A sump pump failure could spell disaster for your business. Many businesses have basements where they store stock or expensive equipment. You may even operate your entire business out of a basement, with clients or customers coming to the premises. If the basement floods, it could end up costing you a lot of money, both in damages to the basement itself and to whatever you are keeping there.
Your sump pump is what keeps your basement from flooding by draining out rising groundwater. Not only do sump pumps protect the basement from flooding, but they also keep out moisture, preventing mold and mildew. Having a sump pump that is functioning correctly is essential to avoiding expensive water damage.
By understanding what may cause your sump pump to fail, you can take all the necessary steps to prevent it. Here are some of the main reasons for the failure of a sump pump.
Sump pumps require electricity to function effectively. Although their mechanical sump switches will still detect the water level without power, the pump won’t turn on. Power outages can often occur due to storms—just when you need your sump pump the most! Having your sump pump attached to a backup generator is the best way to prevent it from failing during an outage.
Your sump pump needs perfect installation to prevent failures down the line. Ensure that a check valve is installed on the discharge line since it will avoid any motor issues. Without one, the backflow of water could unscrew the impeller from the motor shaft. Additionally, the discharge pipe needs to be a specific diameter so that there is no pressure build-up, even when discharging a high volume of water. Sump pumps should never be installed on top of gravel or dirt, since loose particles may end up interfering with the sump switch.
If your discharge line freezes, water will be unable to move out of your basement, rendering the pump useless. Cold weather is inevitable, but you can help keep them flowing properly with a few tricks. The first is insulation. The more you can insulate your discharge lines, the less likely they are to freeze. It’s also important that water is continuously running because as soon as the water stops moving, it will freeze. Try to install your discharge lines on a slope, rather than straight across. It will allow any water in the lines to drain out, thanks to gravity.
For many businessowners, regular sump pump maintenance isn’t on their priority list. Without regular maintenance, your sump pump can easily fall into disrepair and fail when you need it most. Routine maintenance includes cleaning out debris from the pump—which could be inhibiting its function—cleaning out air holes and vents, and double-checking that the mechanical sump switches are unrestricted.
It’s recommended that you test your sump pump and its switch every two months and clean it out. That may seem like a lot, but it’s worth it to protect your business from the damages resulting from a failed sump pump.