Newly installed sump pumpIf you own a home with a basement or crawl space that’s sitting at or below ground level, it may be a good idea to have a sump pump installed in your home. Sump pumps are an essential preventative tool, as they help to collect and pipe out unwanted water from a basement or crawl space, to help minimize water damage. This is especially important for houses situated in high water tables where flooding is more common from severe storms and melting snow and ice. The ground around your home becomes over-saturated and this over-abundance of water can seep into your basement or crawlspace. Sump pumps can also be very useful when hydronic equipment, such as a water heater or well tank, malfunctions and leaks. A small amount of pooling water can turn into a considerable flood before you know it. Damage could include:

  • Wood flooring rots and buckles
  • Concrete cracks
  • Carpeting is left sopping wet, which could lead to mold and mildew
  • Sheetrock and studs lose their integrity, which potentially weakens the foundation of your home should the water reach the base of your walls

Even the best, high-tech sump pump can break occasionally, and when this happens, it won’t perform properly if there is an emergency. At the first sign of a problem, turn to Cooper Mechanical. We’re ready to offer sump pump repairs as part of our plumbing services in Doylestown and upper-to-mid Bucks County.

Understanding How Sump Pumps Operate

Sump pumps were designed by a U.S. Navy engineer in 1946 to help keep water away from integral parts of the ships. Since then, sump pumps have become essential equipment in many homes around the country as well as in our own region.

Most sump pumps operate using a float switch to determine when the water level is too high. When the water level rises enough to force the float switch past a certain level, the sump pump activates and pulls water away from the floor level and into the sump basin and then pumps the water away from the house. Sump pumps move various sources of water including:

  • Groundwater seeping up above the floor of your basement
  • Water from a severe storm
  • Water leaking from your hydronic equipment

Naturally, if you live in a drier area, you’ll find that your sump pump runs less frequently as opposed to those who live in areas that are zoned at a higher risk of flooding or experience excessive rainfall.

When to Replace vs. Repair Your Sump Pump

The average lifespan of a sump pump is approximately 10 years, but like most mechanical equipment, if your sump pump runs very often, its lifespan could be shorter. Typically, when a sump pump begins to act erratically, sound noisy, or just plain quits working, it should be replaced.

Because they play a critical role in keeping your home free from water damage, it’s important to make sure your sump pump is in good shape and always performing properly. Periodically, it’s a good idea to test it by slowly pouring about 5 gallons of water into the pump until the float rises. The sump pump should turn on and pump out all the water and then turn itself off when done. Repeat this test to confirm the pump works. In addition, make sure your exterior drainpipe is draining away from the house and is clear of any dirt and debris that could clog it. If you’re not certain whether your sump pump is operating correctly, call a professional plumber, like Cooper Mechanical, to assess its operation and provide guidance. After all, sump pumps are only useful if they work in an emergency.

For Professional Plumbing Repair Services, Contact Cooper Mechanical

For over 45 years, the team at Cooper Mechanical has been offering heating, cooling, and plumbing services to homeowners and small businesses in Doylestown and upper-to-mid Bucks County. As a full-service company, our professional and trustworthy service technicians provide 24/7 emergency support. For more information about how we can help you with your sump pump, contact us today.