If you have a basement in your home or business in the Lower Mainland then you should be familiar with your Sump Pump. Poco, Pitt Meadows, Surrey and all cities in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver Area are home to some of the most rainfall in Canada. A sump pump is your last stop defense against a flood and water getting into your basement. It collects the water that shouldn’t be there and pumps it away to safety.
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How does a Sump Pump Work?
A sump pump has 2 main parts: the Basin and the Pump. The basin is a large pit that’s dug out in the lowest part of your basement. The pump either sits in the bottom of the basin or right next to it. If the pump senses an increase in the water level or pressure it kicks into action. The response by the pump is to get all that water out and discharge it away from your property.
It’s a pretty simple contraption, but quite effective when it is working properly. Sump Pumps have saved thousands of basements from water damage, floods, mildew, mold and even fires. If there’s one thing you don’t want in your home its water. The damage can be immeasurable as it can lead to toxic mold and even start electrical fires. This is why sump pumps are so important and should NOT be overlooked.
Common Sump Pump Problem Symptoms
Nowadays the average lifetime of sumps pumps are approximately 7-10 years. We highly recommend having a friendly Mr. Swirl plumber come check-in on your Sump Pump if it is around that age, however here are some common issues that may be signaling an issue.
-Constantly Turning Off and On
If your sump pump is constantly turning off and on, this could be a problem. This means that the pump is not sensing the water level or pressure properly or more commonly the pump is oversensitive or underpowered. This is a bad problem to have because if left untreated, the pump could burn out by running with minimal water or completely dry. In this case your whole pump would need replacing. If you notice your sump pump constantly turning on and off call a Mr. Swirl plumber right away!
-Loud and Unusual Noises Coming from the Sump Pump
You shouldn’t really be able to hear your pump, unless it is a very quiet hum. If you hear any strange noises other than that, there is probably something wrong. Common noises are irregular loud humming or bumping and crashing. This could be any number of issues including debris in the basin or a pump malfunction. If you find yourself in this situation, lift off the cover to your basin and look for anything obviously wrong. If you see something, for example a large rock that is rattling around, do what you can to fix the issue and if not, have one of our plumbers in to diagnose the problem.
-The Sump Pump is Not Performing When it Should
If you realize that your pump is not turning on and pumping out water when it should be, this is a huge problem and defeats the whole purpose of having a sump pump. This will need professional help from Mr. Swirl quick! Before a disaster happens!
-The Sump Pump is Constantly Running
If your sump pump is constantly running, something is wrong. Likely, when you got your sump pump installed, the wrong unit was chosen or there is some sort of miscommunication between the pump and the amount of water in the basin. If you have an underpowered pump, it will continue to run which is very unhealthy for it. It could lead to your pump burning out, or in the case of a flood, the pump wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand of water.
-Rust on the Sump Pump
If you see rust on any of your plumbing, there is probably something going wrong. Sump Pumps are another perfect example. Rust can lead to blocked pipes or a blocked discharge hose. All in all, if you see rust, have a friendly Mr. Swirl plumber take a look.
What you can do to Help your Sump Pump
-Test your Sump Pump in Between Seasons
In the Lower Mainland, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge and Surrey we get a ton of rainfall, but we also get beautiful dry summers. When the rainy season ends and the dry season is in full effect, test your sump pump by pouring a bucket of water into the basin and monitoring to make sure that the pump is working quickly and effectively.
-Remove the Cover to your Basin and Inspect
Once a year, or if you have any suspicions, remove the cover to your basin and inspect. Look out for things like rocks, debris, mold, rust or anything unusual. If you can, remove any of these unwanted items or call Mr. Swirl to have one of our friendly plumbers assess the situation.
-Test the Float
When you do your annual test of pouring water in the sump, also monitor your float. The float is a small buoy that should rise with the water level if all is going correctly. If when you add water into your basin the float does not rise, this is a problem.
-Check your Discharge Hose
Your discharge hose is the line that water will pass through when exiting the sump pump and eventually come out far away from your house. Well, if this hose is blocked at either end by debris, rust or any other sort of clog, the water will all be stuck in your basin. Again, if the water is stuck in the basin, the whole purpose of the sump pump is defeated. A clogged discharge line is an easy fix for Mr. Swirl, so call us out if you experience this issue.
Overall, sump pumps are a great tool to protect your home or business. Preventing floods, water damage, fires and toxic molds in your basement is an important job so taking care of it is essential. If you have any questions or concerns about your sump pump and are located in Surrey, Port Moody, Burnaby, Mission, Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge, White Rock, Coquitlam, New Westminster and whole Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver Area call Mr. Swirl for the best plumbing service around!