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    Common Causes for Sump Pump Failure

    sump pump

    Sump pumps can fail for a variety of reasons, including lack of maintenance, old age, power outages or surges, or improper installation. There are simple steps you can take to prolong the life of your sump pump. When shopping for the best sump pump, look for pumps that are built to last. Having a quality sump pump and backup system will take care of many of the top reasons for sump pump failure.

    Here are some of the most common reasons why a sump pump may fail:

    • Lack of Maintenance
    • Age of the Pump
    • Electrical Power Outage or Power Surges
    • Improper Installation
    • Incorrectly Sized Pump

    Lack of Maintenance

    One of the most common ways a sump pump may fail is due to a lack of maintenance. Homeowners can simply check the pump occasionally to make sure the pump has not shifted inside the sump basin or become blocked by debris. It is also a good idea to check the sump pump check valve to ensure it is functioning properly.

    Age of the Pump

    As with any household appliance, sump pumps need to be replaced occasionally due to old age. You can prolong the life of your sump pump with routine maintenance, but if the pump was not built to last, it may need to be replaced sooner than you would like. For this reason, it is a good idea to find a sump pump constructed with heavy-duty materials like cast iron or steel. And as always, regular maintenance checks will alert you to any potential issues.

    Electrical Power Outage or Power Surge Damage

    The likelihood of your sump pump failing when you need it most - during a thunderstorm or severe weather event - is very high. If your sump pump relies on your home's on-grid power supply alone, then you need a battery backup for your sump pump. Battery backups kick in when your pump is engaged and the power goes out. This way you can be sure your basement or crawl space stays dry when the water rises.

    Improper Sump Pump Installation

    If your sump pump was installed incorrectly, the life of your pump could be reduced. When improperly installed, a sump pump's motor may be forced to compensate by working harder than it was designed to work. This shortens the life of the sump pump by wearing out the motor.

    Make sure you have read the owner's manual thoroughly before installing a new sump pump. If you need help or are unsure how to install your sump pump properly, contact a plumber.

    Wrong Size Sump Pump

    If your sump pump is too small and is running constantly to keep up with the demand, the life of your sump pump could be greatly reduced. To right-size your sump pump, determine how much water will need to be pumped, using the most severe flooding as a gauge. Then compare your needs with the specs for each pump to identify what size and horsepower sump pump will fit your specific needs.