How to Replace Your Sump Pump and When to Do So

How to Replace Your Sump Pump and When to Do So

How to Replace Your Sump Pump and When to Do So, Any homeowner would hate for their sump pump to stop working in the middle of a heavy downpour. Sump pumps are a crucial line of defense against flooded basements, significant water damage, and exorbitant repair costs.

Thankfully, there are numerous indicators that your pump is nearing the end of its useful life. You can avoid waking up to a flooded basement by keeping a close eye on your sump pump’s performance to determine when it needs to be replaced.

How and When To Replace Your Sump Pump
How and When To Replace Your Sump Pump

How frequently does my sump pump need to be replaced?

Sump pumps require replacement on average every seven to ten years. A sump pump that is older would need to be repaired, which would be more expensive and provide less of a return on your investment.

Your sump pump’s lifespan will be impacted by how frequently you use it, how long each cycle lasts, and how much water you need it to move. To extend the life of your sump pump, make sure it is cleaned on a regular basis and that it is not overworking itself by running continuously.

You should probably replace your sump pump if you are unsure of its age or state, or at the very least, have a plumber come out to look it over, service it, and clean it.

Although some warranties go up to five years, the majority of sump pumps only have one to three years of coverage. The need to replace the pump is less urgent if your warranty is about to expire but your pump is still working properly and you are in a dry season.

Sump pumps frequently outlive their warranties by a number of years. It is wise to replace your sump pump in advance if it is still under warranty and you are anticipating a particularly rainy season.

After all, replacing your pump is much less expensive than dealing with the disastrous costs of a flooded basement. Even though a sump pump has a ten-year lifespan, this does not mean you should wait until it is about to break before replacing it.

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Do I require an emergency sump pump?

If your power fails in the middle of a severe storm, a back-up pump will shield you from costly repairs and damage. When your primary sump pump stops operating, backup sump pumps are notified.

After that, the backup pump takes over and expels the incoming water. Any home that uses a sump pump to prevent flooding should also have a backup sump pump. Power outages can make your sump pump ineffective against rushing waters, even if it is brand new and in excellent condition. They serve as cheap insurance against the enormous loss that comes with flooding.

Battery power

Battery power is typically used for backup sump pumps. They are mounted next to your main sump pump. Because of their battery-powered operation, they can start working after a power outage has rendered your sump pump inoperable.

The backup sump pump’s float switch is placed just above the float switch on your primary pump. As a result, the backup sump pump can detect when the water level has risen above the desired level and turn on.

Backup pumps can help in times of severe flooding in addition to preventing damage to your home in the event of a pump failure. During severe storms, the water volume may overwhelm your primary pump. The backup sump pump can offer additional relief to the primary sump pump if the water level rises high enough to activate it.

Another choice

Another choice is to connect a backup battery directly to your current sump pump. You can wire a backup battery directly into your main sump pump and mount it on the basement wall.

The pump will draw energy from the battery if the power goes out in your house, keeping the pump running even then. If you decide to directly connect the backup battery to the pump, make sure you regularly check the battery’s life and replace it as necessary. In order to keep their basements dry even in the event of a power outage, some people will also wire the sump pump directly to a generator.

It’s crucial to keep in mind, though, that backup sump pumps are only meant to be used in an emergency. They must never take the place of your actual sump pump. You can expect a backup sump pump to run continuously for anywhere between 5 and 7 hours. The battery-operated backup pump can be used for at least 24 hours if the runtime is intermittent.

5 indications that it’s time to replace your sump pump

Monitoring the pump’s performance is the best way to determine when to replace your sump pump. While some issues can be resolved with upkeep or new parts, other issues are more serious and call for a new sump pump system.

You can determine when the sump pump needs to be replaced by keeping an eye on the length and regularity of the pump’s cycles, the motor’s operation, and the volume of water in the sump pump’s basin.

1. The sump pump is continuously running.

If your sump pump keeps running no matter the weather or the water level in the tank, this is a serious sign that something is wrong with the pump. Sump pumps put an excessive amount of strain on their motors when they continue to operate even after the water in the basin has been completely drained.

The pump is cooled by the water

So if the pump is operating without any water, it could easily overheat. Your pump will be overworked to the point of premature failure if this issue continues. An overextended sump pump can be caused by a variety of factors, making it a fairly common problem.

