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With the invaluable tool known as a sump pump, basement flooding may not be an issue at your house. However, as with any home appliance, these machines don’t last forever. Look for these signs that your sump pump needs replacing, and you can avoid replacing it mid-catastrophe.

  • A sump pump that runs constantly or cycles on and off may be on its way out. How does a sump pump work? There’s a float that causes the motor to switch on when it’s needed. If the sump pump is running all the time, there may be a problem with the switch or the float arm. Your sump pump may also run because it can’t handle the volume of water it needs to and should be replaced. If the sump pump turns on and off frequently, it could mean a too-small basin that can’t handle your basement’s water. Investing in a larger basement can keep your sump pump’s motor from burning out, so you can avoid replacing the pump. Continuous cycling can also indicate a malfunction elsewhere in the system, so it’s best to have a professional come give it a look. An expert can let you know if you need to install a sump pump that’s completely new or just fix the one you have.
  • If your sump pump makes weird noises, it could be warning you of trouble. Sump pumps are generally quiet, so if you hear strange noises, it could mean that some of the pump’s parts are wearing out. Get a professional opinion on whether it can be fixed or needs replacement.
  • Outside forces can take a toll on the sump pump. If your sump pump is backed up, the problem may be debris accumulating in the basin. This can often be easily fixed by installing a cover. Rust can also be a problem for sump pumps, and so can iron bacteria, which causes a gel-like substance that can cause plumbing issues. Having your sump pump inspected each fall can help identify these issues and extend the life of your system.
  • Sometimes, sump pumps just get old and tired. Even the very best sump pump, professionally installed by an expert, can only be expected to last between seven and ten years. This life cycle can vary dramatically based on how much the pump is used, how much water it has had to handle, and how well it was installed in the first place. Many times, sump pump installation done by a builder or contractor unfamiliar with proper installation practices results in a pump that needs replacement earlier than expected. If your sump pump is old but still seems to be working well, have it inspected by a professional to make sure it still has some life in it.

If you need a new sump pump, trust Reliable Basement Services to make the process hassle-free. A family-owned and operated company, we’ve served the greater Chicago area for over a decade. We offer a full spectrum of basement services including crack repairs, sump pump systems, basement waterproofing, basement windows, and floor repair. Our consistently high standards have made us an award-winning Chicago basement waterproofing contractor, so call us at (630) 777-0539 or visit our website.

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system.

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