Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are a necessary appliance for any home or building with a basement or space underneath the house.  Sump pumps divert water from your foundation preventing flooding, wood rot, and mold.  Basement flooding is usually caused by ground water accumulation that makes its way up into your basement.  As the ground water level rises it is diverted into the “sump hole” and once it reaches a critical level, the sump pump engages and pumps the water away from the building.

A sump pump is a very wise investment as it has the potential to save you thousands annually, especially if you live in a wet climate.  Most recently built homes come standard with sump pumps due to the Federal Clean Water Act.  However, the average life of a sump pump is 10 years, so if your home was built more than 10 years ago, it might be time to replace your sump pump.

The most common problem with sump pumps is a faulty “float”.  The float is a bell shaped object that rises with the water level in the sump hole and determines when the pump should turn on and off.  If the float is obstructed somehow, then the pump will not turn on.  If you discover that the float simply fails to work, call a plumber and he will install a new one.

If the float is not the problem and your sump pump still does not function, then you might have a faulty or improperly installed valve.  The valve allows water to enter the pump and be diverted; it could be jammed or adjusted improperly—the arrow on the valve should be pointing away from the sump pump.

Sometimes the problem with the pump can be the impeller.  The impeller is responsible for pushing water through the exit pipe.  You will need to call a plumber if the impeller is broken.