Why Do Sump Pumps Stop Working?
All mechanical things fail. However, unlike a broken toaster, sump pumps that fail have costly consequences. A flooded basement damages your furniture, carpeting, and causes mold growth. By understanding why they fail, you can take preventative measures that ensure your sump pump works when you need it the most. Here are five reasons why sump pumps may stop working:
1. A Stuck Float Switch
The float rises when the water level in the pit increases. At a certain float level, the pump starts. When the water drops back down, the float drops as well and turns off the pump. Although this seems simple and fail-safe, obstructions such as debris can prevent movement of the switch. When this happens, the pump will either fail to turn on or turn off, depending on the level of the float when it becomes stuck.
2. Undersized Sump Pump
If the water flow rate into the sump pit exceeds the pumping capacity, the net flow of water into the system will flood your basement. This happens if an undersized pump was installed, unusual flooding rains occur, or if the water table in your area increases.
3. Check Valve Problem
A check valve installed backwards will block the water flow from the sump pump’s discharge. This is a possibility if the system was recently installed but wasn’t tested, or if someone has recently done work on the system. If no check valve was installed, back flow water could rotate the pump impeller backwards and unscrew it off of its shaft. From that point on, the motor shaft will spin without pumping any water.
4. Old Sump Pump
An old sump pump that has exceeded its service life needs replacement. This service life is between 5 to 7 years. When your pump reaches this age, don’t wait until it fails. Have it replaced.
5. There’s No Power
Make sure the sump pump is plugged in and the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Get a sump pump battery backup if you don’t have one because severe rain storms often cause power failures. You can also have power failures unrelated to your basement flooding problem.
If you need a sump pump system installation or if your current one is giving you problems, we can help. Contact us today!