Common Sump Pump Mistakes

26 Jul

Sump pumps are essential to your plumbing system, but there is often a concern that they are not working as they should. Most sump pumps are installed in the basement, protecting the house’s foundation from water intrusion, broken pipes, and flooding.

While sump pumps are essential to keep your house safe from groundwater calamities, they can also be damaged and require maintenance. Learning about the primary mistakes people make with their sump pumps is a great way to ensure that your machine stays working for a long time to come.

Improper Placement

The positioning of your sump pump is critical in its effectiveness. It is ideally placed to suck up any nearby water and then pump it outside the house. A typical plan is to place the pump in the lowest grade level within your basement. Even if the exit hose is many feet away from the house, you’ll be set up for protection against water intrusion. 

Also, remember to set the pump level correctly to ensure it is working ideally. For example, in Toronto, the precipitation is at its highest in the winter and spring. This is when you’ll want to ensure your pump setting is also operating at its highest level so it can withstand the operational requirements.

Debris in the Pump

This is a common mistake that we see often. If your sump pump sits on gravel, silt, or any other kind of debris, it is liable to get sucked into the pump. The best option, in this case, is to use large rocks or gravel as your base. Larger rocks will be unable to find their way into your sump pump, thus ensuring your pipes remain clog-free.

Infrequent Testing of the Pump Sump System

Just like any other machinery, your pump sump needs to be regularly tested. It is better to hire professional plumbing service agents to do this for you, as they will be able to identify any problems in the system before it gets too much to handle. Plumbing experts recommend testing your system at least once a year.

Essentially, what is important to remember is that there are three levels for a sump pump. The levels of “need” are as follows:

  1. Level 1: The sump pump is running correctly. However, this is unnecessary if it is a dry season with little precipitation or rainfall.
  2. Level 2: This is considered the ideal scenario. The pump doesn’t need to be constantly running, but is utilized if the occasion calls for it. For example, if there is heavy rain or snow in Toronto, then the pump can do its job. 
  3. Level 3: This is when your pump never runs.

Troubleshooting the working of your sump pump can be difficult without experience, but with regular testing, your system should be working at a Level 2 regularly.

Loose Wiring in the System

This is another thing you should get checked out during your regular testing and maintenance. Faulty wires are a common occurrence and can lead to the sump pump system stopping. Restoring power involves fixing the defective wiring. It is another task that is best handled by a professional plumbing service in Toronto.

No Battery Backup

This is another no-brainer for why your sump pump may stop working. Although it is a common issue, the consequences of not having a battery backup can be disastrous. If your running battery stops working during a heavy rain storm or snowfall, it could lead to water intrusion. Your basement could even potentially flood. Dealing with the aftermath of flooding is a lot of work, and exactly why the sump pump is an excellent pre-emptive measure! Ensure that you have one backup for your battery at all times to avoid any serious and expensive problems. 

Unplugged Sump Pump

Sump pumps need an electrical outlet, just like most other machinery. Always make sure your system is plugged in. This will ensure you are set up for rain or snow and protected against water damage. The best course of action is never to unplug the sump pump, if possible! It is common for people to unplug the pump for some other purpose and then never plug it back in.

Not Hiring a Professional if the Need Arises

This is the biggest mistake that we see people make. It is essential to recognize when it’s time for a professional to come in and handle the issue. While DIY fixes work well for other problems, plumbing is a serious matter requiring the oversight of professionals who know what they’re doing. If you’ve exhausted troubleshooting your sump pump, then it’s time to bring in the experts. We often see a system that is made worse because of people trying to fix the sump pump themselves. You’ll save yourself a lot of damage and costs in the long run by avoiding trying to fix the issues yourself!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you have any sump pump issues. With over 50 years of plumbing expertise in the GTA, we have the solution to any plumbing and drainage-related problems. We recognize how disastrous a leaky or flooded basement can be to a house, and we offer emergency services for any water intrusion issues if needed. We also do regular maintenance and checks to ensure your pump sump will work perfectly when the time comes.

For more information on drain cleaning in Toronto, call Brothers Plumbing at 800-742-8471 across the GTA region, or contact us here.

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