Power Outage/Failure – Sump pump does not turn on during power outage

The most common cause for sump pump failure is an electrical power outage. A standalone sump pump relies on electrical power to operate. When a power outage occurs, the sump pump can’t operate, which leads to a flooding basement.

Fortunately, there are backup systems designed to prevent basement flooding due to power outage to the sump pump. Click to read more about backup sump pumps.

Switch Problem – Switch is stuck – Sump pump float is stuck or not functioning correctly

The leading mechanical cause for sump pump failure is a switch problem. Sump pumps know when to turn on or off from its “float switch”. As the water level in the sump pit rises to a certain level, the float switch floats upwards and triggers the sump pump to run. As the water level decreases, the float switch also drops until it reaches a certain level and it triggers the sump pump to turn off. Clearly, it is crucial that the float switch functions correctly.

Sometimes the float switch gets stuck. This can occur for different reasons. In some cases, the vibration caused from the sump pump while running causes the sump pump to shift around in the sump pit.  If the sump pump gets too close to the walls and the float is touching the sump pit liner, it might get stuck in the “on” position, resulting in a constantly running sump pump. Likewise, if the float switch is caught on something such as a pipe, wire, mud or debris, the float switch will either be stuck in the “on” position, running non-stop or in the “off” position, not triggering the sump pump to turn on. Either way, the sump pump will not function correctly.

Sump Pump Pit is Opened and Uncovered

Besides the obvious danger of a young child or pet falling into the sump pit, an opened or uncovered sump pit can allow unwanted odours and gases such as radon enter your home. Additionally, an uncovered sump pit is susceptible to the possibility of other objects falling into the pit and can lead to a sump pump failure. For these reasons, it important to have a sump pump cover to help alleviate the problem. Additionally, it is good to have a sump pit cover that can be easily removed for servicing or inspection and at the same time, strong enough to walk on.

Sump Pump is Overwhelmed – Sump pump is constantly running

A sump pump that is continuously running can wear out quicker and cost more in electricity. Additionally, a sump pump that is constantly running will overheat and break down, especially when there is no water in the sump pit to help cool down the sump pump.

There are several reasons for a sump pump to be overwhelmed, including stuck sump pump switch, sump pump check valve missing or inoperative, sump pump and/or liner is the wrong size (too big or too small), or continual flooding or in sump pit. Click to read more about constantly running sump pump.

Solving the problem of an overwhelmed sump pump is quite easy with simple solutions. Also, save money and energy by saving your existing sump pump from loss of performance or break down by attending to the problem sooner than later.

Frozen or Clogged Discharge Pipe – Sump pump discharge

It is very important that the exterior discharge pipe is free from snow, leaves, rocks, sticks and other debris. In addition, the discharge pipe should be sloped downwards so that water is completely drained from the exterior pipes to prevent freezing.

As an additive protection, Sous-Sol Solutions installs the discharge line with an easy pull-apart pipe extension. In the event the exterior pipe is clogged or frozen, the pipe extension can be removed and the system is free to pump out water. Either a new pipe extension can be attached or the existing one can be cleared and re-attached.

Sump Pump is Really Loud

Loud noises coming from your sump pump system are due to several factors, including the quality of the sump pump, the location/sturdiness of the sump pump in the pit, the vibrations from discharge pipe, and the absence or loose sump pit cover.

A few factors to help reduce the loud sump pump noises:

  • Cast iron sump pump with lubricated ball bearings and shaft seal will  run quieter and have a longer service life than a cheap plastic sump pump
  • Proper sump pump placement in a proper sump pit is better than other systems with sump pumps placed nearly out of the sump pit
  • Bolt down cover can reduce vibrations and noises echoing into the basement
  • Custom-fit discharge pipes can reduce vibrations as water flows through it and together with the sump lid, it can help reduce movement and vibrations from the sump pump

Sump Pump is the Wrong Size – Sump pump cannot handle the amount of water

Sump pumps are not designed for a one size fits all drainage systems. A sump pump that is the too small or too powerful will lead to a problem. If the sump pump is too powerful, it will start and stop frequently. These “short cycles” can shorten the life of the sump pump. On the other hand, if the sump pump is too small, it may not be able to sufficiently pump out the water. This means that the amount of water entering the sump pit is faster than the pump can output; thus, causing the sump pump to run continuously and resulting in a premature pump failure.

In most cases, one sump pump is required; however, a professional waterproofing specialist may suggest two sump pumps. Installing an additional sump pump at another location is determined by the professional onsite and is based on several factors including the size of the basement, water problems in main basement as well as in an addition, and differential levels in the foundation floor (e.g., garage attached to basement).

Lack of Maintenance / Old Age – Sump pump

Just like all machinery, maintenance is necessary and they don’t last forever. Proper maintenance will elongate the life of a sump pump. Proper installation and using the manufactures guidelines also help stretch out the life of a sump pump. But there comes a time when you just have to say bye-bye and replace your sump pump with one that is more reliable, energy efficient and will perform better than your old or well-used sump pump.

Improper Installation

Manufacturers design sump pumps with very specific set of instructions and specifications for installer to follow very carefully. Improper installation can result in a constantly running sump pump, malfunctioning sump pump, and severe water damage to your basement.

Most commonly seen sump pump installation mistakes include:

  • Missing check value
  • Improper/missing sump pit or basin
  • Not enough electricity to power the pump adequately
  • Pump is too small to handle another water source (e.g. laundry machines also draining into the pit)
  • Sump pump is too close to liner walls and pressing against the float, resulting in a stuck float switch

Sump Pump Not Plugged-In

Sometimes, the sump pump was intentionally unplugged by the homeowner but forgotten to plug back in. Other times, the sump pump was unintentionally unplugged or just not plugged in when it was initially installed. Either way, this is an easy fix; plug it in. Hopefully, a flood hadn’t occurred by the time this was discovered. To help prevent a basement flood from this simple mistake, scheduling sump pump system maintenance during the year can easily prevent this problem.

To learn more about our premium services and capabilities or to schedule for a Free, No Obligation, In Home Estimate, please give us a call today at 1-888-768-7765 or complete the form below. We are happy to help you determine the best solution to completely solve your basement waterproofing needs.

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