How and When To Replace Your Sump Pump? – A sump pump is a device that removes water from your home’s lowest point, as well as the soil beneath it, and pumps it into a drainage zone to prevent floods, water damage, and mold growth. These pumps can fail for a number of reasons, including installation, machine, and lifespan problems. Monitoring your sump pump’s performance is the best approach to determining when it’s time to replace it. While some issues can be resolved with routine maintenance or replacement parts, others are more significant and necessitate the installation of a new sump pump system. You can assess when the sump pump needs to be replaced by looking at the duration and regularity of the pump’s cycles, the motor’s performance, and the volume of water in the sump pump’s basin.
What Is A Sump Pump?
Sump pumps remove water from your basement and direct it away from your home. A sump is a naturally created pit, usually a hole excavated beneath your basement floor’s main surface. This pit, sometimes known as a basin, is where the sump pump is maintained. There are valves in the pump that detect increased water levels or pressure.
A sump pump keeps your property safe from floods caused by heavy rains and rising waters, which can result in costly repairs and structural damage. It’s vital to know which of the many different types of sumps pumps is best for your needs. The sump pump is usually installed on the lowest level of the basement or crawlspace. The sump pump directs the water to a designated location, such as a creek or pond, a dry well, or even a neighborhood drain. Make sure your drain point isn’t near a source of water that could return to your home. As a result, it’s preferable to keep it at least 10 to 20 feet away from the foundation of your home. It’s a good idea to check with your local government first because some areas have building codes that restrict where your sump pump can discharge.
How Does A Sump Pump Work?
In your basement or crawl area, you almost surely have a sump basin, most likely in a corner or against an outer wall (also called a sump pit). If you remove the debris cover and look inside your sump basin, you’ll notice many holes in the wall. Some drain pipes connect to internal drainage systems beneath your basement floor, while others run from weeping tile pipes at the foundation’s bottom.
Groundwater collects outside your foundation or beneath your basement floor and is channelled into your sump basin via a drain pipe. When the water level in your sump pump reaches a certain level, it is activated. Sump pumps are operated using one of two methods:
v A pressure sensor delivers a signal to your pump when the water pressure in your sump pit rises above a certain level.
v A float activator arm connect to a buoyant ball that floats on the water’s surface. When the water level in your sump pump reaches a certain level, the pump starts.
The impeller of your pump uses centrifugal force to take water from a sump pit and send it up a discharge line. The discharge pipe is located outside of your home’s foundations. Discharge pipes should be buried at least 5 inches below the frost level in order to avoid freezing during the winter. Wherever possible, they should flow downward.
What Causes Sump Pumps To Fail?
Installation, machine, and lifespan issues can all cause sump pumps to fail. If you’re installing the pump yourself, make sure you know what you’re doing. The money you save by doing it yourself pales in comparison to the money you’ll lose in water damage if you do it wrong. Pump problems can also be caused by prolonged cycling or stuck on or off switches. Finally, sump pumps, like any machine, have a lifespan of 7 to 10 years, depending on how often they are used.
Awareness of When to Replace the Sump Pump
If your sump pump is generating unusually loud noises, running constantly, is older than ten years, or cycling irregularly, it’s time to replace it. The below content describes these issues as appropriate.
1. The sump pump is making loud noises
Loud noises originating from the sump pump’s pit suggest that your pump is having major issues. As the pump approaches the end of its useful life, the engine will begin to roar when it pumps the water away from your house. While all sump pumps create some noise as they pump water out of the basement, the noise should never reach the upper floors of your home. Motors that ratchet, clang, or scream indicate that they are facing failure or that the pump was placed wrongly to begin with. There will be a lot of noise if the discharge lines from the sump pump’s pit are inclined sharply. The water will bash into the tubing angles, leading to banging noises all over the basement. Consider insulating the pipes to reduce noise, or hire a plumber to reroute the discharge pipe in a more efficient manner.
2. The sump pump is clogging
A damaged impeller might also cause a loud noise. The sump pump may screech and rattle as it tries to draw water out of the basin if the impeller has been clogged with debris such as leaves, dirt, and sticks. When the impeller is fractured or otherwise damaged, it can create loud rattling noises while in operation. Consider removing the pump and inspecting the components while it is not in use to ensure they have not been clogged or harmed.
3. The sump pump is running constantly
If your pump is always running, it’s likely that it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. A sump pump should never run continuously. It’s possible that the pump is completely the wrong size. A pump that is too small for the volume of water it is supposed to move will never be capable to keep up with the demands placed on it. The pump will be exhausted, the motor will be overworked, and the pump will fail early.
