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Do sump pumps need maintenance?

Plumbing pumps, or sump pumps as they are more commonly known, are found usually in basements or low lying areas in the yard. Plumbing pumps basements  are needed to keep a house from flooding and weakening the structure while the one in the yard are to keep the and scape from washing away.

Plumbing pumps are installed and repaired by contractors that specialize in plumbing and pumps. They usually offer a maintenance program for the various type of pumps for plumbing.

Yes, just like any household appliance, plumbing pumps or sump pumps require maintenance.  Plumbing pumps are idle for long periods of time, usually hidden in the basement. It comes alive when water begins rising in the basement and saves the entire house from flooding.

You wouldn’t notice a  defective plumbing pump until it wasn’t operating as it should. By that time, you have a flooded basement and water damage. With routine maintenance, any small issues can be noticed and rendered before this failure happens. The following are recommended maintenance schedules and tasks.

Quarterly Maintenance

As the homeowner, you should do the following 4 times a year: 

  • Unplug the plumbing pump and empty any water in the basin. 
  • Clear the basin of any accumulated debris and check the inlet screen for debris. 
  • Plug the pump in and add five gallons of water into the plumbing pump to test the float switch initiates on and off.
Annual Maintenance

These tasks are usually done by a professional plumbing contractor, but if you’re comfortable with the plumbing pump and its workings, you can do the following things yourself.

  • Unplug the plumbing pump and remove lift out of the basin. Examine it for corrosion or rust and clean the inlet screen.
  • Following instructions in the owner’s manual, check the bearings and add lubrication if needed. The owner’s manual will advise if you should use grease or oil for the lubrication. 
  • Clean out any debris in the basin. 
  • Reinstall the pump, plug it into the power.
  • Add five gallons of water in the basin and watch the float switch to assure it is working without issues as needed.
  • On the exterior part of the plumbing pump system, check the pump discharge pipe, clearing away any dirt, vegetation, or other obstructions. 

How much does a plumber charge to replace a sump pump?

Like any other type of service, service costs can vary. In the Maryland area, plumbing pump installation averages around $1,100, but can be as little as $500 and as much as $1200 and up. Plumbing contractor will generally offer a free estimate or take the cost of the estimate off the job if you chose to use them. 

What happens if ejector pump fails?

When a plumbing pump is used continually, it will fail at some time. By taking the time to educate yourself on warning signs of pump failure, you can often address the matter before it does fail. 

One: Dirty Water

When there is dirty water running through the systems, this means the plumbing pump is not cleaning the water. Time to call for a professional plumbing contractor that works on plumbing pumps. 

Two: Problem Starting 

When your working plumbing pump is slow to start up or won’t start at all, it is a problem. There could be several reasons why this is happening, from a blown fuse to bad wiring, or the plumbing pump is done, time to replace it. 

Three: Cycling Constantly

Plumbing pumps are supposed to cycle on and off, but not constantly. This means it isn’t cycling when it is needed, and it isn’t serving the purpose you need. This could be a switch needs adjusting or replacing, the motor has gone out, or it is getting the commands mixed up. 

Four: Strange Sounds

All pieces of machinery make noise, but when that noise has changed and sounds odd, it is time to have a professional plumber inspect the plumbing pump system. 

How long should a sewage pump last?

With minimal to average maintenance by the homeowner, a plumbing pump will last around 7 years.  With strict maintenance regime, you could see 10 years of normal use, and for the best plumbing pumps on the market, you may get a longer lifespan. 

How often should I replace sump pump?

If you keep the suggested quarterly maintenance and the yearly maintenance up, you can expect to replace your plumbing pump around the tenth year.

A plumbing pump or sump pump is valuable for a home’s structural stability and strength. If you purchase a home with a plumbing pump installed already, have a plumber come inspect and service it, making sure it is property working order. If the manual isn’t available, you can usually order one online from the manufacturer. Need help with your sump pump in Rockville, MD? Call 301-370-8320 today.