A properly working and stable sump pump is your first line of defense against flooding in the basement. When they do fail, however, they cause many problems for the homeowner. Sump pumps like any other mechanical device need power to operate and are certain to have mechanical breakdowns and malfunctions.
Improper installations can also interfere with their working, effectiveness, and longevity. There are so many designs, models, capacities, and brands that it is so hard for most people to pick the right sump pump for the job. The following are some of the most common forms of sump pump malfunctions and how you should respond when they occur.
Working pump but no water being drained to the pit
This is a common sign that the sump pump was not installed correctly. Often, some contractors or homeowners install the sump pumps in the basements but leave out the part where they are supposed to link it to a drainage system. For a sump pump to work properly there has to be a drain tile that collects water from the base of the house and directs it to the sump pump. If there is clogging in the drain tile or it has collapsed or is nonexistent, no water will flow into the sump pump and as a result no sump pump in the world will be able to keep your basement from flooding.
An overwhelmed sump pump
Sometimes you will find that the amount of water that the pump needs to handle is beyond its ability. You may need more than one sump pump to get the job done right. If your pump is plastic or cheap, it may not be able to keep up with the water a quality pump of its capacity is supposed to handle. A solution to this is to upgrade your sump pump to a higher quality one or in some cases, get more than one pumps and install them in different corners of the house.
Clogged sump pumps and jammed switches
Some sump pump pits lack lids and this allows debris to collect in them and clog them. This can interfere with the working of the pump and cause it to malfunction. The debris can also jam the float switch that controls the pump by switching it on and off depending on the water level. The result would be the pump going off or being stuck while it is on causing it to run nonstop. You should make sure no debris form in the pit to avoid this problem.
Frozen or clogged discharge lines
The pump gets rid of water from the basement through the discharge lines. If this is clogged no water can go out and this might interfere with the pump and also flood the house. Always cover the end of the line to ensure no animal crawl in or debris block it from that end. To keep the line clear in case it freezes, you can install an ice guard to ensure the water keeps flowing out.