Portland Plumber: Don’t Gamble with Your Main Pump

If you have a sump pump in your basement, you may think that you will not need anything else. You’re sure that your pump will get the job done if flooding rains enter your basement, or water enters that space for any other reason. You may think that you’ll be fine because you’ve never experienced a power outage during a storm.

Even though you may have every confidence that your pump system will work just fine if you need it, you are taking quite a gamble. If your main pump fails for any reason, your basement, and everything in it, are at risk of suffering serious damage. By having a backup pump installed, you will be completely covered.

Sump Pump Parts that Fail

The typical sump pump fails after it has completed anywhere from about 90,000 to about 150,000 cycles. If it runs twice an hour every day for a year, it will last about five years. Of course, your pump won’t have to work that hard (at least we hope not), so its’ actual life span should be quite a bit longer.

However, you have no way of knowing if your pump will fail. Here are some of the parts that can go out:
  1. The float switch – Float switches can become stuck on the pump or the side of the sump pit, or when the point of contact between the float and switch becomes covered with residue from contaminants. If the float switch becomes stuck in the “on” position, the pump will not be able to shut itself off, and the motor will eventually burn out.
  2. The motor – Sump pump motors need to be lubricated. If one of the seals breaks, the motor loses lubrication and will fail.
  3. The impeller – If the impeller fails, the pump will continue to run because it’s not removing water. A check valve failure can prevent the backflow of water into the pump and cause the impeller to become detached from the motor. Impellers can also fail due to becoming stuck due to debris or small stones. When an impeller malfunctions, water will continue to accumulate until it overflows into your basement.
  4. Power outages – Even though you may not have suffered one, power outages do happen, and they happen unpredictably. If you have a battery-powered backup, water will continue to be removed even when the utility grid fails.

Regardless of the reason, there will come a time when your sump pump will, unfortunately, fail. If that failure happens when you need it the most, disaster can result. Keep yourself covered by having a reliable backup installed just in case. Call 3 Mountains Plumbing today!

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