Whether your basement contains a carpeted home theatre or is nothing more than cinder blocks and a dirt floor, nobody wants water in their basement or crawlspace. Having water in your basement is inconvenient if it is part of your living space, but you should be even more worried about the bigger issues — mold and serious structure damage. To avoid an indoor body of water and the problems that come with it, you need a sump pump. However, a sump pump is only helpful if it’s in tip-top shape and working properly. So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your sump pump?
What is a sump pump?
Put simply, a sump pump prevents water from entering your basement. To install one, a plumber will dig a hole in the lowest part of your basement or crawl space. When it rains or the ground gets wet, the hole will fill with water. Then, the sump pump will turn on and move the water out of the hole through pipes that run away from the foundation of your home or building and into a municipal storm drain or well. This may sound bizarre, but without a sump pump, water can seep through the walls and floors of your crawl space or basement.
Do I need a sump pump?
- You live in a flat area that readily traps water, like much of Indiana.
- You live near a body of water.
- You live in an area that receives a lot of snow or rain.
- Your basement has flooded before.
- Your basement is finished and is part of your living space.
An experienced plumber will be able to tell you whether or not you need a sump pump, but generally speaking, those who live in the Greater Lafayette area need one.
Does my sump pump need replaced?
Once you have a sump pump, you can relax a little, but having a sump pump is only helpful if it’s working properly. If you notice any of the following, it is likely time to purchase a new system:
- Old Age: At most, sump pumps have a 10-year lifespan. That said, there are several factors that can influence the actual lifetime of yours, including how often it’s used, the electrical source it’s powered by, its quality, and how far water has to be carried. Your sump pump might last 10 years, but is a flooded basement or crawl space really something you want to risk? Don’t play the waiting game. You will likely be money ahead if you replace your sump pump every six to seven years or at least have a plumber come take a look to make sure it’s still in top condition.
- Failing to Turn on When Needed: If it’s raining or if the ground is wet due to melting snow or another cause, your sump pump should come on. If it doesn’t, your float switch may be stuck. This is a pretty easy fix, but failing to turn on may also be a sign that your sump pump is down for the count.
- Frequently Running: On the flip side, a sump pump that constantly runs, seemingly for no reason, is also a problem. This is a sign that your sump pump can’t keep up. It may be time for a new sump pump, or you may need an additional system.
- Constantly Turning On and Off: If your sump pump is frequently turning itself on and off, something isn’t right. A stuck or faulty float switch may be the problem, which again is an easy fix, or your sump pump may not be able to keep up with the amount of water trying to enter your basement or crawl space. Regardless of why, the problem needs to be taken care of quickly. Constantly going from off to on will cause your system’s motor to prematurely burn out, leaving you with a sump pump that doesn’t work at all.
- Noise: If working properly, your sump pump will make a low humming sound and may click or make a thump when it shuts off or turns on. Any other noises, especially loud noises, are signs that something isn’t right. If the motor is loud or if you hear rattling or grinding noises, you may have burnt bearings or a damaged fan. You’re going to want to resolve this issue quickly.
You might not think having a puddle or two in your basement or crawl space is a big deal, but you’re wrong. Water can cause mold or serious structural issues, which are far more costly problems than repairing or replacing a sump pump. Our highly skilled plumbers are ready to repair, replace, or add a sump pump in your home or building. Let Brenneco Plumbing help keep your basement dry!