Your sump pump is an essential tool that keeps your home safe from flooding and water damage, which is why it can be disconcerting when it suddenly doesn’t work as well as it used to. Troubleshooting your sump pump isn’t always easy, but if you can identify a few basic sump pump issues, you'll be well on your way to finding a solution.
If your sump pump isn't turning on at all, you may be in for a lot of flooding. Install a battery backup long before the problem arises so you'll always be able to pump water even if the main pump fails. This will at least keep your basement dry while you can troubleshoot or replace your main pump. Your pump motor may have died, or the solution could be as easy as flipping your circuit breaker back to the on position. Most power failures in a sump pump will require professional repair or replacement.
If your sump pump is working but simply can’t keep up with the rising tide of water, it may be due to a few issues that you can check easily on your own.
All mechanical items wear out over time, but you can extend the life of your sump pump through proper maintenance and regular testing. Invest in a good pump made with quality parts that will stand the test of time. Purchase a model designed for the specific water flow in your area, so that you don't over-tax the motor. Be sure to check and test your pump regularly to catch small issues before they become bigger ones. Also, consider the use of helpful tools like ice guards to reduce the wear and tear on your system over time.
Sump pump issues are usually pretty basic, but they can be tricky if you don’t classify them and take care of them as you find them. Be sure to call a professional if a fix requires more experienced hands, but don’t be afraid to try a few simple tactics yourself to keep your pump running when you need it most.