What are Common Issues with Sump Pumps and How Should They be Addressed?

Sump pumps have become increasingly popular in the past few decades and now many homes have them. Unfortunately, they are also prone to problems, causing multiple headaches for homeowners. Some of them are caused by poor maintenance, whereas others are just the result of wear and tear. Here are a few plumbing common issues with sump pumps, along with tips about to how to tackle them.

Wrong Size

If your sump pump is too big or too small then it is unlikely to work well. If a pump is too big then it has to do much more work to help remove the water, which will obviously limit its lifespan. However, if it is not big enough, then it is put under huge strain to remove water which will also negative affect the lifespan.

Clogged Discharge Lines

Over time, sump pumps tend to become clogged which reduces their ability to work properly. If the discharge lines become clogged then water will not be able get out – a freezing line will also cause the same problem. To help alleviate this issue, ensure that the exit point of your pipe is free from any debris and outside interference. It’s essential that water can easily get out of the sump pump.

Running a vinegar solution through your sump pump is an effective way of unclogging any debris which has formed inside. This is a quick process which should be carried out four or five times a year. Providing it’s done regularly, debris build up in the sump pump should be low, allowing for easy cleaning.

To solve the freezing problem, opting to get a grated discharge line is a wise move. Since these have holes in the sides of the pipes, water will still be able to get out of the sump pump even if the main exit is blocked due to ice.

Pressure Build Up

Sump pumps often find themselves under significant strain due to a build up of pressure. This can shorten the life of the sump pump. Drilling relief holes in the discharge line will help air to escape and reduce the workload on the sump pump, extending its life and reducing the chances of a total failure.


There’s no getting around it, sump pumps don’t last forever and should be replaced on a regular basis. While the temptation is there to keep the one you have got providing it works, you should be getting a new one every five to ten years, even if it’s just to play it safe. The last thing you want is to wake up to a flooded basement.

Power Outages

Without power, your sump pump just isn’t going to work, leaving you at risk of flooding. Hence, if you are in an area which suffers from regular power outages, your basement could be in trouble. The best strategy here is to buy a back-up pump powered by battery. This will keep your pump working when the power is out and stop things getting out of control.

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