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Sump Pump: Signs That You Need One

What Does a Sump Pump Do?

Sump pump services are a must if you notice problems with water and moisture in your basement. Even if your basement doesn’t flood on a regular basis, sump pumps can save you from serious (and costly) expenses related to water and moisture damage in your basement.

This pump removes water from an area of a room and transfers it to a basin called a sump, which then directs the water outside through a drain of a pipeline. This type of system used to empty into city sewer systems but now that practice can get you into big trouble because it can overwhelm a municipal sewer system if many sump pumps discharge into a city system in a high water situation. Instead, a homeowner should create a discharge to the outside of the home.

How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?

A high-quality sump pump, when maintained properly, can last about a decade. There are two types of sump pumps: a pedestal pump and a submersible pump. The pedestal pump operates with the motor sitting on a pedestal above the water and the impeller in the pit. The submersible pump sits in the sump pit and activates when the sensor detects water at a certain level in the pit. The two types of pumps are often made of different materials, which can affect how long they work before a homeowner notices a problem.

Do You Need a New Sump Pump?

There are a few signs that show up before a homeowner realizes it’s time to consider getting a new sump pump to protect the home. Some of the signs are obvious, but many are less so and can be missed or ignored if a homeowner doesn’t know what to watch for, or what can increase the risk of problems later.

  • The Basement Has Previously Flooded – If a homeowner has experienced flooding in the basement before, it’s a good idea to install a sump pump or replace the one that’s already installed. A sump pump pulls the water out of the basement to an area outside of the home. This water may be from a variety of sources and homeowners will want to ensure that they can keep the water out of the carpets and away from the walls, which could be damaged if exposed for too long. If flooding happens once, it can happen again.
  • The Sump Pump Cycles On and Off – A Sump Pump is meant to activate when a pit is wet and has water in it and turn off when the water has been removed. There are a couple of reasons that this could be happening. One of those may be that the basin may not be large enough for the amount of water that is regularly in the basin. It may also be that the float switch needs to be adjusted to turn on only when there’s a bit of water, not more frequently than is needed.
  • The Sump Pump Runs Longer Than It Should – An improperly sized sump pump may fun longer than it is truly needed for. It should only take a few minutes of operation for the pump to clear the water. If it is on too long, it may be time to consider having a stronger pump installed. A plumbing professional can help a homeowner to determine the right capacity for a replacement pump.
  • The Home is In a Flat Area and Water Collects There – When a home is situated in a flat area with soil that holds on to the water, there’s a higher likelihood that water will get into a home. When the soil is no longer able to absorb more water, it has to go somewhere, and a building is a likely place. If that occurs regularly, it can weaken the home – in the walls and foundation and can increase the potential of mold developing.
  • The Sump Pump is More than 6-10 Years Old – This piece of equipment can often last up to 10 years, but many plumbers suggest examining the unit and planning for replacement for around six years. The life span of a sump pump depends on a variety of factors, like how much it’s used, how often it works how hard it works, and how much water it is subjected to. There are many variables, but plumbing pros tend to call the lifespan a decade and urge homeowners to replace it at that point, especially if it runs often.

If you think your home could benefit from a new sump pump, call the Home Service Doctors at (703) 884-8705 or contact us online to get started!

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