Improper sump pump size is among the most frequent causes of a pump that runs continuously. A pump that is too small for your basin will struggle to move the water because it cannot handle the volume of water. If the pump is too big for the basin, it will have to work harder because the water will fill the basin more quickly and the pump may run out of fuel.

The presence of a float switch that is stuck in the “on” position is another frequent cause of this. Lightweight flotation switches are made to rise with the water level in the sump pit. The pump is activated when the float switch reaches a certain height; when the water level drops, the switch deactivates the pump.

The pump can keep running even if the float switch gets stuck or tangled.

The switch can be tripped by debris, wires, or pipes, turning it to the on position. A sump pump that was improperly installed could shift in the basin, pressing the switch up against the pit wall and starting a never-ending cycle.

The switch may break, stop working, or get caught on the basin’s sides. It may also lose its connection to the power source. If the pump is continuously running, the float switch should be checked first.

Your sump pump drains water from the basement and directs it towards a drainage area via a discharge line that rises above the sump pump pit. A check valve, a fitting that stops water from flowing back down the pipe and into the pit, should be installed in this discharge line.

The water pumped out of the pit will cascade back down if the check valve has failed, trapping your pump in an endless cycle of pumping the same water up the line. Make sure your check valve is functioning properly if your pump is always on.

Other elements

Other elements may be affecting the perpetual cycle if the check valve is operating and the float switch is not stuck in the “on” position. It’s possible that a broken underground water pipe is continuously pumping water into your sump pump.

Flooding beneath your house can cause serious damage to your home’s foundation and structure. Additionally, if your house was constructed too far below the water table line or in an area with a high water table, your sump pump might be constantly flooded.

There isn’t much you can do about it, so if your house was built somewhere where constant flooding is to be expected, get in touch with a plumber so they can evaluate the situation and develop a drainage plan that is specifically tailored to your needs. To keep up with the incoming water, you might need to install an additional pump or raise the sump pit. You will need to replace your pump more frequently if your house is submerged in water.

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2. Loud noises are coming from the sump pump.

A sump pump that is making loud gurgling, clanging, or rattling noises is a serious indication that something is wrong. A pump will naturally make noise as it forces water through the discharge pipe, but it shouldn’t be roaring at you from your basement. In general, sump pumps of higher caliber operate quietly. Older sump pumps are frequently louder, especially those made of PVC or plastic.

The motor of a sump pump with an unusually loud motor is nearing the end of its useful life. It’s time to purchase an entirely new system if your pump is an outdated plastic model. Upgrade to a self-lubricating, cast-iron pump.

These pumps require less extensive maintenance

These pumps require less extensive maintenance and are more dependable. Cast-iron pumps will be preserved and have a longer lifespan because they are less likely to overheat. If your pump is more recent, you only need to replace the failing motor rather than the entire pump.

Motors for pedestal sump pumps are positioned around the basin, and tubing connects them to the pump there. Because they are not submerged, these pumps typically last longer but are also much louder.

They are capable of making noise that echoes throughout your basement. Although they do not last as long, submersible sump pumps are more effective at preventing basement flooding because they are submerged in water. Additionally, the basin can be sealed off with an airtight lid, and they are quieter. The noise will be contained, and the sound of the pump operating will be muffled.

When the fan blades pull water from the basin and into the pump, a damaged impeller will ratchet. When the pump is running, you might hear grinding and screeching if the impeller has gotten clogged. Typical check valves are the source of gurgling sounds.

The amount of noise the water makes as it flows through the discharge pipe can be decreased by swapping these out for spring-loaded valves. Since spring-loaded check valves are not operated by gravity, the flow of water through them is more precisely and uniformly distributed.

Additionally

A pump that has been installed incorrectly can be quite noisy. The sump pump’s discharge line needs to be as straight as possible. The likelihood of loud, clanging noises coming from the water increases if it must make a lot of angles as it leaves the pit.

A plumber can reroute the pipes that leave your sump pit, removing joints and giving the water a smoother exit. By insulating the pipes, you can also reduce the noise the water makes.

3. The sump pump is obstructed.

Over time, grit will inevitably accumulate in an exposed sump pump basin. The impeller fan blades may jam as a result of this. The pump inlet and discharge line can clog if the water is heavily contaminated with sediment and debris.

