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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Top 4 Reasons Why Sump Pumps Fail

1/14/2017 (Permalink)

Top 4 Reasons Why Sump Pumps Fail

A sump pump is a simple piece of ingenuity invented by a US Navy electrician in 1946. Sump pumps do not prevent water from accumulating, but rather they control the water underneath your home and then pumps it back out after the water has collected at a certain point.

For the most part sump pumps quietly take care of your home without much maintenance required. However, when they fail, they often cause huge losses. Here are some of the top four reasons why sump pumps fail.

Overwhelmed – You chose or inherited a sump pump that was the wrong size for the job. Bigger is not always better. If you have a sump pump that is too big for the space, then your pump is likely overworking and will eventually shorten its lifespan. Likewise, if you have a pump that is too small for the space it will result in overwork and eventually shorten its lifespan. The average lifespan of a sump pump is about ten years, although depending on the manufacturer they can range from five to fifteen. Don’t wait until your pump fails you to replace it, if it has otherwise been working properly. Have a plan to replace it at the appropriate intervals to keep your home dry.

Clogged –Small bits of nature, like leaves, rocks, mud and even little critters can clog up your sump pump. It’s easy for a pump to become clogged with debris. Fortunately, it is just as easy to prevent it from clogging as well. A simple protective cover will help keep the debris out, and keep your pump working.  Keep your cover clear, by periodically checking it, about once a quarter. While you’re checking ensure the air vent hole is clear, as well.

Frozen – This January 2017, the Triangle area experienced its first winter storm, Helena. The bitter cold, snow and ice she left in her wake caused many pipes to burst. This is also a dangerous time for sump pump discharge pipes as well. Those pipes are prone to freezing. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to prevent the line from freezing. However, a preventative measure would be to add a secondary discharge line that will allow water to exit even if the main line is frozen.

Lost Power – Storms don’t always mean frozen, sometimes they mean lost power as well. If your water is still on but you home is out of power, and not on a backup generator, then your pump is at risk for backing up and possibly flooding. Make sure to have a back up generator in case the power goes out to prevent flooding.

Regular inspection of your sump pump can help offset some of these reasons for sump pump failure.  If you experience a water loss, you can count on SERVPRO of North Raleigh, Wake Forest & SERVPRO of North Durham to respond quickly "like it never even happened."

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