If you already have a sump pump installed in your basement, you’re already aware of the dangers of not having one in case if flooding in the rainy season. However, while installing a sump pump is necessary, it is just as imperative to keep an eye on the pump to make sure it’s working fine, or else you could be stuck with a malfunctioning pump just when you need it the most. To avoid this unfortunate scenario, here are six signs your sump pump needs replacing:
1 – Old age
Just like every other product, sump pumps also have a product life over which they slowly lose their efficiency and eventually stop working due to wear and corrosion. Although the exact lifespan of a sump pump varies from model to model (the exact numbers of which you can find on a sump pump comparison guide) and even individual pumps themselves, the average lifespan of a sump pump is around ten years, which all things considered is not too bad. So, if you’ve got a pretty old sump pump installed in your house that hasn’t been working as efficiently as of late, it might be time to buy a new one and put the old pump to rest.
2 – Not running when there is water in the sump basin
The most significant indicator (and the scariest scenario) that a sump pump may be starting to malfunction is a situation where the sump pump doesn’t run, despite there being water in the sump pit. This is usually caused by a malfunction of the float switch, which if you’re lucky is just stuck by a physical object and needs to be adjusted slightly to resume operation. However, if the float switch can’t be fixed, you might have to start thinking about replacing the pump, since a pump that doesn’t automatically activate is really of no use.
3 – Running even when the sump basin is dry
While you may not be as worried about the sump pump running even when the well is dry unlike the previous scenario, this is still an indicator that your sump pump is malfunctioning and needs your attention since running overdrive causes the motor to wear out faster. This overdrive could be caused by many reasons, like a higher water table or jammed valve and switches, all of which may require you to change the pump altogether if the problem is unfixable through simple repairs.
4 – Clogged pipes and pump
Dirt and debris can do a real number on your sump pump, jamming up the insides with gunk that makes it harder and harder for the pump to pull up water from the pit with every use as the deposit keeps building up. This accumulated deposit can eventually cause your motor to stop spinning and therefore stop sucking water altogether from the pit. Although the problem can be prevented by regular cleanups, a well-built clog can destroy the insides of a pump, which may make it unrepairable.
5 – Noisy operation
Unless your sump pump works with a smooth, steady and gentle hum as it sucks water from the sump pit, any odd noises from the pump should immediately alert you to check the pump for something that might be wrong. Perhaps something inside the pump fell out of place that’s being knocked continuously about by the insides, or a particularly nasty item may have gotten inside of it. In any case, prompt attention to the matter needs to be given before a small, solvable problem evolves into one that renders the pump useless and requires you to buy a new one in its place.
6 – Sump pump losing power
Another indicator of the sump pump reaching the end of its productive days is if it starts losing power during operation like if it just works at lower power, all of a sudden and is only able to suck out very little water as a result. This may be due to a failure in the power supply component of the sump pump or the wiring inside the pump that connects the motor to the mains. If you’re particularly unlucky, you may have to buy a new pump in the event your power supply is fried and makes your current pump unusable.