In part three of our series that tackles structural home fixes, we explore how to repair a sump pump, what could arguably be called the most important piece of equipment in your home … especially if you have a ground water issue underneath the building.
What is a Sump Pump?
Usually installed in the lowest part of a house, such as a basement or crawlspace, a sump pump sits in a specially constructed hole called a sump pit. As water flows into the sump pit from the ground outside or even during a heavy rain storm, the sump pump is activated by the incoming water level, and starts to push the moisture out and away from under the building to the outside, which prevents flooding and keeps the basement or crawlspace dry. Without one, ground water could flood the area or your whole house.
Typically, keep a close eye on the function of a sump pump, because the best repair is consistent maintenance.
Types of Sump Pumps
- One of the most common
- The motor is mounted on a small pedestal
- A hose or pipe extends down to the bottom of the pit
- Activated by a float switch
- Smaller unit that sits in the bottom of your sump pit
- Water is sucked up through the bottom of the pump by an impeller
- Activated by a float or bubble switch
- Good for use in crawlspaces made with a pea gravel floor
- Capable of ejecting small debris as well as water
- Constructed of cast iron and a larger ejector port instead of the standard size
Easy Fixes and Repairs
Drainage Pipe Freezes – which causes flooding. To avoid freezing at the end of the pipe, dig a hole at least a foot deep around the end of the drainage pipe and fill it to the top with fine gravel. Water will move through it without freezing.
Sump Pumps Clogs – which results in flooding. Clogging depends on the ground water; if it’s full of silt, clay or debris, it will eventually gunk up the intake screen. Schedule a good cleaning of the screen and the intake area to remove any clogging matter before a clog happens – every few months or so, if these conditions exist.
Loses Electricity – which causes flooding because the sump pump stops running. Ensure it never loses power installing a battery-powered or water-pressure backup power source for the sump pump. Basically, the backup power source charges from the AC power during normal power. If that power goes out, the backup source will kick on and operate the sump pump.
Stops Working – which results in, you guessed it, flooding. This can happen if the pump burns the motor out from overwork, due to a frozen drainage pipe or it’s overwhelmed by a big flood or the equipment is just old. You can call in a professional for help, but the best thing to do here is to replace it.
Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with home fixes and repairs. From portable generators to dehumidifiers, ventilators and carpet fans, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.