year are especially at risk when it comes to flooding. Chances are that the problem will get worse as the climate changes. Homeowners should therefore make sure that their sump pumps are working and keeping their home dry.
Water can cause a variety of different damages. It can cause wood to rot, floors to crack, and the walls to change color. There are also many pests and insects that enjoy wet and dark places and therefore easily find their way into a basement.
When you notice that you’re experiencing these problems in your basement, you may want to consider checking the sump pump. These are all signs of a wet basement and therefore of a problem with the sump pump that’s not doing what it’s supposed to.
How to Fix Sump Pumps
When you notice a flood in your basement, you may be tempted to just throw out the sump pump that has failed and get a new one, but that’s not always the smartest thing to do. There are ways to fix the sump pump without the additional expense of buying a new one. This isn’t something that a homeowner should do on their own, since it’s important and sensitive equipment. Instead, you should rely on the expertise of those who have training in basement waterproofing.
Replace the Battery or Install a Backup Power Source
When the issue is caused by a faulty power source, the sump pump won’t be at fault. That means that you can fix the issue simply by replacing the power source or installing a new battery and you won’t need to do anything with the actual sump pump itself.
Leave It to the Experts
A sump pump repair is best left to the experts. There are many working and moving parts to a sump pump and some of them are too complex for an ordinary homeowner to deal with. In some cases, you may even cause more damage and further exacerbate a fixable problem. That’s why it’s best to call an expert to inspect the property when you notice any signs of flooding. The same goes for noticing other signs of trouble, such as a pump that works slower than it used to.
Professionals working in the field also have the tools that are needed to fix sump pumps and other parts of the drainage system. A lot of the time, these aren’t available to any homeowner and it’s best to let the experts use them to fix the issue as quickly as it can be fixed.
Sump Pump Failure
A sump pump is part of a larger drainage system and it’s used to drain any water that may have gotten into your basement. The pump’s function is simple enough and a homeowner doesn’t have to do anything to make sure that the pump is working. However, it’s useful to know how it works to address issues that may come up.
Detect Water Intake
The first step is for the sump pump to detect the level of water that you have in your basement or crawl space. The pump doesn’t work until there’s enough water for it to be activated and to start pumping the water out. This is an automatic process and it can be tested by throwing in a bucket of water into the sump pit and seeing if the pump starts.
The pump is activated by a floating switch, which is pushed upward when the level of water rises high enough. That way your protection is both efficient and effective. There’s no reason for the pump to be damaged by the wear and tear of it running dry. It also reduces the energy bill.
Pump out Water
The following step is for the water to be pumped out of the basement. This process works differently depending on what kind of pump you’re using. However, regardless of how the pump works, the end goal is the same and that is to pump the water out and keep the basement dry.
The drainage capability of a pump also depends on the type of motor that your pump uses. It also depends on the size and capacity of the discharge line, which is the line that is used to remove the water being pumped out by the sump pump. Many problems arise because the pump has too weak a motor or because the discharge line is blocked by debris or ice.
Direct Water Away from the Home
Once the sump pump has removed the water it needs to have a place to go. The water can’t be simply directed outside so that it pours out in front of the home. This will increase the hydrostatic pressure that the water places on the home. Instead, the water should be directed into a storm drain or further in the yard since there it can’t cause damage to the property.
Some older sump pumps may have a discharge line that ends right outside the home itself. If this is the case with your sump pump, you may want to consider upgrading it or installing drains that will be connected to the discharge line. This will protect the property from both floods and hydrostatic pressure.
Most homeowners agree that the sump pump is needed to keep the basement dry. However, not all homeowners believe that they need a backup pump installed. For the most part, this depends on how much trouble with flooding you have. If you do have them, a backup pump may be a good choice for you.
Peace of Mind
The most important thing you’re buying when getting a sump pump is peace of mind. Having a sump pump means that you don’t have to worry about your basement being flooded. It also means that you don’t have to do anything around it or be present when there’s a flood since the pump will activate itself when it’s needed.
A backup pump will only increase this sense of safety. It will get activated when there’s a lot of water to remove or when there’s something wrong with your main pump. This means that you’re ready for things to turn worse and that’s sometimes important to a homeowner.
The main purpose of a sump pump and a backup one is to keep your basement from flooding. This is something that happens often in areas with a lot of rain and it causes a lot of damage and requires effort and money to be spent to remedy it. It’s better therefore to prevent the flood than to clean up after one.
It’s best not to wait to experience a flood before addressing this issue. Floods will damage your property, make all of the wooden structures in your basement useless, and create an environment suitable for mold, mildew, and insects to grow. A sump pump, therefore, prevents all of these.
Handling Significant Storms
Storms that can cause floods aren’t issues that every homeowner needs to deal with but those who do need to have a sump pump and a backup installed to help them deal with the intake of water that’s coming in. The storm can also cause a power outage and that’s why a battery-powered backup is so important.
A lot of the time, a family has to leave their home during a heavy rainstorm and find shelter somewhere safer. You must know that there’s a system put in place to help you deal with the storm, while you’re away. A system of drainage with a sump pump does just that.
A lot of the time homeowners are looking for ways to save on repairs and to do what they can on their own. That’s an admirable quality but it’s not always a good idea when it comes to fixing the sump pump. They are too important and too complex to be left to the homeowners without the proper tools or expertise to repair them.
The Issues with DIY
The repair itself may be too complicated for most homeowners to handle on their own. That’s because there are many moving parts involved and you need to keep the pump running so that you can check how well your repair has worked. This may lead you to make things work or even to hurt yourself in the process.
This doesn’t mean you can’t do anything when there’s an issue with the pump. For instance, you can do the regular maintenance yourself and you can do what you can to minimize the chance of problems arising in the first place. It’s also useful to keep the sump pit clear and functioning.
Trust an Expert for Your Sump Pump Fixes
The sump pump professionals, such as the ones from Foundation Systems of Michigan, are equipped to fix the problem with your sump pump since they have the tools and the expertise to do so. Perhaps more importantly they can diagnose the problem and find what has caused the flooding in the first place. Trust their efforts and their advice and your sump pump will work fine for years if not decades.
An expert working in the field can also let you know when you should be replacing your sump pump. There are a lot of moving parts to a sump pump and therefore a lot of items that can be broken over time and due to the age of the device itself. It’s best to replace the pump before it’s run its course.
Call Us If You Need a Free Inspection
Our FSM team will inspect the issue and suggest a course of action that suits both your needs and your budget. Schedule a free inspection and you’ll be on your way to fix the sump pump before the next flooding. The decision on how to proceed remains on the homeowners themselves.
We’ll have a written quote for you within a day and that doesn’t oblige you to use our waterproofing services. There’s also a transferable warranty since we’re confident in the quality and longevity of the systems we implement.