If you have a basement that get leaks and gets wet when it rains, chances are you have a sump pump to help keep the water out as well as mold and mildew from starting to grow. Your sump pump isn’t something that you think about on a daily basis; it’s something you know is there and you expect it to start working when it is needed to keep your basement dry and protected.
Unfortunately, like every other system in your home, your sump pump will need maintenance and eventually will need to be replaced. You will want to know the signs that your sump pump may be ready to fail so you aren’t caught off guard with a flooded basement.
Here in Toronto, between the weather and the fact that we site on a high water table, water entering the basement is a part of life for many of us. And for many, the only thing keeping the basement from becoming a wet and moldy room is the sump pump. A sump pump is a critical piece of equipment you need to have ready to work at all times if you want to keep your basement dry.
We highly recommend having a backup sump pump system installed, just imagine being on vacation when your sump pump decides to quit on you, but you should also be aware of signs that your sump pump may be ready to fail on you.
Signs Your Sump Pump May Be Ready to Fail
Cycling on and off – When you hear your sump pump constantly kicking on and off, this is a good sign that your sump pump either needs maintenance or to be replaced. This can be an indicator that your sump pump basin is too small for the amount of water that it is holding. The faster the water fills up the more frequently your sump pump needs to run. If your pump is turning on and off constantly to try to keep up with the water depth you might experience the motor burning out prematurely, which results in your purchasing a new sump pump.
Long run time – When your sump pump kicks on and stays running for longer than normal it is an indicator of a few possibilities: your pump is having to work too hard based either on the amount of water or the distance that it is required to move the water. Either way, you are going to want to make some changes. A motor that is having to work too hard can result in a failed sump pump and possibly a flooded basement.
Making a lot of noise – Your sump pump should make a low hum sound, anything more than this is a warning sign of a problem. If your sump pump is loud or making grinding or clanking noises, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. A noisy sump pump can mean a broken bearing or jammed impeller (that’s the fan that is used to suck the water up into the pump), both of these mean you are on your way to a new sump pump.
Not turning on when needed – This is one of the easier symptoms to diagnose. If your sump pump is not turning on when needed, you know you have a problem. However, don’t jump right to buying a new sump pump. Your first step if your sump pump isn’t turning on should be to check the float switch. Many times a stuck float switch is the cause of a malfunctioning sump pump. If you check and find this is not the cause of the problem, you need to quickly start considering a new sump pump.
Pedal-style pump – These pumps are typically made of plastic and while they were commonly used in the past, do not offer the same quality as newer pumps. Pedal-style pumps are louder and tend to be more unstable then current options. It is best to replace a pedal-style pump and upgrade to a submerged pump. While these were once the go-to pump, we have come a long way over the years and there are more efficient options for your home needs.
Damage from a Failed Sump Pump
A failed sump pump can lead to not only a flooded basement, but mold, mildew and damage to your property. The best way to avoid a potential problem is to make sure you are not neglecting your sump pump. Maintain it if needed and don’t brush off those noises and changes that you notice. The best time to replace your sump pump is before the old one quits working altogether, leaving you in a bind.
If you think that you might be in need of a new sump pump, or have questions about your existing pump, give Nusite Waterproofing a call or contact us here. As a Toronto-based, locally owned business with over 50 years of combined experience, Nusite Waterproofing can help you with all your weatherproofing needs. We are experts in basement waterproofing and sump pump installations, we serve Toronto and the surrounding GTA.