A sump pump can bring huge advantages to your home and help to prevent many different issues. Sump pumps sit inside or on top of a large basin that extends below your basement floor or down into the ground in your crawlspace. During heavy rainstorms or floods, water from the surrounding soil seeps into the basin, and the sump pump then works to pump all of this water back outside the home. Without a working sump pump, all of this surrounding water could otherwise start to seep into your basement or crawlspace and potentially lead to flooding and serious water damage.
A sump pump should ensure that this can’t happen. However, there are many different issues that can cause a sump pump to stop working, which is why it’s important that you regularly test your sump pump and know how to spot the signs that indicate your sump pump needs to be replaced. Today we’re going to take a look at what these signs are as well as some of the problems you can prevent by having your sump pump replaced.
Sewage Backups and Water Damage
Heavy rains can sometimes overwhelm the municipal sewer system and lead to wastewater flowing back up through your sewer line and into your home. Sewage backups are a serious problem as they can quickly flood your basement with nasty, pathogen-filled water and waste. If the municipal sewer system is overwhelmed, your basement could be flooded with several inches or more of sewage in just a few minutes. Should this happen, you could be facing a steep repair bill to fix all of the water damage.
A sump pump won’t actually prevent sewage backups. The only way to do this is to have a backflow preventer installed on your sewer line as this type of valve will automatically close if sewage ever does start flowing back up the pipe towards your home. Nonetheless, a sump pump can still be a huge help and prevent serious water damage as it will immediately start pumping all of the wastewater out of your home if you do ever experience a sewage backup.
Sewer and Water Line Leaks and Damage
A sump pump can also help protect your sewer line from being damaged by heavy rains. Major rains can cause the ground around the sewer line to swell or shift, and this can put increased pressure on your sewer line and potentially cause it to crack or rupture. A sump pump can help to reduce the risk of damage to your sewer line as it will work to remove water from the soil that surrounds your home’s foundation.
A cracked or otherwise damaged sewer line can be a serious problem. Not only will it prevent your plumbing from working properly, but it can also lead to your yard and your basement or crawlspace being flooded with sewage. A working sump pump can help provide some added protection for your sewer line and also prevent your home from being flooded with sewage should your sewer line ever break or have a serious clog.
Sump pumps can also be a huge help should you ever have a pipe that is leaking as it should ensure that your home doesn’t flood. These units can also help to prevent a slab leak, which occurs due to damage to the water line that runs underneath your foundation. Again, heavy rains can cause the soil to exert so much pressure on the water line that it could break and start leaking. A slab leak can be an extremely serious problem as it can lead to major structural damage and quickly flood your home.
Foundation Issues and Structural Damage
A sump pump can also help to protect your home’s foundation and underlying structure from serious damage. When the soil surrounding your home is soaked by heavy rains, it can put a huge amount of pressure on your foundation and potentially lead to the walls cracking. Major flooding can also potentially cause part of the foundation to start sinking and cause serious damage to your home’s entire structure. A sump pump can help to lessen the risk of these issues as it will work to continuously draw moisture out of the soil that surrounds your foundation and underneath the home.
How to Know If Your Sump Pump Needs Replaced
The only real way to know if your sump pump needs to be replaced is by testing it regularly and monitoring its performance whenever it runs. Age is another good indicator as most sump pumps will only last for 10 or possibly 15 years at the most. If your sump pump is nearing this age, we would recommend replacing it as soon as possible; otherwise, it could fail when you need it most.
To test if your sump pump is working correctly, you’ll need to use a hose or buckets and fill up the sump basin with enough water that the unit turns on. If the unit doesn’t turn on when the basin is partially full, it is a sure sign that you need to have the unit inspected and either repaired or replaced.
If the sump pump does turn on, you will then want to listen for any loud or unusual noises that indicate that the unit isn’t working as it should. You will also want to make sure that it is actually pumping efficiently or else the basin could fill too quickly and overwhelm the pump. All sump pumps are rated to pump a certain amount of gallons per minute, and this rating should be listed somewhere on the unit. Depending on the type and size of your pump, it may be able to pump anywhere from around 20 to 80 gallons of water per minute.
The easiest way to test if your sump pump is working effectively is to first unplug the unit and then fill the sump basin with 10 gallons of water. You will then want to plug the pump in and measure how long it takes to pump all of the water out of the basin. For instance, if your sump pump is rated at 40 gallons per minute, it should only take around 15 seconds to pump all of the water out of the basin. If you find that it takes much longer than this, it is an obvious sign that your pump is no longer working effectively and may need to be replaced.
If you do ever find that your sump pump isn’t working as effectively or pumping as quickly as it should, it is a good idea to first take the pump out of the basin and clean the intake screen on the bottom of the unit. This intake screen should really be cleaned at least once a year or possibly every few months if your pump runs frequently. Over time, the screen can become clogged with dirt and debris, and this will prevent the unit from pumping effectively. A clogged screen can also cause the unit to not pump at all, which can potentially lead to the motor burning out.
At On Time Experts, our team specializes in sump pump installation and replacement, and we can also take care of any of your other plumbing, cooling, heating, or indoor air quality needs. For more information on our sump pump replacement services or to schedule a service call in the Garland area, contact us today.