How to Diagnose Sump Pump Problems – Gardener Corner

How to Diagnose Sump Pump Problems

Having a home is one thing on its own; having home situated in an area prone to flooding is an entirely different ball game altogether. Since one of the first things you would be aware of is if the area is highly susceptible to flooding. To this end, you would have installed the best sump pump in the market you can lay your hands on. While this is where most of the articles you see online would stop, we have decided to push it a bit further to problems associated with these sump pumps.

Yes, just like any mechanical and electrical device out there, sump pumps too are susceptible to having problems. We do not intend to get you all alarmed or bothered that the very one thing you thought would protect your home basement from flooding has issues of its own. Just because we care so much, in this post, we would be telling you how to diagnose these problems. While you could still go ahead and call a professional to help with the diagnosis, the aim of this post is to put you in charge and help you run diagnosis like any professional would normally do.

Without wasting any more of your precious time, here are some diagnosis you can make on your sump pumps.

Water doesn’t get drained as quickly as it used to

8 out of 10 of sump pump related problems will have this as the first issue to arise when     using a sump pump. Usually, some of these sump pumps come with screens. The function of these screens is similar to any other use of screens – they help filter dirt particles and materials.

This on its own is a very good thing, but this simple component can cause serious problems for you and your basement if proper care and maintenance are not carried out. Screens can easily get clogged or blocked with the same debris and dirt materials it was supposed to screen off. Switch off the pump and check the screen and clean it out immediately and you should notice an improved draining capability of the pump.

• The switch is not working properly or working at all

There are several reasons or causes of a malfunctioning pump switch. It could be the switch got stuck or pressed against the side of the sump basin. There’s also a possibility that the pump moved out of place which would invariably put the switch in an awkward position. When proper maintenance is not carried out as at when due, debris materials can also get lodged within the switch and cause it to malfunction.
You would have to inspect the switch manually to see which of the above is the cause. If the switch is bad, you would have to consider getting a replacement. Before you begin inspection of the switch, ensure the pump is turned off and disconnected from a power source.

· A frozen sump pump pipe

This is a common occurrence during the cold months. While many people usually take this for granted because, to them, during winter there’s no threat of basement flooding from rain. But then again, all those snow outside would eventually melt and turn to water. You do not want to have a frozen sump pump pipe at such a time.

To avoid this, it’s advisable to install a stop on the pipe just before it is exposed to the elements of weather. This way, even if you have a frozen pipe, you can still redirect water out of the pipe.

· Faulty electric circuit breaker

A sump pump is basically a mechanical device, powered by a electrical source. For this reason, it is also prone to having electrical technical mishaps. There are usually several appliances working in the home. Sometimes these work simultaneously and this puts heavy burden on the electric circuit breaker. To avoid having to deal with this problem at a time you need your sump pump the most, it’s best you install a separate circuit breaker for the sump pump. While sump pumps deal with water, ensure no electrical part of the pump is in contact with water. This is very hazardous to your home and to you.

· A noisy sump pump

The last thing anyone would want in their house is a noisy pump that just wouldn’t keep quiet. A noisy sump pump can still function but there’s definitely no peace in that house when its in operation. You can install a check valve to minimize the noise or just get a new pump. Today’s pumps are designed to operate quietly. This should be something you should look out of – amongst others – when buying your sump pump.


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