A sump pump is a device that moves water from your basement to the outside of your home. The sump is placed in a constructed pit that is craved below the main surface of your basement floor, called a basin. When the valves in your sump pump sense high water levels or pressure, it will automatically begin to pump out excess water from your property through the drainage line which sends it to a designated area.
When it fails to work, such as during a period of heavy rainfall, it can cause your basement or crawlspace to flood. It can cause costly damage to any furniture and other items and cause mold to grow due to high levels of humidity and moisture. To prevent any serious problems, it’s important to be aware of signs that it isn’t working and what makes that happen.
Here are some common causes of sump pump failure:
- Power Outage
- Lack of Maintenance
- Frozen Discharge Pipe
- Overwhelmed Pipe
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A power outage is the most common cause of sump pump failure as it requires your home’s power supply to function smoothly. If the power outage occurs during a storm, it’s likely that water will collect in your basement or crawl space as it isn’t being drained properly. To prevent this, you can use a backup battery for your sump dump so that it continues to work for a few more hours while the rest of your home doesn’t have power. If you’re in an area that is likely to lose power for days, having a generator for your home will ensure that you’re able to use all of your appliances until the power is restored.
Lack of Maintenance
Some signs of problems with your sump pump include strange noises and constant cycling. This can often occur from a lack of maintenance which causes water, dirt, and other debris to accumulate in its system. Over time, if it isn’t properly taken care of, the pump can become corroded and cause mold to build up. With proper maintenance, your sump pump will work more efficiently and increase its lifespan.
Frozen Discharge Pipe
When the temperature drops below 32°F, water freezes and as your sump pump discharges water outside, it’ll freeze when it hits the outdoor atmosphere. As water exits the pipe, it may cause a layer of ice to build which will keep the water in. When this occurs, your system will need to work harder to keep water flowing out and may eventually stop working. If your pipe is frozen, you can try covering the line in insulation to help thaw it out or use a portable heater. To prevent your pipe from freezing in the future, you can hire a professional to install your pipes deeper underground.
If there’s too much water coming in at once, your pump can become overwhelmed as it may not have the horsepower to keep up. This can also occur if your sump pump isn’t the right size for your home. Normally, you’ll need a ⅓ horsepower sump pump capable of pumping 35 gallons of water per minute to ensure that enough water is being taken out to prevent flooding. If you deal with a lot of storms or rain, you may want to consider hiring a professional to install a larger sump pump.
Let the Professionals at Crawlspace Doctor Help You
No matter what problems you’re having with your sump pump, the professionals at Crawlspace Doctor will be able to help you. Our team provides experienced and local crawl space repair, encapsulation, and waterproofing services at an affordable price.