Signs That You Need to Replace Your Home Water Pump
Your home water pump is somewhat of a tricky device. It’s one of those things that’s essential to your home, but it just kind of does its own thing in the background and often only has a significant impact in the case of a flooding emergency. With such a low profile, it can be easy to forget that your sump pump is even there.
That being said, forgetting to replace your pump can be a dreadful mistake. When the day finally comes where the rains fall hard and the water runs wild, a failing sump pump will result in you walking downstairs to a swimming pool instead of a basement. Swimming pools sure are lovely, but not when a sizable chunk of your furniture and possessions are inside of them. A sump pump will prevent your basement from flooding, and for that reason, it’s essential that you’re able to know the warning signs of a pump that needs to be replaced.
There are a few telltale signs of a failing sump pump, some more obvious than others; if your home water pump shows any of the indicators below, you should probably consider replacing it:
It’s not like there’s one specific day where all pumps just cease to work, but there is a general time frame where you should consider throwing out your old pump, even if it hasn’t shown any of the other symptoms on this list. At a certain age, sump pump motors will start to inevitably wear out. This, combined with the other wear and tear it goes through in its life, means that older sump pumps will eventually give up the ghost. It’s good to get ahead of this.
The general consensus is that sump pumps should be replaced within seven to ten years. We recommend erring on the side of safety, and replacing it at seven years instead of waiting to see if it’ll last a decade.
As a general rule, your home water pump shouldn’t be making a ton of noise. If you’ve had your pump for a while, you probably know how your pump should sound on a regular basis. Most sump pumps have a steady low hum when they’re running. If your pump is louder than usual, or making weird clunky noises that aren’t consistent with past behavior, consider replacing your unit.
Weird sounds are an indicator that something is wrong with the components inside. The fan could be damaged, a bearing may have gone wrong in the motor, and so on. When these things happen, it’s only a matter of time before your home water pump passes to the other side.
When any piece of equipment suddenly starts vibrating when it doesn’t have a history of ever vibrating before that, it’s probably a cause for concern. Unsurprisingly, this is just as true for sump pumps as it is for everything else.
Consider a ceiling fan. For it to work effectively, every blade needs to have equal weight distribution. Have you ever seen a fan run when it’s missing a blade, or when some kind of weight is applied to one of them for some reason? It tends to lob around, and the imbalance can cause immense strain on the fan.
Well, it turns out that there’s a little fan in your home water pumps called an impeller. This handy spinning gadget helps to suck water through your pump. Unfortunately water is often accompanied by debris such as gravel, and if it’s big enough, it can damage your impeller, creating a similar effect to an unequal ceiling fan. This is the most likely cause of vibrations in your sump pump, and when your impeller is damaged, like we mentioned above, it’s only a matter of time for your poor pump. Let it die in dignity and bring in a new model.
Even ignoring the dangerous effects that rust can have on your product and water flow, the presence of rust in general indicates that your machine is not the young sump pump that it once was. At best, it’s a clear sign that your pump is getting old, and at worst, rust can be a sign of decaying battery terminals or excessive bacteria buildup. None of these things are good for the water flow in your pump system.
Power Fluctuations/Continuously Running
Whether your pump is fluctuating in power, or perpetually running even when there’s no water to drain, these things are both symptomatic of the same problem, which is likely a problem in your float switch.
Since your home water pump is designed to drain your water in the case of floods, it needs some kind of mechanism that’s able to detect when there is, in fact, a flood. That’s what the float switch is; it’s a device that gauges whether there’s enough water to trigger the pumping process. If the switch is malfunctioning or improperly adjusted, it’ll mess with the way that your pump works on a day-to-day basis. This can sometimes be an easy fix, but it can also be an indication that your sump pump is giving up for good; every case is different.
There are a few reasons why your pump might just stop working altogether—sometimes, these issues are fixable, while at other times, they’re just a small factor in a bigger problem that has already fried your pump beyond the possibility of survival.
First off, power outages in the home can have adverse effects on your home water pump. Unexpected surges can mess up its electrical system. If it is receiving power but it’s not working, it could be an internal component failure, such as wiring gone bad. In other instances it’s possible for the motor to simply overwork itself; this is possible if there was a flood that was too big for the unit to handle, or in some cases cold weather can freeze the hoses, leading to a clog in which the motor works itself to exhaustion trying to break through.
In any case, it should be obvious if your sump pump isn’t functioning. The trickier part is finding out exactly why, but once you do, you might find yourself in the market for a new pump.
Out With the Old, In With the New
At Fura, Inc., we take flooding seriously. We know the catastrophic toll it can take on an individual or family. That’s why we want you to be prepared when the time comes. You may not have a passion for home water pumps (most people don’t), but it pays to be aware of the unit in your house as to avoid disaster. If your pump is showing signs that it needs to be replaced, check out our inventory of high-quality, reliable, and affordable sump pumps.