Sump pump replacement

The last thing you want is for your sump pump to fail in the middle of a storm. Sump pumps prevent rainwater from seeping into your basement or crawl spaces, causing damage and leaving you with extensive repair costs.

Luckily, there are numerous warning signs of sump pump failure. Monitoring performance lets you know when to replace the pump before you have to deal with basement flooding.

Let’s review the lifespan of an average sump pump, the factors affecting its lifespan, and how you tell it needs replacement.

How long do sump pumps last?

Like all home appliances and equipment, basement sump pumps have a limited lifespan. On average, a sump pump can last up to 10 years, but it’s crucial to keep an eye on your pump’s performance to avoid a potential disaster.

If your pump is over ten years old, it’s time to start planning for a replacement. Although some water-powered sump pumps can last longer (20 to 30 years even), manufacturers recommend replacing them after ten years to ensure optimal performance. If you notice any signs of wear and tear or your sump pump is running continuously, it’s time to replace it.

That said, regular inspection and maintenance can extend the lifespan of your pump and avoid costly repairs.

What factors affect the life of a sump pump?

Your sump pump’s lifespan depends on various factors, like how often it is used, its cycle runtime, and how much water it needs to displace. If you have no clue how old your pump is, consider replacing it or having a professional plumber inspect and clean it if necessary.

With that said, several factors can affect the lifespan of your pump, including:

  • Proper sizing: The pump must be sized correctly for the job it needs to do. Undersized pumps will work harder and run longer, resulting in a shorter lifespan.
  • Frequency of cycling: The more often the pump needs to come on, the shorter its lifespan.
  • Runtime: Generally, If a pump runs for long periods each time it comes on, its lifespan shortens.
  • Water table: If it is high near your home, the pump will have to work harder and more often, reducing its lifespan.
  • Quality: The type of material used to make the pump will also affect its lifespan. Stainless steel and cast-iron pumps tend to last longer than plastic ones.
  • Debris buildup: If the sump pit takes debris, it can reduce the pump’s efficiency and cause it to fail prematurely.
  • Maintenance: Regular sump pit cleaning can prevent debris buildup and extend its lifespan.
  • Discharge location: The height and distance a submersible or pedestal pump has to discharge water, the harder it has to work, reducing its lifespan.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, where severe storm systems, including tropical storms, are common, sump pumps are put to the test. A sump pump that runs longer and harder won’t last as long as one that rarely cycles on. However, some sump pumps can last over 18 years if properly installed, maintained, and sized correctly. At Value Dry, we recommend having your submersible pump inspected and cleaned a minimum of once a year to ensure it is functioning correctly and avoid water damage to your home.

How do I know if my sump pump needs to be replaced?

If you are unsure how old your pump is or you’ve had it for several years, there are signs that it’s time to replace it. They include:

  • The pump motor sounds different, as in making clunking, clanking, or grinding noises. Or it is just noticeably louder.
  • You hear water collecting or can see it in the pump well, but the pump isn’t running
  • The pump alarm (if you have one) indicates the pump is malfunctioning
  • The pump runs even in dry weather
  • The sump pit shows signs of rust and deterioration
  • The sump pit is emitting some burning or oily odors when the pump runs
  • The pump is approaching 10 years old

Generally, it is difficult to repair them since they are submersible and sealed by the factory. Replacement is always the recommended course of action for malfunctioning or older pumps.

Modern pumps are more efficient and are equipped with advanced features such as alarm systems,  smart apps, and battery backup pumps. These features alert you in case of a problem with the main pump and protect the home by turning on the backup pump.

Do sump pumps need to be cleaned?

They require regular cleaning to ensure optimal performance. We recommend an annual cleaning, including removing and washing the pump, cleaning the check valve, and removing debris and water from the pit. You should also check the discharge pipe to ensure it’s free from clogs and debris and directs water away from your home.

Regular cleaning of your pump can extend its lifespan and avoid costly repairs. It can also prevent water damage to your home and belongings. Neglecting pump cleaning can lead to clogs and reduced efficiency, causing the pump to work harder and shorten its lifespan.

Do sump pumps need maintenance?

Yes, these pumps need regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently and prolong their lifespan. Aside from cleaning the pump components, inspecting and testing the components is crucial. Capturing problems early can save the life of your pump and save you more money by avoiding water damage.

It’s essential to ensure that your pump has a battery backup system in case of a power outage. A battery backup system is another pump that protects you when the power goes out, preventing flooding and water damage to your home.  It also protects you if your primary pump fails – giving you time to react and replace the primary pump.

Schedule Sump Pump Installation

We offer fast and affordable sump pump installation and basement waterproofing services to Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia panhandle, and Delaware homeowners and businesses. Call Value Dry Waterproofing at (888) 768-2583 or schedule a free inspection through the contact form.

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