Signs You Need a Sump Pump Replacement
If you have a basement, chances are you also have a sump pump, and this is a very good thing. Sump pumps prevent water and moisture damage to your basement and foundation by keeping the area dry.
How long has the sump pump been installed in your basement? If it’s been several years, chances are you will need a sump pump replacement soon, as this is the sump pump life expectancy.
Water collection in your basement can be destructive, so a homeowner must maintain the sump pump. You’ll know it’s time for a sump pump replacement when you start to notice sump pump problems.
As the mold remediation and water damage restoration experts in Richardson, SERVPRO understands how a property owner benefits from the constant operation of sump pumps. To keep your basement in tip-top shape, we recommend you monitor for signs that indicate you need a sump pump replacement.
How Many Years Does a Sump Pump Last?
A sump pump life expectancy is about 10 years. How often to replace a sump pump might be affected by factors that shorten the average life of a sump pump. This happens when a sump pump is overworked, barely used, or if it experiences electrical issues.
Common Signs Your Sump Pump Is Having Problems
The best time for a sump pump replacement is before it fails. The point of having a sump pump is to keep your basement and its walls dry, and once your basement starts to take on water it’s too late for prevention.
Below are three telltale signs that a sump pump replacement may be an immediate need.
Problem Sign #1: Sump Pump is Constantly Running & Is Noisy
When the pump is frequently running but there is no water to extract, there is the risk of a burned-out motor. The wastewater helps cool down the sump pump motor so it doesn’t overheat. This issue should be addressed as soon as possible because of how likely it is that the motor will fail.
Other reasons that sump pumps run constantly are:
- The sump pump is not the right size for the basement.
- The sump pump switch is stuck and cannot turn off.
- Check valve failure
Noises are another sign that it may be time for a sump pump replacement. You might hear gurgling, rattling, grinding, or thuds when the pump is malfunctioning.
When the sump pump is running all the time or is noisy, this problem may be resolved with a motor repair or replacement rather than a whole pump replacement.
Problem Sign #2: Sump Pump is Clogged
Another cause for sump pump failure is when the channels get clogged up. Only water should be entering the sump pump. When other things get inside, this clogs the pump. A sump pump without a lid is vulnerable to clogs. You need an airtight lid to keep out dirt, debris, and other intrusions that would jam sump pump switches.
Another common cause of sump pump clogs is a thick orange slime called bacterial iron. This goo forms around wells and groundwater sources. A chlorine shock can prevent this from accumulating and causing a clog.
Problem Sign #3 Sump Pump Cycle is Erratic
Sporadic activity, shutting off during the cycle, or taking a while to empty are all symptoms of an erratic pump cycle. Reasons for this malfunction are check valve failure, the float valve is too low, faulty wiring, or a short circuit respectively. A sump pump that takes too long to empty isn’t prepared for a flooding emergency.
Troubleshooting an erratic sump pump includes inspecting the check valve or the float valve, examining the wiring, and checking for installation errors. It’s also possible that the pump isn’t compatible with the basement situation, and so a sump pump replacement is needed.
Is a Sump Pump Easy to Replace?
Compared to what is involved in carving out housing for the sump pump, replacing the sump pump is easy. With the pit already in place, the hard part is already done.
While a sump pump replacement qualifies as a DIY project, you should have a fair amount of home improvement experience and a firm grasp of what all is involved with a well-functioning sump pump.
How to Replace a Sump Pump
Depending on the issue, installing sump pump replacement can be a time-consuming project. Below are the basic steps of this procedure.
- Cut off electricity to the sump pump then remove the cover to unplug the old sump pump.
- Detach the sump pump from the discharge line. Then cut a length of PVC pipe (1 ¼ - 1 ½ inch) for the new sump pump. It’s better to cut it a bit longer than too short (as you can always trim it down).
- Find the discharge outlet on the new sump and join it with the PVC pipe using a male adapter. Make this connection watertight by using purple primer and PVC glue.
- After the sealants have had enough time to dry, lower the new pump into the sump pump pit. Don’t let the pump lean against the side of the basement, and make sure that the wires do not become tangled. Also, allow clearance between the float switch or back-up pump.
- Check to make sure the pump is level. The pump should be flush against the concrete floor. Use a level to check for stability. Shims can be put into place to make adjustments.
- Orient the float switch. It needs to be positioned where it can remain unobstructed and at the appropriate height. If it’s too low, the pump will run too much, and if it’s too high it won’t start at the right time.
- Connect the new discharge line to the existing pipe. To avoid water reentering the basement after it’s been pumped, put the check valve back in place or use a union connector to connect the pipes.
- Power the sump pump for testing. Fill a utility bucket with five gallons of water and pour it so it will enter the pump. If it can handle this influx of water, it’s ready for a possible flood. Monitor to make sure that the water is draining to the appropriate place.
If a sump pump stops working during a flooding event, you’d need to act fast with alternative methods. To monitor your basement for a flooding problem, you should consider installing a sump pump water alarm. Once the water gets to a certain level, this trips an audible alarm.
Do You Need a Plumber to Replace a Sump Pump?
People who are sure they have the right sump pump for their basement and feel comfortable with the skills level required for a sump pump replacement should be able to install it with no problem.
However, some property owners are unsure of what sump pump to purchase, aren’t sure they can do it properly, or don’t have the right tools to complete the sump pump replacement project.
While hiring a plumber can easily double the cost of a sump pump replacement, in some cases, this is the only way to replace it. Keep in mind that plumbers may not be able to do the necessary waterproofing needed around the sump pump. You may need to hire a separate handyman for this.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Sump Pump?
Installing your own sump pump usually costs a few hundred dollars ($150-$300). This includes the cost of the pump itself plus the other supplies needed (PVC pipe, primer, glue, adapters, etc.)
Project costs also depend on what kind of sump pump you need. Submersible pumps are more expensive (between $100 - $400) than pedestal pumps (between $58 - $170).
You can expect sump pump replacement costs to at least double if you hire professionals to do the removal and installation.
SERVPRO Richardson is Ready to Help
Just like any room of a home or business, the basement should stay dry. Having a sump pump in place guards the basement against excess water that causes damage, including toxic mold growth.
Unlike a basement, a sump pump isn’t made to last forever. You can expect to replace the sump pump every 7-10 years.
If your sump pump fails, SERVPRO is always available to provide water damage restoration. We have experience with flooding scenarios of all kinds, including Richardson sewage cleanup.
If your basement floods or the walls show signs of extensive water damage, don’t delay. The sooner you act, the more damage can be avoided. Call us at (972) 690-1414. We’re available 24/7 and faster to any size disaster.