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Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Sump Pump

Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Sump Pump

Do you live in an area that experiences heavy rainfall? If yes, then you might have a sump pump installed in the basement.

We ask because - while most people know about the advantages of a sump pump, they fail to recognise the signs when it comes to replacing it. Consumers believe that installing a sump pump will prevent water damage for many years to come; that’s true, but there’s a catch.

All sump pumps have a lifespan, and you must replace them before they break down. More often than not, people are unable to notice the signs that their sump pump has worn out, leading to major plumbing issues.

Today, we will discuss all the signs that indicate your sump pump needs replacing. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Longevity Of A Sump Pump

Before we tell you about the warning signs that point towards replacement, it would be helpful to discuss the lifespan of a sump pump. In our experience, consumers should replace their sump pump after 7-10 years, irrespective of the quality of the model.

The purpose of a sump pump is to direct water away from the house to prevent the basement floor from flooding. So, depending on the usage, the amount of water it has to divert, and its cycling frequency - the longevity of the model may vary.

For instance, a sump pit is dug in the ground for installing the sump pump. However, if the water table is higher than your home’s foundation, there are more chances of water damage. Naturally, the sump pump needs to work overtime to prevent flooding.

It may even be possible that you have no idea about your sump pump’s age. So, you need to contact a professional plumber for maintenance to ensure that the pump is in working order.

When Should You Replace A Sump Pump?

Having discussed longevity, we will now tell you about other factors that indicate your sump pump is worn out. So, note the points mentioned below to make an informed decision.

What Is A Sump Pump

1. Irregular Cycling

Irregular cycling is one of the first signs - it’s time to replace your sump pump. This happens when the basin is insufficient to handle the level of flooding in the basement. Hence, due to the extra load, it is natural to experience power fluctuations.

You need to be careful because overworking the sump pump may damage the motor, meaning your only option will be to replace it. To avoid such a scenario, you may dig a deeper basin to accommodate the excess water. As a result, the sump pump will work only when needed rather than operating non-stop.

Now, the largest sump pumps have a maximum capacity of 94-112 litres, while the smallest can handle 5 gallons of water. If you choose the former, call the plumbing service to dig a larger sump pit. But you should know that this is costlier; on the flip side, it is better than constantly replacing pumps.

2. Excessive Vibration

Consumers who find that the sump pump is vibrating excessively should consider replacing it. This is another tell-tale sign that the sump pump is old, but there may be other reasons as well.

For instance, we have found that sucking in large debris could damage the internal components, thereby bending the impeller. The impeller looks like a propeller for those who do not know but helps suck in objects rather than projecting them outwards.

Additionally, the shaft on which it rotates reduces wear and tear for long-lasting performance. So, when the impeller incurs damage, it increases pressure on the shaft, causing the system to wobble.

Understandably, when you hear strange noises, it might be due to vibrations that point to a failure in the internal drainage system. What’s more, it is not possible to repair a damaged impeller, meaning you might need to replace it.

3. Leaking Pipes

It is important to note that sump pumps cannot last forever irrespective of maintenance and hours of operation. That said, it should prove efficient for at least seven years before you encounter major issues.

Although sump pumps are most active when it rains, they switch on if water floods the basement during a leakage or when the ice melts after winter. Meaning, if you frequently find large puddles of water on the basement floor, it is a sign that the pipes are leaking.

Consequently, you will need to buy a new sump pump.

4. Running Non-Stop

Now, depending on the size, a sump pump could deal with a large load, but it should not operate for extended periods. At most, it should not take more than a few minutes to clear the basement, irrespective of the volume of water.

Hence, if it does take longer to remove the water, there could be one of two issues. Firstly, a smaller sump pump takes time to discharge water from a large area because it does not have the required capacity. Or, it might be that the pumping distance is too much for the motor to handle.

To avoid such a scenario, you need to properly research the horsepower of the unit to determine how many litres of water it can pump. Once you find a reliable model, call a plumber to ensure that it is installed properly.

5. Strange Noise

We have discussed one reason why you might be hearing strange noises coming from your sump pump - a damaged impeller. Now, let’s look at the other factors.

We have seen that if the motor has a failed bearing, the pump may make more noise during operation. All sump pump owners will tell you that a healthy motor is never louder than a low hum. Hence, anything more than that should indicate that it is time to replace your sump pump.

Other than that, worn-out components also cause a lot of noise, and you need to hire a plumbing service to get them replaced.

6. Rusting

A unit in top shape will not decay without warning, so visible rust is a clear sign it’s time to replace your sump pump. Although there could be numerous factors, the most common reason might be corroded battery terminals.

In addition, sump pumps are susceptible to iron bacteria that cause discolouration and damage the pipe system. These gel-like organisms feed on the iron found in water and pose several health hazards. Not to mention, they clog the pipeline, thereby leading to drainage issues.

7. Power Outages

You must never ignore frequent power outages as the sump pump’s wiring directly meets the main supply line. As a result, power surges might be causing the sump pump to malfunction.

One solution would be to use auxiliary sump pumps connected to a marine battery.

8. Motor Failure

We have found that sump pumps also suffer from motor failure, whereby the unit struggles to operate on the available power source. This might be due to faulty internal wiring, which leads to backflow and causes the motor to burn out.

Is It Time To Replace Your Sump Pump?

We hope you have noted down all the points to successfully identify any problem with your sump pump.

Also, if you are confused about choosing a replacement, it would be best to call a plumbing service for advice. That’s all the time we have for now. Until next time, take care!