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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What is a Sump Pump and What Happens When it Doesn't Work?

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

sump pump illustration Sump Pump Illustration

What is a Sump Pump and What Happens When it Doesn't Work?

At SERVPRO of Dover/Middletown we have seen a lot of basement flooding that could have been avoided if our clients had maintained their sump pumps.

A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes. The water may enter via the perimeter drains of a basement waterproofing system, funneling into the basin or because of rain or natural ground water, if the basement is below the water table level.

The Most Common Causes of Sump Pump Failure:

Stuck Switch:

The most common problem that can cause a sump pump to fail is when a switch gets “stuck”. If the float switch becomes stuck it is ineffective. This can happen very easily if the sump pit becomes dirty. Keeping it clean and regularly running fresh water through the pit can decrease the likelihood of a switch getting stuck.

Power Failure:

Big storms often cause power outages. A power outage in your neighborhood combined with a storm that causes flooding can be a not-so-fun combination for homeowners. Installing a battery powered backup pump can help to mitigate the risk of a sump pump failure due to lack of power.

Frozen or Clogged Discharge Lines:

When the sump pumps discharge line is frozen or clogged with debris, any water in the discharge line will flow back down the pipe and can flood your basement. Although you can’t completely prevent pipes from freezing, testing your pump on a weekly basis will alert you to a problem more quickly and allow you to find a solution prior to a flooding incident. 

Old Age

Wear and tear after a period of years can decrease the effectiveness of a sump pump. Most manufacturers recommend replacing your sump pump every 7-10 years in order to ensure it is properly working.  

Improper Installation

This does not happen often, but another reason why sump pumps can fail is an improper installation. If you have checked for the above reasons and are still perplexed, you may want to have your sump pump installation looked over to make sure it was installed correctly in the first place.

If Your Sump Pump Has Failed Call SERVPRO of Dover/Middletown (302) 697-9776

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