Flood water will rush back up the pipe and into your basement if the discharge line is blocked. The pump will be sucked up by any small gravel, loose silt, or dirt, which will reduce efficiency.

When the pump is blocked with debris, it will start up but have trouble draining any water from the basin. Additionally, debris can jam the float switch, leaving it stuck in the on position all the time and wearing out the motor.

Taking care of the source of incoming debris is the best way to prevent your pump from becoming clogged. Stray leaves, sticks, and small animals won’t fall into the pit if the sump pump basin is covered with an airtight lid or grate.

Additionally, it will guard against anything in your basement falling into the pit and harming the pump (like tennis balls, nails, screws, and tools). Installing a screen to catch sediment and leaves will prevent the sump pump from clogging up if water is delivered to it by a downspout.

The gelatinous

Slimy contaminant known as “iron ochre” or “bacterial iron” is found in many wells and groundwater supplies. This oxidized ferric iron has formed a thick orange sludge that will clog a variety of home appliances, including your sump pump. You might need to shock chlorinate your well water in order to remove bacterial iron from your water supply.

Even the best-maintained sump pump won’t be able to remove any water from your basement if the discharge line freezes or becomes blocked by ice. The motor of the pump may have a nightmare due to frozen discharge pipes.

The pump will keep trying to force water through the obstructions, increasing its output and wearing out the motor in the process. For those who have discharge lines that drain outside the home, this issue is typical during the cold winters.

While it’s unlikely that you can stop your discharge pipe from freezing, you can install special drain lines that will help water exit your basement even in freezing temperatures.

Cleaning your sump pump will aid in preventing damage from a clogged pump. The pump and blades will last longer if you regularly rinse them off and clean the basin of any debris or dirt.

A plumber’s snake can be used to remove the obstruction from a clogged discharge pipe in order to flush it out. Before the pump becomes completely clogged and floods your basement, it is wise to check for obstructions immediately if you notice your pump struggling to remove water from the basement.

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4. The sump pump is irregularly cycling.

It’s a good sign that your pump needs repair when it cycles in erratic bursts or takes too long to empty the water from the basin. Continuous activity spikes in a pump are often indicative of a failing check valve.

The pump is being forced to repeatedly pump the same water because the water being displaced from the sump pit isn’t exiting the discharge line. Your pump may shut off for no apparent reason if the wiring is loose.

Disconnect the pump from the power source and turn it off if your pump suddenly stops working for no apparent reason. Verify the wiring to make sure all the required connections have been made and there are no dangling wires. The pump can also be turned off by an electrical system that has shorted out.

float valve

Your float valve might be too low if your pump is frequently turned on and off. The pump will continuously cycle on and off if the float valve is set to activate when there are only a few inches of water in the basin. The frequency of these cycles will overwork your pump and result in an early motor burnout.

If your pump is taking too long to empty the basin, it may not have enough horsepower to do the job. The amount of water your pump will need to move over a given distance and the volume of water it will be handling will both influence the horsepower needed from your pump.

In the event of significant rainfall and flooding, your pump is very likely to malfunction if it cannot keep up with the water flow under normal circumstances. Additionally, the motor’s constant stress will wear out the pump and significantly raise the likelihood of an early failure.

You might need a high-horsepower pump for your plumbing even if you don’t live too far below the water table. The pump will require more horsepower if the water must travel a long distance through a complicated system of angled pipes.

5. There is an old sump pump.

Even though it might seem obvious that an older sump pump is more likely to malfunction than a new one, many homeowners wait until it’s too late to replace their pumps. If the pump has consistently performed well, you might have forgotten how long it has been there and put off necessary maintenance.

Regardless of performance, it is not worthwhile to risk a failure if your pump is close to ten years old. The pump’s efficiency will drop after ten years of use, and the parts will begin to deteriorate and eventually fail. Compared to remodeling a wet basement, replacing a pump is both cheaper and simpler.

It’s also important to keep in mind that many older sump pumps are less effective and more likely to experience issues. The majority of more recent sump pumps have screened top inlets to stop debris from getting inside and harming the impeller.

They can also withstand impact and resist corrosion because they are made of strong stainless steel. It is wise (and ultimately less expensive) to replace the pump entirely rather than maintain an out-of-date piece of equipment if your older model is covered in rust and prone to jamming and failures.

