Learn how to keep your Basement Flood Free – Common Reasons for Sump Pump Failures

Spring and summer are the seasons when a sump pump is most needed in your home. Melting snow and ice, along with increased rain showers lead to more and more water. Excess water leads to flooding and a sump pump is used to pull this water away from your home.

Sump pumps are common in most northern Illinois households and typically keep basements flood free. Regardless, if your sump pump has worked for years in the past, it’s best to prepare for the worst and keep an eye out for these common sump pump issues.

Being prepared can not only prevent a major (or minor) flood, but can also keep water damage and mold from becoming a larger issue in your home.

Watch for These Common Sump Pump Problems in Your Home

  • Clogged switches and pumps.

One of the most common issues that cause sump pumps to stop working are clogged pumps and switches. If your sump pump pit does not have a lid, more than likely dirt and other debris is finding its way into the device. These issues lead to clogs that can slow down and eventually stop your sump pump from pulling water from your home.

Debris is not the only issue that can cause a blockage. Mechanical parts can become caked with dirt if not cleaned on a regular basis, and float switches can become jammed due to lack of maintenance as well.

Don’t panic, there good news though. A simple airtight lid the hardware store can prevent foreign objects from finding their way into your sump pump pit.

  • Old Age.

Sump pumps typically have a shelf life of around 10 years. If your pump is acting up, it could simply be a sign of old age and time for a replacement. Regular maintenance checks can help keep the life of your sump pump as long as possible. There are a few factors that do contribute to how long a pump will last. These include frequency of use, quality of the pump, electrical source, and how far the pump has to carry the water a safe distance from your home.

  • An overwhelmed pump.

Not all sump pumps are the right fit for every home. They are not a one size fits all appliance, and an incorrect size can result in sump pump failure. It’s recommended that your sump pump carry at minimum 35 gallons of water per minute. However, the higher the horsepower, the higher the discharge. If your sump pump is not powerful enough to keep up with the amount of water entering your home, it will stop moving the water away from your home and potentially overflow into your basement.

  • No water in the sump pit.

Even if your sump pump seems to be working properly, if there is no water in the pit itself, it means that the pump is not hooked up properly to the drainage system. The drainage system is supposed to work hand in hand with your sump pump, helping the machine pull the water through the pipes away from your home. A drainage system that’s clogged or not installed properly can lead to a sump pump that doesn’t function. Call in a professional to check on the installation.

  • Sump pump lost power.

At some point our homes have lost power due to a bad storm. With a sump pump, the loss of power can mean no water flow away from your home. Instead, water builds up leaving the potential for flooding. Don’t run the risk of a pump failing when you need it the most. Hook the sump pump up to a secondary power source like a backup generator.

  • Water Damage and Restoration

Even with all the preparation in the world, you may run into a failed sump pump at some point during your home ownership. At McMahon Services and Construction, we offer full water damage restoration services and clean up. This includes a 24/7 emergency line, ready to handle any issues day or night.

If your home experiences minimal or major water damage, call McMahon Services and Construction to begin restoration services immediately.