Sump pumps serve the single purpose of preventing flooding in the basement of a home, building, or other structure. They work by sensing when the water level at a site is getting too high and discharging it from the foundation. While they are the most reliable tool for flood prevention in a building, a sump pump inspection should be maintained to ensure they will provide necessary protection during periods of heavy precipitation and groundwater accumulation.
What Can Happen if You Neglect Your Sump Pump
Simply installing a sump pump isn’t enough to ensure your property does not flood. Since sump pumps spend so much time sitting idly, it’s important to check on your sump pump to make sure it is operating properly when needed. Sump pump installation costs hundreds of dollars, so you should make sure the investment is worth the cost in the long run by maintaining the pump and scheduling routine inspections. Sump pumps, which are typically installed below ground level or in the basements of homes, businesses, or other structures, work to prevent flooding by controlling local groundwater and dispersing it away from a foundation as it accumulates. The pumps collect water in a basin, or pit, and moves away from the structure. Most sump pumps include many features that reinforce the functionality of the machine, including backup batteries, water level alarms that sound if the water in the basin exceeds the pump’s capacity, sump liners that prevent the pit from clogging, and check valves that prevent water from returning to the sump pit once it is evacuated. Even with all these reinforcements, sump pumps can occasionally experience issues that can become problematic to a property owner including electrical failures, stuck switches, overworked pumps, or clogged or frozen pipes. Flooding caused by a faulty sump pump can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs to a building’s structure and contents. Standard homeowners insurance does not typically cover this damage, and even if an owner does have flood insurance, flood damage could cause an increase in the premium that the owner will have to pay for months beyond the initial damage. Moisture in the basement from a failed sump pump can also cause mold or mildew, which can harvest a host of health issues including throat, skin, eye and lung irritation or infections. A simple sump pump inspection can help ensure that you do not have to deal with any of these issues. Here are some reasons indicating you should have your sump pump inspected by a professional.
Signs You Need a Sump Pump Inspection
- You see water in your basement: The most obvious sign that your sump pump is not working properly is visible water in the basement. Flooding could mean that your sump pump is not working as effectively as it could be, or is not working at all. An expert can determine what is wrong with the pump, and evaluate whether to repair or replace the pump and execute those fixes.
- The sump pump is on all the time: Sump pumps are designed to turn on whenever they need to remove water from underneath a foundation, but if a sump pump is constantly running, it could be working too hard. If a sump pump is overworking, it should be checked out by a professional who may either repair the device or suggest you upgrade to a larger sump pump. Some people whose property receives significant rainfall or wetness opt to install a second, backup pump to more effectively flush water from under the foundation.
- The sump pump is making a loud noise: Loud noises coming from a sump pump usually means something is not working properly. A professional should check, diagnose and fix the problem.
- Your sump pump is approximately 10 years old: Because sump pumps run on a motor and exert a significant amount of energy, the average lifespan of a sump pump is only about ten years. The older your sump pump gets, the more likely it is to work less effectively.
- It’s been a year since you last checked it: Depending on many factors, the lifespan of a sump pump is not always predictable. Experts recommend an annual sump pump inspection to enure that it will serve its purpose of preventing flooding in damage in the case of significant moisture.
Sump pump inspections are a quick and easy assurance that you won’t face the costly consequences of a failing sump pump, so be sure to regularly check on and schedule maintenance for yours with Riley Plumbing and Heating!