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McElroy’s Sump Pump Service Heavy Rains


Service Sump Pump Failed? Here's What to Check.

May 17, 2021

Basement flooding is a common result of especially rainy periods. Suddenly, many homeowners realize why that pump in the small pit in the corner of their basement is there. When properly working, sump pumps prevent flooding by pumping excess water away from the foundation. Sump pumps are positioned in the lowest part of the basement, away from the sewer, electrical and gas lines. The bottom of the sump pit contains gravel or other loose material that allows water to fill the pit before the pump forces it out. If your sump pump fails to work, here are four things you can check:

1. the system is clogged

If your system is inactive for a while, debris and mud can settle in the pit around the pump and also create blockage in the pipe, preventing the system from flushing water away from the sump pit.

2. The Float or Pressure Switch is Stuck

The sump pump is triggered by a float switch that rises with the water and turns the pump on, or a pressure switch that activates when the level of the water gets high enough. The vibrations of the sump pump can cause the float to become lodged against the wall of the sump pit and stuck in the “off” position. Hollow floats may fill with water over time, preventing them from floating to the “on” position. Pressure switches can fail over time due to water infiltration or diaphragm ruptures.

3. Power Failure

This is a great thing to check to prevent an unnecessary service call. Sometimes sump pumps are unplugged because the outlet was needed and the user forgot to plug it back in. Check any circuit breakers or GFCI outlets in the power supply to make sure they haven’t been tripped or need to be replaced.

4. The System is Burned Out

Overheating is the main cause of sump pump failure. Most sump pumps are built to work underwater, which cools them as they work. Even when properly maintained, sump pumps have a lifespan of about 10 years.

McElroy's Shawn O'Malley Plumbing Service TruckBackup Sump Pump Options

A backup sump pump can prevent water in your basement if your primary pump fails. Battery-operated sump pumps use energy stored in a 12-volt battery to power the pump if regular electricity is out due to a storm. Systems come with a battery monitor and charger to keep the battery topped off during normal conditions. Water-powered sump pumps tie into your home’s main water line so they can operate without a power source. When your primary sump pump fails, the rising water will turn on the water-powered pump to remove the excess water.

Emergency Service & Preventive Maintenance

A McElroy’s technician can evaluate the current condition of your sump pump, repair or replace it, and make recommendations for a backup option. We’re also happy to offer preventive maintenance for your system. Let us help you when everything is dry so you won’t find yourself ankle-deep in water!

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