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What To Do When Your Sump Pump Fails

July 09, 2024

Basements and cellars, or below-grade spaces, are parts of a home that sit below ground level. These areas can accumulate standing water, especially during heavy rain, leading to potential damage. A sump pump plays a critical role in these spaces by diverting water from the foundation to prevent flooding. However, sump pumps can sometimes fail, and when they do, quick and effective action is necessary to avoid damage to your home's structure, including its electrical systems and drywall.

In such cases, finding a reliable sump pump plumber is a priority. This article provides a comprehensive guide on what to do if your sump pump fails, including how to:

  • Take safety precautions
  • Diagnose the issue
  • Implement long-term solutions

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Safety Measures During Sump Pump Failure

If your sump pump fails and you have standing water, prioritizing safety is crucial. Entering the water without precautions can be dangerous due to the potential for electrical shock. Before attempting any water removal, ensure all electrical power to the affected area is disconnected. Avoid contact with the water before the power is safely off to prevent electrical hazards.

You should also wear protective gear because standing water may contain harmful contaminants like bacteria or sewage. Stay away from weak or damaged spots and keep near exits to stay safe from any hidden damage to the building. Also, open windows and use strong fans to help dry the area faster by improving airflow.

To remove water, you can use a wet vacuum, but make sure it's safe to use electrical devices in the area first. Also, quickly contact a professional plumber to fix the sump pump problem and prevent further water damage.

Diagnose the Issue

Sump pumps are built to last and usually work without needing much attention. Most of the time, you might not even remember it's there because it's doing its job quietly. But when it stops working, you might end up with a flood. If your sump pump isn't working, you need to find out why it failed and how to prevent it from happening again.

Check the Power Supply

During storms, the power might go out. If it does, that often means your sump pump isn't going to run.

Inspect the Pump

Every month, especially before the rainy season, give your sump pump a quick visual inspection. Any signs of rust on the sump pump mean you might want a professional to take a look. If there's dirt or debris, clear it out so it won't affect the pump when water levels rise.

Test the Pump

To check if the pump is working, pour water into the pit where it's installed. The pump should automatically turn on, remove the added water quickly, and then turn off once the water level goes down.

Explore Long-Term Solutions

While sump pumps last a long time, having systems in place is a good idea to ensure they're a reliable solution before the next storm.

Battery Backup System

A battery backup system for your sump pump means it stays on even when the power goes out. This is a great way to keep your basement dry.

Regular Maintenance

It's a good idea to check and maintain your sump pump every year to ensure it's working properly before the flood season starts. Remember, your sump pump doesn't just kick in during storms; it also activates when the underground water level (water table) rises and water begins to move toward your home's foundation.

Professional Inspections

Make sure a licensed plumber gives your system the OK before you turn everything back on and start spending time in the area protected by a sump pump.

Need Help With Basement Waterproofing? Call Ranshaw!

Contact Ranshaw Plumbing & Heating when you need sump pump installation or repair. Our 60+ years of experience and honest, upfront pricing help you get a reliable solution to basement flooding.

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