Your home’s sump pump is an appliance that you rely on heavily without really noticing it. Sump pumps are often located in your home’s basement, the lowest level of your home, or in the crawlspace. While they may seem like a mysterious motor in a pit, they are your home’s last line of defense to protect it from flooding. If you’ve just moved into a home, or maybe have lived in your home for a while, but haven’t paid much attention to your sump pump, the Douglas Cooling & Heating at Douglas Cooling & Heating share the common signs it’s time to replace your sump pump as well as long you can typically expect a sump pump to last.
How Does a Sump Pump Work?
A sump pump sits in a pit in the lowest portion of a building. When it rains, the water will saturate the soil outside your house and can accumulate under the foundation. The sump basin is dug below the foundation and collects water. When the basin collects enough water, the float switch lifts and the pump activates. The pump starts, lifts the water out of the basin and through a discharge pipe, and away from your foundation. When the heavy rains stop, the float switch lowers and the pump stops.
Sump pumps rely on electrical power to operate. However, many storms that bring rain also bring wind and lighting which can cause a power outage. If your home is prone to frequent power outages along with heavy rain, you can have a battery backup added to your sump pump. When the power goes out, the backup power will kick on and keep removing water away from your home.
How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?
Now that you know how valuable a sump pump is towards the safety of your home, you probably are concerned if yours is working properly. The good news is that on average, a sump pump lasts 7-10 years. Some sump pumps may last longer, depending on how well they were installed and maintained. It’s always a good idea to test your sump pump and to have maintenance done once a year. It would be a shame if you suffer from a flooded basement before you have an opportunity to replace your sump pump.
New homeowners especially can learn a lot about the condition of their sump pump by having it inspected shortly after moving into their new home.
Common Sump Pump Failure Signs
Regardless of the age of your sump pump, there are some signs it’s time to replace it. If you’ve noticed issues lately, start keeping a log to monitor when the sump pump turns on and how long it runs.
Sump pumps should only run when there’s water accumulating in the sump pit. If you find that it’s a sunny day, but your sump pump is running, there is likely something wrong with it. This could be caused by an issue with the float arm mechanism or float switch issues, or that the sump pump shifted in the basin and is making the float arm unresponsive.
Not Turning On At All
If it’s raining out, listen for your sump pump to kick on. When you noticed that it hasn’t kicked on after a while, you might want to check it. If it has power and there is water in the basin, but the pump is not kicking on, this is likely because of a motor failure. This can be caused by several factors, but it’s important that you call a plumber for a sump pump replacement right away to prevent water from flooding your basement or crawl space.
Making Strange Noises
Acclimate yourself to the regular noises your pump makes. When running, your sump pump will probably make a low humming noise. If you hear rattling, squealing, or grinding noises instead, this could be your sump pump trying to tell you something. Noises are often signs of failing components and you should call for sump pump repairs soon.
Call Douglas Cooling & Heating for Sump Pump Services
Don’t risk your home to expensive water damage. Call Douglas Cooling & Heating to provide quality repairs or maintenance to your sump pump system. If we find that you need a new sump pump, we can install a new one for you too. Call Douglas Cooling & Heating for reliable sump pump services in Montgomery, Alabama today.