Sump pumps are essential parts of residential construction. They are designed to prevent flooding from a basement floor or crawl space leaks. The sump pump is usually installed near the foundation wall and connected to a drainage system that empties into a storm drain.
Q. It’s been 8 years since I installed a sump pump in my basement waterproofing system. But recently I noticed that the sump pump is not working to its full capacity as earlier. Hence, it is not able to push water completely. What should I do? Should I consider repairing my sump pump?
A. A faulty sump pump will let the water break out, leading to a flooded basement floor. According to the US Department of Housing and Development, You should consider sump pump replacement every few years.
The estimated life of a well-maintained sump pump is around 7-10 years.
Particularly pedestal sump pumps come with longer lifespan with lower chances of motor failure as it stays above the ground level.
As the sump pump system has already crossed 8 years of working life, you must be vigilant about the cost involved in its repair. Replace your sump pump to ensure reliable water proofing to prevent basement flooding.
7 Primary Factors affecting the lifespan of a sump pump
Here are some of the prominent causes of sump pumps failure earlier than their expected lifetime:
The lack of maintenance is one of the primary causes of common sump pump problems leading to its failure. You must comply with a regular maintenance schedule and book an appointment with an experienced technical professional to identify potential issues with your sump pump.
Clogging of a sump pump
Dirt and debris are common with sump pumps. Pumps running for more than 1 year are prone to build-up dirt and debris, leading to clogging of a sump pump. If not tackled in time, it may adversely affect the motor and other sump pump parts, reducing its lifespan considerably.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) gets tripped, and the sump pump shuts down due to excessive moisture. It is crucial that the GFCI is plugged in well and works intact to safeguard any moisture entering the sump pump. If you find the GFCI frequently tripping, consider resetting it to let it work properly. But a faulty GFCI can be fatal to your sump pump lifespan.
The sump pump is dislocated from its position.
The sump pump must be aligned upward straight to function properly. The constant vibration during operation leads to the leaning of the sump pump towards one side. In extreme cases, the sump pump may even fall off. A dislocated sump pump often faces the issue of float arm jamming, thus the inability to run the pump when required.
Employing a smaller sump pump than required
A smaller sump pump will require harder work, which shortens its life span. If the sump pump pit is small, it will fill up quickly, thus forcing the sump pump to work more and more. It will hurt the sump pump’s motor. The same applies to a smaller sump pump motor that can draw less water than required. An excessive workload beyond the sump pump’s capacity leads to its quick degradation.
Either because of a faulty float switch or for some reason, if a sump pump continues to run without water in its sump pit, it can be fatal for the sump pump. If the switch gets stuck on and off, it could be the primary reason the sump pump runs continuously.
Irregular clinching noises
Although the sump pumps usually make some common operational noises, any unusual sign can be a problem of some issues with it. A grinding noise may indicate a faulty impeller, while a rattling fan can be an indicator of some serious issue with the fan. Never ignore any unusual sign, as it can decrease the lifespan of associated working parts and the overall life of your sump pump.
Broken Check Valve
A Check valve ensures that all the water pump out by the sump pump will flow outside the home into drainage systems and not be able to come back to the pit. If the check valve is faulty or broken, the water drawn out from the house will come back to the pit. This will increase the sump pump workload and adversely affects its lifespan. The pump may require work to the brink of exhaustion.
4 Tips to extend the lifespan of your Sump Pump
Here are the 4 tips that help strengthen your sump pump life:
Test the Pump Regularly
If the sump pump is meant for occasional use in your basement, you must ensure periodic sump pump testing. Pour a large bucket of water into the sump basin and check it the sump pump turns on. If not, there may be some obstruction with the float switch. On the rise of the water level, the pump should be activated and start drawing out the water to the external drainage. Call the technician to fix the issue before it becomes critical to your sump pump’s health.
Specifically due to frequent power outage, there could be flaw with the electrical system causing a damage to your sump pump. Employ a back up sump pump that an save your basement in the event of primary pump failure.
Regular cleaning of a sump pump
A clogged sump screen or any blockage of dust and debris in another part of the sump pump reduces its lifetime considerably. Remove the pump from its basin and clean it thoroughly. Clean all the debris and dirt outside of the pump to prevent it from entering inside it. The inlet screen should be cleaned periodically as it frequently clogs depending on its use. The deposition of gravel, dirt, sand and other debris to avoid accumulation over the sump pump.
Cleaning Drainage pipes
An impeded water flow due to blockage in the drainage pipes makes your sump pump work harder. If you find these pipes clogged, call the local plumber immediately to fix the problem. Ensure that there should not any leaks in the pipe as the dripping water may lead to moisture build-ups in the basement.
Specifically discharge pipe is prone to clogging that may lead to reversing of discharged water back to sump pump pit.
Appropriate Pump level
If the pump is not levelled properly, it may jam the float arm. It fails pump activation at the time of water accumulation in its sump pit. Hence you must check that the pump sits at the required level to work properly. Improperly installed pump comes with
A sump pump is also liable to be outdated with consistent use and thus needs replacement. Most sump pumps last anywhere around 7 to 10 years, but the factors like maintenance and usage frequently play a pivotal role in determining how long they last.