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Cincinnati Water Damage: Article About Why Sump Pumps Fail

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In order to avoid underground wetness, many homes have sump systems installed. These systems involve a basin that collects moisture and a pump that empties the basin through a discharge line. Sump pump failure is one of the leading causes of the destruction that Cincinnati water damage specialists are often tasked to repair.

The most common reason sump pumps fail is power failure. Heavy storms are particularly problematic since they can cause power outages and excessive ground wetness. Power outages aren't avoidable, but there are steps that homeowners can take to deal with them. Most modern sump pumps have an onboard battery backup, but batteries should only be used temporarily if possible. The better option is to have a backup generator that can sustain the pump as long as fuel is available.

Another common reason that sump pumps fail is improper installation. In fact, a study by the American Society of Home Inspectors revealed that after power failure, an incorrectly sized pump was the leading cause of sump failure. A pump that's too small for the job can occur because the plumber misestimated the size or because the homeowner sought to save money by purchasing a smaller system. Other common issues include a missing check valve or missing air relief hole on the discharge line, both of which can lead to motor damage.

The water damage restoration experts at Griffin Contracting and Restoration of Cincinnati can assist you with any questions regarding fire and water cleanup or flooding damage.

A sump pump won't operate properly if the float isn't working correctly. The float switch is what allows the pump to turn on and off. Switches are prone to failure and are a primary reason why sump pumps must be regularly maintained. Switches should be replaced at the slightest sign of wear, and professionals will often recommend upgrading to a premium float switch.

The discharge line is crucial to the operation of a sump pump. If it freezes or becomes clogged with debris, then the system won't work and the motor will eventually burn out. A grate over the exit point is usually installed to ensure that debris doesn't enter the line, and homeowners should regularly inspect that screen and replace it as necessary. That grate won't prevent freezing, but freezing is rare unless the discharge line lacks the appropriate length. An effective safety measure against freezing is what's commonly called an ice guard. Ice guards are transitional points in discharge lines that are installed close to a home and have openings that release water being backed up by the clog.

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