Sump Pump Replacement? How to Identify the Signs of a Failing Pump

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A common sump pump system used in residential applications

Many home include a basement that utilizes a pump system for different reasons. Some use the pump system to remove the accumulation of ground water or for protection in the event of a plumbing failure. Sometimes it is both reasons. The ability to identify the warning signs of a failing sump pump can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs due to water damage if the pump fails. The information below will cover the basics of these systems. In addition, it outlines the warning signs of a failing pump.

What are Sump Pumps?

A sump pump is an electric pump used to evacuate water. Most often, the pump is combined with a sump basin or chamber used to house the unit. As water fills the basin, a pre-set float activates a switch on the motor to pump the accumulated water to the home’s sewer line or exterior drain field. Most sump pumps require 110-volts of electricity with pumps used in larger applications requiring 240-volts. Many of today’s models incorporate a battery backup to maintain operation in the event of a power outage.

Where are Sump Pumps Used?

The most common areas that utilize a sump pump system are residential basements. Since basements are most often below ground, they are subjected to ground water seepage. Without a sump system, water would eventually accumulate, leading to water damage and creating an environment prone to mold and mildew growth or potentially both, which is a major health concern.

Warning Signs of a Failing Pump

Identifying the signs of a failing pump allows you to take action before it fails. Aside from the pump not working properly, there could be signs that point to a future problem.

  • A noisy pump is a sure sign something is wrong with the unit. In severe cases, the pump bearings may be failing, causing the pump to whine, rattle or squeal. It could also indicate a bent or broken impeller, the device used to circulate or pump the water.
  • A pump that fails to activate could be caused by a loose electrical connection, burnt motor or jammed impeller. It could also indicate a problem with the float or the float switch.

Most industry professionals recommend that the inspection, maintenance and cleaning of your sump system is performed twice a year.

What to do if Your Sump Pump Fails

If you are experiencing a problem with your pump system, let the professionals handle it. Water and electricity are a very, dangerous combination that can lead to severe injury or even death. A licensed plumber carries the knowledge and training to maintain and repair your sump system safely.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Image source: Flickr

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