What’s the Most Common Reason for Sump Pump Failure?

If your Columbus, IN home has a basement, it’s likely you have a sump pump. Although sump pumps are a safeguard against basement flooding, sometimes they fail to do their job and can even cause flooding issues.

Understanding what a sump pump is and how it works allows homeowners to recognize failures as well as implement preventative maintenance measures to ensure their basement stays dry.

What is a sump pump and what does it do?

A sump pump is a mechanical device that senses rising water levels in the bottom level of your house. When water reaches a certain level, it triggers an automatic reaction that allows for draining through a discharge line.

Usually, sump pumps are a collection of pipes leading to one large basin where water is collected and then drained. Sump pumps are common in Columbus, IN, where basements are at risk of flooding. The mechanism provides insurance against water damage that can seriously impact your home.

Before a flooding event, it is important to have your basement inspected and a sump pump installed. Without this assurance, you are at risk of losing valuables and even damaging your home’s value when impacted by a flood.

Sump pump failures and how to prevent them

Sump pumps fail in a variety of ways. Your sump pump checklist should include routine checks to diagnose any problems early and with less cost to you as the homeowner. Create a yearly checklist and add sump pump preventative maintenance to it. There are a few specific things to look out for.

When your sump pump is first installed, check to ensure a flush connection with the drainage system. You should see water in the drain pit—if there is none, this means there is a break in the connection and water will not drain properly.

One sump pump will likely be unable to handle a large-scale flooding event in your basement, no matter how high functioning it is. Sump pumps will get overwhelmed by one-time large flooding issues unless there are multiple sump pumps installed in the basement space.

Check to see if your sump pump has excess dirt or debris clogging the lines as part of your preventative maintenance checklist. Routinely pulling out this debris will allow the sump pump to function optimally.

If you live in an area where discharge lines are at risk of freezing, this could prevent water from draining properly as well. The discharge line should not hold water continuously—keeping the lines free of standing water will prevent freezing.

Sump pumps are mechanical in nature, but must also be connected to a power source to function. If power is cut off, the sump pump will not drain. Check the power connection carefully in the case of a large-scale flooding event in your basement.

Sump pumps are not meant to run non-stop. If you notice that your sump pump is working overtime, have a maintenance professional look at your system and diagnose the problem. Contact the contractors at Barr Plumbing Service, Inc. for more information on plumbing services in Columbus, IN or to schedule an appointment.

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