Can I change the sump pump on my own?

Although replacing a sump pump may seem difficult, it is actually a fairly simple project that a homeowner can take on. Make sure the new sump pump is the right size for your sump basin and has enough horsepower to keep your basement dry before you install it.

If you’re replacing a pump that has served you well and consistently, you should switch to a newer model of the same brand. However, if you are replacing a pump that failed because it was unable to handle the amount of water, you should consult a plumber to determine whether you need to increase the size or horsepower of the device.

Sump pump replacement is a relatively straightforward process, but installing a sump pump for the first time is more challenging. To accomplish this, a trench must be dug, and pipes must be installed. Heavy construction is needed to install a sump pump, including jackhammering a hole into your basement floor, cutting a drain pipe through your basement wall, and installing electrical wiring.

A qualified professional or a homeowner with extensive knowledge of home plumbing should handle this task. Flooding and significant water damage could result from a sump pump that was installed incorrectly.

Sump pump replacement instructions:

  • Cut the old sump pump’s power. Turn off all of the electricity going to the outdated pump. Take off any basin covers you may have and unplug the sump pump.
  • Remove the sump pump’s connection to the discharge line. Examine the PVC pipe that connects the discharge line to the old sump pump. Cut the discharge pipe with a hacksaw, then choose a length of PVC pipe that will give you some mobility while installing the new pump. The old sump pump can now be removed from the pit.
  • To attach a new section of PVC pipe to the discharge line, measure its length. The PVC pipe that connects to the old pump should be measured. 1 1/2 or 1 1/4-inch PVC pipe is used in the majority of applications.

connect to the new sump pump

  • To connect to the new sump pump, you should cut a new length of PVC. Keep in mind that you can always cut down a pipe if it is too long. You will need to dig up a variety of adapters to connect the pipes if you cut the pipe too short.
  • The new sump pump should be connected to the pipe. Find the new sump pump’s discharge outlet. Use a male adapter to connect the pipe you just cut to the pump. The male adapter should be attached to the PVC using purple primer and PVC glue to ensure a watertight seal. Let it air-dry.
  • Into the pit, lower the new sump pump. Verify that the pump isn’t too close to the backup sump pump or its float switch, leaning against the basin’s walls, or tangled in wiring.
  • Check to see if the pump is level. The pump should not be swaying on the basin’s bottom. Make sure the pump is flush with the concrete floor by using a level. Shims can be put underneath the pump if necessary to keep it level.

Investigate the float switch

  • Investigate the float switch. Ensure the float switch is accessible and situated at the proper height. The switch will run continuously if it is set too low. The pump won’t activate in time to keep up with the rising waters if the switch is set too high.
  • Put the discharge line in place. Connect the new discharge line to the pipe already in place. Make sure to connect using a check valve if you removed the check valve while removing the old pump. By doing this, the water will be kept from returning to the basement after being pumped out. Otherwise, join the two pieces of pipe together using a union connector.
  • Check out the new sump pump. Reconnect the power to the new sump pump. Check to see if the pump can handle the incoming water. Five gallons of water should be poured into the pit from a bucket. This would mimic the amount of water that a storm would produce. Make sure the water is being moved by the pump and being transported by the discharge line to the designated drainage area.

How much does a sump pump replacement cost?

You can complete the task of replacing your own sump pump for between $200 and $300. Although some are as cheap as $75, residential submersible sump pumps typically cost between $150 and $200.

The new PVC pipe, primer, glue, and any new fittings and adapters you use to connect the pump to the discharge pipe are the only extra expenses. It’s likely that hiring a plumber will increase the cost of installation.

You can save a lot of money by performing this home repair yourself because replacing a sump pump is relatively simple. However, after you’ve finished with the installation, make sure your seals are watertight and test the pump and backup pump.

The last thing you want is to rush the sump pump replacement and end up with a wet basement. It is always wiser to be safe and call a certified plumber if you have any doubts about your plumbing skills.

What is a water alarm for a sump pump?

Sump pump water alarms warn you when your sump pit’s water level has gotten too high. Water alarms are installed in your sump pit like a float switch, and they sound a loud alarm the instant the water level reaches a risky level.

