How can you avoid a flood?
Be proactive about maintaining your sump pump.
Sump pumps while more expensive than light bulbs, operate on the same concept, along with many other small and large appliances. The deterioration or demise of the item is not necessarilly iimpacted by the actual historical age of the item, it's the wear and tear on the item as it goes 'on' and 'off' repeatedly.
If your property is wetter that another, your water table higher, then you're more likely to be subjected to an earlier replacement of your sump pump.
That being said, here are some causes of sump pump failure and how you might avoid a problem:
- Loss of Power
- If you suffer a power outage your sump pump is useless. How do you get around that? Consider a water-powered backup sump pump.
A water powered backup sump pump's source is the domestic water to your home. You can read more about a water powered back up sump pump system here.
- Alternatively, a permanant Standby Backup Generator will power all or most of your home in the event of a power failure. While this is obviously a more costly solution, many homeowners today consider it invaluable for many reason. Check out our page on Standby Backup Generators.
- Stuck Switches
- Always maintain your sump pump. We typically advise our customers to pour a bucket of water in the sump pump pit (in dryer times severa may be required) until the pump activates. An ounce of prevention-A pound of cure. Sometimes these switches can be faulty, and also, there are floats from the pump that could be caught on miscellaneous debris that may have fallen into the pit. We also advise our customers to have us install a sump pump pit cover.
- It's the old "you get what you pay for" syndrome
- Home centers and hardware stores shelves are stocked with smaller, plastic pumps suitable for the DIYer. Don't get caught in a lesser expense. These pumps will not remove the quantities of water that comes from days and days of rainfall or melting of inches or feet of impacted snow.
- Frozen Discharge Hoses
- Your sump pump has a discharge hose that removes and re-distributes the water from your pump. Be careful where this water is dumped. Curbside causes a problem when the water freezes as someone might slip and fall. It's best to run the line underground and dump the excess water as far away from your house as possible.
- With the sub-freezing weather we've had of late in NJ, it's been a while since it's warm enough for this ice to melt. Be aware.
- Maturity of the Pump
- We don't want to insult good ol' Sammy the Sump Pump, but as he ages, he works slower, can't keep up with demand, and just plain quits. Don't wait for your sump pump to wave the white surrender flag. Be proactive, and have your sump pump checked by your local plumbing contractor. It may be time for a replacement sump pump.