A damaged or blocked float switch could also be the cause of a constantly running pump. The float switch is the device that initiates the pump’s operation. Float switches are small, lightweight devices that rest on the rising water’s surface. The switch will activate the pump to start displacing floods once the water level in the basin reaches a predetermined level. If this float switch becomes twisted in wires or pipes, or if it becomes clogged by debris, it will continue to notify the pump that water levels are constantly increased. If the sump pump moves within the basin and the float switch becomes forced against the pit walls, the float switch may become jammed. A jammed float switch will keep the pump running perpetually, putting an unacceptable amount of effort on the pump. The strain put on the motor as a result of this will lead the pump to fail well before its expected lifespan. If you hear your pump running continuously, it’s important to figure out what’s wrong before it completely runs out.
4. The sump pump is cycling erratically
A float valve that is too low in the basin puts unnecessary strain on the pump. If only a few inches of water are required to start the pump’s cycle, the pump will run continuously. The pump and its mechanical components are put under effort as a result of the pump’s short-cycling. If your pump is taking too long to empty your basin, it is most likely because it lacks the necessary horsepower. In the occurrence of a severe storm or flooding, a pump that is unable to clear the basin during average rainfall may quickly become overwhelmed.
5. The sump pump is old
Despite the fact that an older sump pump is more likely to fail than a new one, many homeowners wait until it’s too late to replace them. You may have forgotten how long the pump has been down there and put off routine maintenance if it has previously been performing successfully. It is not worth risking a failure if your pump is approaching ten years old, regardless of performance. After a decade of use, the pump’s efficiency will deteriorate, and the parts will begin to erode and eventually fail. Replacing a pump is significantly less expensive and easier than reconstructing a water-damaged basement.
It’s also worth mentioning that many older sump pumps are inefficient and more likely to fail. The top inlets of most modern sump pumps are screened to keep debris out of the pump and away from the impeller. They’re also made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and designed to resist impact. If your pump is rusted and prone to jamming and failure, it’s smarter (and ultimately less expensive) to replace it rather than try to repair an out-of-date piece of equipment.
How to Replace a Sump Pump?
To replace a sump pump, follow these steps:
- Disconnect the old sump pump. Turn off all of the power to the old pump. Remove any basin covers and unplug the sump pump.
- Disable the discharge pipe from the sump pump. Take a look at the PVC tubing that connects the old sump pump to the discharge line. Select a length of PVC pipe that allow you to move around while installing the new pump, then use a hacksaw to cut the discharge pipe. You can now remove the old sump pump from the pit.
- Determine a new length of PVC pipe to join the discharge line. Measure the length of PVC that connects the old pump to the new one. PVC pipe with a diameter of 1 1/2 or 1 1/4 inches is used in most applications. To connect to the new sump pump, cut a new length of PVC. Remember that any pipe that is too lengthy can be cut down. You’ll need a variety of adapters to connect the pipes if you cut the pipe too short.
- Connect the new sump pump to the pipe. Locate the new sump pump’s discharge port. Using a male adapter, connect the length of the pipe you just cut to the pump. Use purple primer and PVC adhesive to attach the male adapter to the PVC to achieve a watertight seal. Allow time for it to dry.
- Lower the new sump pump into the pit. Make sure the pump isn’t leaning against the basin’s walls, isn’t tangled in wire, or isn’t too close to the backup sump pump’s float switch.
- Check to see that the pump is at the proper level. You don’t want your pump swaying around at the basin’s bottom. Make sure the pump is flush against the concrete floor by using a level. Place shims beneath the pump if necessary to maintain it level.
- The float switch should be checked. Make sure that the float switch is not obstructed and is at the proper height. The pump will operate continuously if the switch is set too low. The pump will not actuate in time to keep up with the increasing floods if the switch is set too high.
- Connect the discharge line. Connect the new discharge line to the old one. If you remove the check valve while removing your old pump, use a check valve to connect the two lines. After the water has been drained out, this will prevent it from falling back into the basement. Otherwise, join the two pieces of pipe with a union connection.
- Run your new sump pump to the test. Reconnect the new sump pump to the power source. Check to see if the pump can handle the amount of water flowing in. Fill a bucket halfway with water and dump it into the pit. This would simulate the amount of water brought in by a storm. Verify that the pump is displacing water and that the discharge line is transporting it to the prescribed drainage location.
To find out more information about the replacement of Sump Pump, watch this video.
The Cost of a Sump Pump Replacement
You can replace your sump pump for roughly $200-$300 if you do it yourself. Most residential submersible sump pumps cost about $150 to $200, while some can be found for as little as $75. The new PVC pipe, primer and glue, and any new fittings and adapters you use to connect the pump to the discharge pipe are the only extra costs. The cost of installation will almost certainly double if you hire a plumber. Because sump pump replacement is quite simple, it is a home repair that you can perform yourself and save a great sum of money. However, after you’ve finished installing the pump and backup pump, make sure your seals are waterproof. The last thing you want is a basement filled by water as a result of a hurried sump pump replacement. It is always safer to consult a licensed plumber if you have any concerns about your plumbing ability.
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