This gives you the opportunity to act quickly before your property is damaged by a flooded basement. Alarms for water are a useful supplementary security measure. In the event of a pump failure, a water alarm will notify you before an emergency when your basement is about to flood.

The rim of your sump pit is another place where you can mount a basement water alarm. These also keep an eye on the water level in your sump pit. A loud alarm sounds when even one millimeter of water touches the alarm.

By doing this, you can be alerted to the impending crisis from anywhere in your house and be given enough time to avert it. Additionally, water alarms can be used to keep an eye on drain lines, hot tubs, dishwashers, bathtubs, and other appliances that use water and are prone to flooding or overflowing.

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FAQ How to Replace a Sump Pump: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a sump pump’s typical lifespan?

roughly ten years Your sump pump won’t last forever, just like other furniture and equipment in your house. It’s possible that after approximately 10 years, you won’t realize your sump pump is broken until it stops functioning. Water damage to your home and the items inside it may occur as soon as this happens.

A sump pump has a 30-year lifespan. Sump pumps have a lifespan of five to seven years on average, though some last for many years. Some pedestal pumps can go up to 30 years between repairs.

A sump pump’s durability is 25 years. If properly maintained, submersible sump pumps can last for up to 15 years. If given routine maintenance, pedestal sump pumps can last even longer, up to 25 years. Cleaning, checking the valve, cleaning the filter, and testing your sump pump annually are all regular maintenance procedures.

How can you tell if a sump pump is broken?

Make an effort to identify the water’s source. Sump pump failure is a common cause of basement flooding. You can be fairly certain that a broken sump pump is to blame if your basement is flooded and your sump pump is not removing the water. April 7, 2022

How much does it cost to replace a sump pump?

Cost to Replace a Sump Pump The average cost of replacing a pedestal sump pump is $650, with costs ranging from $400 to $900. Replacement costs for submersible sump pumps range from $800 to $2,000, with an average price of $1,400.

What is the price of a brand new sump pump?

Sump pump prices range from $641 to $2,035 on HomeAdvisor, with the national average coming in at $1,296. While the price of a pedestal pump ranges from $60 to $170, that of a submersible pump ranges from $100 to $400. Installation labor can cost between $45 and $200 per hour.

Do sump pumps require maintenance?

A sump pump pit collects water from underneath or around your house, which is then pumped out of your house and away from the foundation. A sump pump requires routine maintenance to remain in good working order, just like any other system or appliance you might have in your house.

Is it simple to change a sump pump?

Although replacing a sump pump may seem difficult, it is actually a fairly simple project that a homeowner can take on. Make sure the new sump pump is the right size for your sump basin and has enough horsepower to keep your basement dry before you install it.

How frequently should sump pumps be inspected?

three to four months, on average. Even though it is typically recommended that they be tested every three to four months, it may be prudent to test and clean it more frequently in most cases. The inlet screen should be opened during tests, and it should be thoroughly cleaned.

What causes a sump pump to fail most frequently?

The switch getting stuck in the on or off position, which causes the pump to run continuously or not at all, is the most frequent mechanical issue with a sump pump. Power outages, poor maintenance, aging, or improper installation are just a few of the factors that can cause sump pumps to malfunction.

If the sump pump fails, will the basement flood?

A relatively low-cost water mitigation system is a sump pump. However, it will eventually break down, just like any other piece of equipment in your house, which could cause flooding, water backups, or water damage to your basement.

Does a sump pump lower a home’s value?

Although the installation of a sump pump shows that the seller is making an effort to address the issue of moisture in the house, the fact that it is in the basement usually attracts the attention of buyers, agents, and home inspectors.

What are typical issues with sump pumps?

The Top 7 Most Common Sump Pump Issues suitable-sized sump pump. One of the most common sump pump problems is an incorrectly sized pump. pump installation error. strained sump pump, an obstructed sump pump Unresponsive switch. The discharge line is clogged. Power blackouts.

What noise does a sump pump make when it fails?

A sump pump typically only emits a low, steady hum, so when it starts emitting loud, unusual noises—which have been compared to washing machine noises—it needs to be repaired. An impeller or fan problem may be indicated by a rattling or grinding sound. failure to activate.

What is the turnaround time for a sump pump replacement?

The process of installing a sump pump can take anywhere between hours, depending on how thick the basement floor is. Since these pumps only address the effect and not the cause, you must first identify the source of the water.