Why You Might Need a New Sump Pump

Why You Might Need a New Sump PumpDoesn’t it seem like something’s always going wrong around the house?  First you need to have your roof replaced, and then your air conditioning conks out.  Or maybe a water pipe bursts during a hard freeze.

Problems like this are bad enough, but to make matters worse it seems like they always happen at a really bad time (of course, what time would be good?).  A failing sump pump is a good example.  Who in the world has more than a passing thought about their sump pump?  Sure, you need one to keep your basement dry, but most homeowners have one installed and then pretty much forget about it.  But going by Murphy’s Law, it’s bound to fail during one of Chicago’s torrential rains.  Then, instead of having a sump pump that directs all that water out of your basement, you have a new lake born on your floor.

Sump pumps are mechanical devices, and as such they’re subject to wear and tear.  Most have three main components – the pump itself, a motor and an on-off switch.  When one of them malfunctions or wears out, it’s time for repairs or a replacement unit.

How Sump Pumps Can Fail ?

The pump component of a sump pump consists of impellers that are driven by the motor.  The impellers pull water through intake openings and then push it up through a discharge pipe.  Sometimes impellers get clogged, but plastic impellers can also break (metal impellers usually have a longer lifespan).

The motor component is designed to withstand numerous on-off cycles, but even the most durable motor will eventually wear out.  A motor’s lifespan will be shortened if it needs to work harder than it should in order to compensate for being underpowered for the task.

The switch is the sump pump component that’s most likely to break or malfunction.  Switches sometimes get “stuck,” either in the “on” or “off” position, but they can also wear out altogether, especially when they have plastic parts (again, metal parts usually mean a longer lifespan).

What If Your Sump Pump Fails ?

If your sump pump fails, should you have it repaired or replaced?  Well, for the most part the answer depends on whether the unit is still under warranty.   Repairs are sometimes possible, but cost-wise many of them don’t make sense.  The main exception to this rule of thumb applies when your sump pump is still under warranty.

Typically, if the component that fails is the pump itself, the entire sump pump unit should be replaced.  It’s the same story if the motor is burned out.  Yes, the motor could be replaced, but replacement isn’t a cost-effective solution.  Likewise, it’s also possible to replace a malfunctioning switch, but doing so might be more expense than it’s worth.

If your sump pump fails or starts behaving erratically, consult an expert flood control and seepage company.  They’ll know what to do.

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