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3 Signs That Your Sump Pump Needs Replacement


The unpredictable summer thunderstorms are common everywhere in the world, but Maryland homeowners have learned to anticipate and fear them. You never know if it’s going to be a drizzle or a flood of Biblical proportions. This is why having a working sump pump is really not an option for most local residents. And you can’t afford to wait till your sump pump problems lead to a complete failure—maintenance, repair and replacement should be done ahead of time if you want to keep your basement dry.

As Maryland sump pump replacement specialists, we perform numerous sump pump replacements each summer, most after the fact. To help you save money and nerves, here are a few tips to help you identify whether your sump pump needs replacement.

It Was There When You Moved in

Has it been over 10 years since you moved into your home?

Is there a sump pump in your basement that you’ve never replaced?

Is it a pedestal kind?

If you answered “yes” to all three of these questions, it’s likely your sump pump is a good candidate for replacement. Sump pumps have a limited lifespan, typically around 10-15 years. During this time, parts wear out, mechanisms get clogged and the pump slowly fails. In addition to that, pedestal sump pumps (the ones that sit above the sump pit in the open) have been replaced in most residential applications by more efficient and durable submersible pumps. Of course, there are still uses for pedestal pumps, but if your home is old, it’s possible that the pedestal pump was installed due to the lack of a better alternative at the time. At least get it inspected to make sure it still has some life left in it.

It’s Unusually Noisy

You know something is off when you start hearing chirping or grinding noises from under the hood of your car. Same goes for sump pumps. An unusually noisy sump pump may mean problems with the motor or the impeller—both are vital components your sump pump won’t run without. Because sump pumps are typically tucked away in the basement, most homeowners don’t even hear any noises. Go down there during rain and make sure the only sound coming from the sump pump is gentle humming.

It’s Running Irregularly

What does it mean to “run irregularly?” Unfortunately, there is no uniform standard for how long or how often sump pumps should run. They turn on when the water starts to rise and the float switch is activated. They pump the water out and then cycle off. The pump will come on again when more water flows in. The length of time it takes your sump pump to empty the sump pit should be more or less the same. However, during heavy rain you will hear the sump pump cycle on and off more frequently, which is normal. The following behaviors can be considered irregular and should be closely monitored:

  • Sump pump cycling on and off frequently in dry weather.
  • Sump pump running non-stop for lengthy periods of time.

Both of these symptoms are dangerous and can cause the motor to burn out. They don’t necessarily mean that you need a new sump pump, but in most cases you do. It’s possible that your sump pump is not powerful enough/too powerful for the sump pit, or that the pit is too small/too big for the capacity of the pump.

If any of the above sounds familiar, it’s worth getting your sump pump inspected and assessed by an experienced Maryland plumber. And if a replacement is indeed necessary, Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating will gladly assist you in selecting and installing a new sump pump.

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