Can You Rely on Your Sump Pump? Why Regular Service Check Ups Are Crucial!

If you have a basement pump, when was the last time it was serviced? A neglected or poorly maintained sump pump is likely to let you down when it’s most needed. While most pumps can be expected to have a working life of around ten years or so, faults can unexpectedly develop but not be noticed until it’s too late.

Extreme weather events are arguably, becoming more frequent. Record levels of rainfall in a short period of time will cause excessive flooding damage to property as a result of burst river banks or inadequate tidal defences. READ MORE: 1 in 10 Properties in UK Built on a Floodplain – a Sump Pump is Essential! 

Increased frequency of use causing pump failure

In a number of premises, flooding occurs because there is no sump pump to deal with rising water or, if one is installed, has failed to operate as required. Owners of homes and businesses in areas of the UK known to be most affected will likely have installed a sump pump in the basement or cellar of their property. But a basement pump cannot be simply left to “do its own thing”, indefinitely.

The duration of its working life can be affected by a number of issues, not least, repeated heavy rainfall and increased frequency of use causing pump failure. Irregular, excess noise, such as grinding and gurgling could be symptoms of a faulty or an over-running pump. When the size of a sump pump is under-specified, it may be incapable of handling high volumes of water, and in some circumstances, a single pump is not enough.

Dirt and debris jamming the float switch

It may simply be that the pump has blown a circuit fuse or was accidentally unplugged – but without a regular maintenance check, the owner will be unaware that the pump will not automatically function when needed. The reason for a non-functioning pump could be more serious. Some of the more common problems include, an incorrectly installed pump, power loss, clogged or jammed equipment, failed discharge pipe.

A quick visual inspection could reveal a missing sump pump lid has allowed dirt and debris to collect in the sump pit, clogging mechanical parts and typically jamming the float switch, and/or other switches. Even if a sump pump appears to be running, there may not be water in the sump pit and therefore, is not connected properly to the drainage system.

A discharge pipe may not be wide enough to accommodate the volume and rate of water, and unable to carry the water far enough away to prevent it seeping back. There might simply be a pipe leak or blockage.

Changing weather patterns mean
– extreme rainfall at any time in the year!

You never know when a sump pump may be called upon to do its crucial job.

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