Sump Pump Repair 

Sump pumps are an incredibly useful thing to have, especially after a heavy rainstorm or flash flood when the chance for your basement or crawlspace to flood goes up dramatically. If you are in an area that is prone to flooding, or just want to have some peace of mind than a sump pump is a great thing to have around.

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What is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is typically installed below the floor of basements and crawlspaces with the goal being collecting excess water and pumping it back towards the surface before it has a chance to cause damage to the interior of your home. Without a sump pump, rainwater can collect underneath your home and cause major damage to the foundation and flooring over time. The pump collects the water that would be stagnant and pushes it forcefully back to the surface. While there still may be some minor cleanup to do after a flood, the sump pump will be able to do most of the heavy lifting.

 

A sump pump is typically installed below the floor of basements and crawlspaces with the goal being collecting excess water and pumping it back towards the surface before it has a chance to cause damage to the interior of your home. Without a sump pump, rainwater can collect underneath your home and cause major damage to the foundation and flooring over time. The pump collects the water that would be stagnant and pushes it forcefully back to the surface. While there still may be some minor cleanup to do after a flood, the sump pump will be able to do most of the heavy lifting.

Testing a Sump Pump

A few times per year it is always a good idea to test your sump pump to make sure it is still functioning properly. To perform the test, simply dump 3 - 4 gallons of water into the pit in which the sump pump is housed. This should trigger the float which should turn the pump on and direct the water away. If the float sensor is submerged and the pump doesn’t turn on then it could be a problem with the sensor or the unit as a whole. Start troubleshooting by unplugging the unit and clearing any debris from the inside or around the pit that may be affecting the sensor. If that doesn’t work, you can disconnect the outflow pipe from the unit and check it for clogs. If you have tried both options and you are still experiencing issues it may be time to call in some professional help to either repair the unit or provide a recommendation for a replacement.

Maintaining a Sump Pump

Sump pumps are designed to be low maintenance, so 3 - 4 times a year we would recommend running through the checklist below to make sure your sump pump is operating in optimum condition.

Check the power cord and connection to make sure there is no corrosion or damage.

  • Look at the position of the pump and make sure it is sitting upright. During use, the pump can shift out of place because of vibrations coming from the motor.

  • Clean the grate found at the bottom of the sump pit as it can get clogged up with debris.

  • Check all the pipes surrounding your sump pump to ensure they are free of damage and watertight.

  • Run a test and look for any areas where the flow of water is slow, as this could indicate a clog.

Contact Us

If you are experiencing any of these issues with your sump pump, give Jolly Plumbing a call. We have over 60 years of experience in installing, maintaining, fixing, and emptying residential or industrial sump pumps. We guarantee we can solve whatever sump pump issue you may be experiencing. When you are facing a sump pump problem it can really ruin your day. That’s why we make it a promise to get to you quickly and get you back up and running in no time. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call, even if you have questions about your toilet or sump pump, or any plumbing need you may have.

Sump Pump Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Sump Pump and What Does it Do?

  • A sump pump is a pump system typically located in a home's basement. These pump systems prevent flooding in basements by pumping excess water from under and around your foundation out of the area to a safer spot for the water to be, typically someplace away from your foundation. You can drain it into your local sewer lines in some areas, but that's not allowed in other areas.     

There are four different types of sump pumps available. They include submersible sump pumps, pedestal sump pumps, battery-operated backup, and water-powered backup. A submersible sump pump is a system that consists of a motor and pump all in one. This pump is typically located in a basin in the water table. Since it's submerged in water, these pumps are usually quieter than some other options and help save space in crowded basements. A drawback of submersible sump pumps is that they may have a shorter lifespan than other pump systems. A pedestal sump pump is a pump with a separate motor above the basin connected by a hose. The pump moves the water through the hose and out where designated. These sump pumps are typically louder but can last longer since they are more easily accessed for regular maintenance. They also take up more room. A battery-operated backup works even when the power is out during or after a big storm. As the water rises, the float switch turns on the battery backup. A water-powered backup works with increased water pressure. It means no worrying about batteries, but it can increase your water bill since it uses more water. Depending on where you live, you may not be eligible for a water-powered backup.

Should Every Basement Have a Sump Pump?

  • Not every basement has a sump pump, but sump pumps can be an excellent way to protect your investment in your home. Here are some conditions that you should consider adding a sump pump if you don't already have one in your basement:    

  • Your basement has flooded at least once in the past.

  • You live in an area where you often get large amounts of rain or snow.

  • Your local weather has been unpredictable lately, with more severe storms as the weather patterns change.

  • Your home is located below the local water table.

  • The soil surrounding your home has poor drainage.

  • You've recently made improvements to your basement that would be ruined if your basement flooded.

If you currently have a sump pump, you may find that if it's been around ten years or more since it was initially installed, it could be time to replace it before it fails to protect your home in the event of flooding in the future.

Why Does My Sump Pump Run When It's Not Raining?

  • You've noticed that your sump pump is running, but it's not currently raining. There are actually a few reasons why your sump pump runs without rain. A few of these reasons may be that there's something wrong with your sump pump that needs to be fixed. These include:  

  • There is a clogged drain line where the sump pump is trying to clear the water from the area but cannot because there is a blockage. This situation can be bad for your motor, so it should be addressed as soon as noticed.

  • A broken float switch may cause your sump pump to run when it's not necessary. The switch makes the sump pump think it needs to continue to run. It needs to be manually adjusted. In some cases, you may need to use some WD-40 to loosen it up if it's stuck in one position. If a simple fix doesn't work, you may have to have it replaced.

  • Your pump is not working correctly is another reason why your sump pump may be running when it's not raining.

There are some natural reasons why your sump pump is running without it raining outside, as well. These include:

  • The water table surrounding your home has risen. This event can happen during the change of the seasons, if new construction has occurred in your area, or for other reasons. Often, the water table will return to its original level.

  • Snowmelt can cause your sump pump to run without it raining. All of the water produced by the snow seeps into the ground. Some of it will be absorbed in your landscaping, but not all of it, so you may expect to see it keeping your pump running.

When in doubt, it can be good to have your sump pump examined to identify the underlying cause of it running when it's not raining.

Jolly Plumbing is your local plumbing and heating company. We promise to offer you upstanding customer service, experienced workers, and a job done right the first time. We offer affordable plumbing services to both residential and commercial sites, so no matter the size of your job, we can handle it. Contact Jolly Plumbing today at 719-473-8545 for any of your plumbing problems.