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Water only belongs in specific places in your home (think cups, sinks, and tubs). When it tries to invade other places, like your basement, it can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Sump pumps are a critical investment to protect your home from excess rainwater, humidity, and major appliance leaks. If you’ve had a sump pump for any period of time, you should know that it has probably stopped catastrophic damage at least once.
Is my sump pump failing? Do I need to replace my sump pump?
- Does your pump fail to activate?
- Sumps have a threshold. Once the water rises above that level, it should automatically turn on. If you have to start it manually or the water level in the pit is too high, something is wrong. One of our technicians will run full diagnostics, looking for clogs, motor failings, and other broken parts in the system.
- How old is your pump?
- An excellent sump pump still only has a working life of ten years. Keeping up on the maintenance and using it sparingly can help them last longer, but on the whole, replace them once a decade. If you’ve noticed it struggling or if it keeps needing repairs, it’s time for a new one.
- Is there dirt or debris in the sump pit?
- Water in the sump pit should be nearly clear. Any grit or dirt can jam the mechanical components and interfere with the switches. Dirt can also completely clog the system. Clogs can ruin your sump pump and flood your basement.
- Does your pump constantly cycle?
- Sump pumps, like people, aren’t meant to run marathons. If your pump is on all the time, but there’s not been enough rain to justify it, call us! The switches could be stuck, or the pump might not be able to keep up with the demands. A clog could cause the water to circle back to the pump instead of draining away from your home.
- Does your pump make noise?
- Snaps and grinding noises usually indicate a problem with the motor or pump. If you hear gurgling, then your pump is not removing the water efficiently.
To repair or replace?
Once the sump pump technician has figured out what the problem is, how do you know whether you should replace or repair your sump pump? First, let us reassure you that we do not work on commissions. We will always give you our expert opinions based on facts and experience, not a desire to make a sale. We will make sure that your pump meets your home’s needs, based on your water table and existing plumbing.
Many times, repairs are needed because of poor maintenance. If you catch a minor issue quickly, you can repair the pump at a minimal cost. However a good rule of thumb: if the cost of repairs is greater than 50-66% of the new unit’s cost, it’s time to replace.
Four important rules when buying a new sump pump
- A basic cast iron pump with installation should cost less than $600. It won’t have any extra features, but it is a great option for those on a strict budget.
- Consider the durability of the prospective pumps. Plastic will often warp and block pump switches. Stainless steel pumps are resistant to warping, corrosion, and heat. Cast iron is a good middle ground; it won’t warp, but it doesn’t protect against corrosion. Some models are a combination of stainless steel and cast iron.
- A battery might be necessary. If your region’s storms cause power outages, a battery will allow your sump pump to keep working. Storms strong enough to knock out power often come with heavy rains that necessitate an operational sump pump. If needed, you can always purchase a backup battery later on, if cost is a concern right now.
- Additional features are available. It’s amazing what technology can do! You can choose to have a primary and secondary pump. You can also have alarms that will warn you if pump parts are failing. Another, maybe more surprising feature, is Wi-fi connectivity. Wi-fi allows you to connect remotely, saving you the hassle of having to go check on it manually.
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Schedule an inspection and let us help you with every step of sump pump troubleshooting. You can send us a message or call us at (651) 294-7798. Our trained technicians are happy to help you keep this valuable appliance in working order!