During heavy rains, it is important to have a sump pump that works. Functioning properly, it should collect excess water from your home’s drains and direct it away from your home. A high-quality sump pump should last you, according to the US Department of Housing and Development, about 10 years. However, a sump pump (usually) is not running all of the time. So it’s important to notice the signs before it breaks down for good. The following signs are 6 simple ways you can check your sump pump today.
1. Your Sump Pump is Making Strange Noises
If you notice particularly loud noises coming from your sump pump, that could indicate that your sump pump is running on parts that are damaged or worn. If there are rattling noises, that could mean that your sump pump has a damaged or jammed impeller. An impeller is the fan at the bottom of the pump that is bringing water into the pump. If those are noises you are hearing from your sump pump, be sure to call in immediately. Don’t wait for the next rainfall when it is too late!
2. Your Sump Pump is Vibrating Excessively (When Running)
Sump pumps have the potential to suck up hard debris. Over time, this has the potential to cause the impellers to get bent or take damage. Impellers are balanced in a way to minimize the wear and tear on the shaft they spin on. But, one that is damaged will cause the unit to wobble and break down the shaft. This tension will create future pump problems, and the impeller is almost impossible to bend back. The best thing to do for your home is to replace the unit.
3. Your Sump Pump is Used Infrequently
The less you use your sump pump, the less time it will work properly for you. Make sure you are testing your sump pump on a regular basis when it is not raining. This will give you a heads up if there are any problems and give you time to fix your pump between rainfalls. If you are new to your home, make sure to contact us so we can test the unit for you.
4. Irregular Cycling
If you find that your sump pump is cycling irregularly by going on and off, even during heavy rainfall, there are a few things that could be wrong. Listed are a couple of common reasons we have found:
- There is an incorrectly adjusted float switch that is causing the pump to come on when only a few inches of water accumulate in the basin.
- Your house or the sump pump itself could have a short in the electrical system which prompts the pump to start or stop sporadically.
5. Your Sump Pump is Showing Rust
The ‘brown coloring’ could be due to bacteria, also known as “Iron Bacteria” for its color. The rust feeds off the iron in the water causing discoloration and even form a gel-substance that can clog plumbing. While it is not a hazard to human health, it really can really affect the water flow in your drainage system.
6. Your Sump Pump Runs for a Long Time
If you find that your sump pump is running long after the rain is gone, this indicates that your pump does not have the horsepower needed to either handle the distance it must pump or the amount of water the basin can handle.
When configuring your home’s pump size, you must include the volume of water that your pump is moving along with your drain pipes and the layout. This quickly becomes a very detailed system with reservoir dimensions, plumbing elbows/pathways, and pipe diameters. Think if the pump has to push water up vertical plumbing fixtures, that pump will need more horsepower to push.
Sump pumps for the most part are wired into your home’s electrical system. To protect you against power outages and sump pump malfunctions, installing a sump pump battery backup will automatically activate and operate for several hours. This protects you from getting water in your basement at all times.
A sump pump alarm is installed to alert you when your basement sump pump or crawl space pump is filling up with waters that are too high. When you install a sump pump alarm, it ensures that your sump pit will not overflow, giving off a sound that mimics a smoke alarm.
Contact Us Today
If you find any of the above issues with the sump pump in your basement or crawl space pump, contact BDB Waterproofing today. We offer free estimates and consultations.