Homes that are equipped with a basement are particularly vulnerable to water damage caused by intruding groundwater. To help control groundwater levels near the home, many residences are outfitted with a sump pump.
The sump pump is an electric pump that sits in a lined pit. When water levels within the pit get too high, the pump is activated and the water is discharged a safe distance from your home. Most homeowners don't give their sump pump a second thought until it malfunctions and water damage occurs.
To minimize your home's exposure to water, learn to solve common sump pump problems quickly and efficiently.
1. Pump Doesn't Power On
One of the most common problems you will face when dealing with your sump pump is a pump that fails to kick on when the water level in the sump pit rises. Your pump might be burned out, or you could just have a faulty connection with the electrical circuit powering the pump.
Try resetting the circuit breaker the sump pump is connected to. If that doesn't work, have an experienced plumber evaluate your sump pump for signs of damage. The plumber will be able to help you select a new sump pump to protect your home.
2. Pump Runs Continuously
On the opposite end of the spectrum, many homeowners complain of a sump pump that runs continuously. Changes in precipitation levels or flood conditions can affect a pump's ability to effectively move water from your home. If the pump runs continuously for a short period of time and then cycles normally once again, the pump is merely doing its job.
If your pump continues to run over a period of weeks or months, your pump may be too small to eliminate the volume of water your home is exposed to regularly. You will need to upgrade to a larger, more powerful pump for maximum protection against water damage.
3. Pump Short Cycles
A pump that appears to be stopping and starting continuously could be cause for concern. Assuming your pump is large enough to meet your water removal needs, the likely culprit is a blocked discharged pipe.
The water that is filtered through the pump and away from your home travel through a discharge pipe to a safe drainage location. Dirt, debris, roots, and other contaminants can block the discharge pipe. Blockages reduce flow volume and cause water to backup into the sump pit, resulting in your pump short cycling.
If you continue to have trouble with your sump pump, contact a company like Stan Young Drainage to get to the bottom of the issue.