Your basement is an important part of your home, and you want to do everything you can to avoid a basement flood. You may have spent thousands of dollars and hours upgrading the room into a living space, storage, shelter, etc. The last thing you need is water damage. Your basement is not complete without flood prevention steps, and we have one of the most important below that includes your sump pump.
What is a Sump Pump?
Plumbing systems use a sump pump to prevent groundwater from getting into your basement, lower levels, or even crawl space. Extra water may build up across your foundation, especially after the rainy season here in New Jersey and after the snow melts. Sump pumps move the excess water away from your property. If and when the pump stops working, water can penetrate your basement, foundation walls, floors, and ceilings. The immediate result can be the development of toxic mold and mildew. The basement can even flood with enough water which is why we recommend your sump pump be expected every year to avoid a flooded basement.
Most Common Sump Pump Problems
Unfortunately, some sump pumps can be problematic. Fail-proof sump pumps are just not a reality in today’s market. We have been in the business for 35 years and have dealt with every pump on the market from brand new to ancient units. Even the best can fail under ideal circumstances. We will show you a few common issues below
- Failure in Power – Your sump pump is no different than any other electrical appliance on your property. Without a constant power source, it will fail. We recommend selecting a high-quality sump pump with a back-up system to avoid this issue. Those of you with units without a back up can be subject to damage.
- Too Much Work – We can all fail if we have too much to do, and sump pumps are no different. Not all pumps are created equal. We recommend at least a 1/3 horsepower sump pump capable of pumping 35 gallons of water per minute for residential uses. Any less than that and your pump may not be able to keep up with the water around your home. We recommend higher horsepower for commercial and industrial applications that depends on the needs of the property.
- Switch Failure – Sump pumps can come with several different types of float switches. Tethered and vertical float switches are the most common. We recommend vertical float switches because tethered floats are more subject to getting stuck on the sidewalls of the pump, which can result in serious water damage. A few sump pumps on the market may also have mechanical pressure switches that can be prone to a similar failure.
- Frozen Pipes – We in New Jersey are no strangers to frozen pipes and all the issues that come with them. Improperly pitched pipes can result in water collecting and eventually freezing into a solid blockage, leading to the moisture falling right back to your sump pump. The water has no place to go but your basement when the pump is full.
- Age of the Unit – Nothing lasts forever, including sump pumps. The average sump pumps last approximately ten years depending on the type of pump, usage, weather, maintenance, etc. We do not recommend waiting for the sump pump to fail before replacing it. The cost of a pump failure can be far more than the cost of replacement.
Signs of a Sump Pump Failure
Many indicators can show that the pump is about to fail, including but not limited to: strange noises, excessive vibration, constantly running pump, visible damage, and many others. There are many ways to test a sump pump to see if it is running properly. We recommend having a trusted professional examine your unit to ensure it is working properly and perform maintenance tasks.
Those of you with a DIY mindset to avoid a basement flood can click here to see a video on how to check your sump pump.
Check Your Sump Pump & Avoid a Basement Flood
Check the sump pump or pumps on your home or business before it’s too late. Give us a call at 908-537-6770 or submit a. request online. We are happy to help diagnose and repair your sump pumps and other related items. Our team is happy to come to your property and evaluate all of your options before charging you. Schaible’s is always there for our customers, new and old.