on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 9:00:00 AM
A faulty sump pump may not necessarily be your fault, but it is certainly something that needs to be inspected by a professional immediately. Various factors may contribute to your device malfunctioning, including frequent device use and, paradoxically, irregular use.
Here are several factors that may contribute to a pump breakdown, with guides on how to avoid these situations and how to troubleshoot in cases where applicable.
Factors That May Contribute To Early Pump Breakdown
Improper Installation: Proper installation is imperative for your tank to operate smoothly. If you notice that your tank is overflowing or filling up too quickly, then you should check for signs of improper installation.
- Ensure that there is a check valve installed on the discharge line. Lack of one may cause water back flow and may cause the pump impeller to reverse direction, subsequently unscrewing off the motor shaft. Consult your user manual on proper check valve installation.
- Despite common misconceptions, a sump pump should not be packed tightly into dirt or gravel for a solid fit. This mistake often causes interferences with the float arm and the on/off switch. Contact a professional if you believe that your sump pump has been installed improperly.
- Without the relief hole between the pump and the check valve, pressure will build up inside the sump pump and cause unnecessary strain on the device. This could shorten the life span of the sump pump and / or cause the device to suddenly fail.
Old Age: As with all things, old age fosters deterioration. Although sump pumps are known to last beyond 10 years, it is recommended to change them around this period rather than continue use. You run the risk of flooding your basement operating your machine well over its estimated operating age.
Lack of Maintenance: Regular maintenance is well known to extend the longevity of all of your electronic devices and appliances. This is, likewise, true of the sump pump. Conduct regular quarterly maintenance, performing a thorough wash of the pump itself with vinegar. Make sure to properly clean out all debris lodged between the vents. Maintenance ensures that your sump pump is up to par, which in turn saves you on a lot of future wasted time and money from unfortunate and avoidable faulty pumps.
Additionally, change the batteries on the backup sump pump every 2 to 3 years. And, regularly run the backup pump to ensure that it is well maintained.
Power Surges: Insecure electricity or frequent power outages which cause the pump to constantly snap on and off may damage a pressure tank bladder.
Heavy storms that lead to electrical outages both potentially flood your basement and, due to the lack of power, prohibit your sump pump from turning on. An investment in an automatic-powered generator may mitigate this issue by powering your pump even when you’re not around to physically troubleshoot.
Wrong Pump Size: The wrong pump size, whether too small or too large, could mean added stress on your equipment. If your pump is slightly too large, excess water will flow through and strain your machine. On the reverse, a smaller pump wouldn’t be able to handle the volume of water flowing through.
Consider the following before installing a pump:
- How much water will flow through your tank
- How much horsepower you will need – 1/3 is enough for the majority of homes
- The height of the water level that will be pumped
Defective Product: While the occurrence of a factory defective sump pump is quite rare, it can and does happen. To avoid a defective product, conduct a test after installing the pump. To test, pour 5 gallons of water into the pit with the sump pump turned on, and make sure the water faces away from the house.
All in all, a faulty sump pump can be quite stressful to deal with. However, addressing the fault as quickly as possible will save you more time and money than delaying the inevitable would. Make it a habit to conduct regular maintenance in order to avoid potential future device malfunctions.
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