Authentic photo of master plumber installing new sump pump.

If you ask a group of homeowners about their worst home experience, it won’t take long before you hear a story about a failed sump pump. A torrential spring storm and the next thing you know the basement carpeting and furniture are soaked and photo albums and other treasures are destroyed. All because your sump pump failed. Even if your basement is unfinished, your furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer are at risk of shorting out if there’s flooding. Water in the basement also damages the foundations and fosters mold and mildew.

Is the sump pump your most unreliable appliance? What’s with that mysterious, out-of-sight thing in that hole in your basement? What do you need to know to ensure it performs when you need it? This blog will highlight some practical steps you can take to ensure your sump pump will perform during the next storm or power failure.

How It Works

When water builds up around the foundation of your home, the pressure pushes it through floors and walls. To relieve this pressure, your sump pump operates inside a pit dug in the lowest part of your basement where water drains from tiles installed under your foundation. The sump pump redirects water away from the house. The pump’s key regulating part is a switch that works like a toilet emptying its tank when flushed. The sump pump automatically “flushes” and empties the pit when it fills with water. It’s that simple.

Why It Fails

Your sump pump is a mechanical device. ALL mechanical devices fail over time and use. Sump pumps wear out, dry out, overheat, lose lubrication, or blow a circuit if on the same one as another major appliance. Your sump pump may be the most heavily used mechanical item in your home. In extreme rainstorms, it may operate almost continuously – sometimes every 10-seconds – without fail. In addition, since your sump pump is powered by electricity, sometimes electricity is lost and your sump pump is left powerless.

What You Can Do

No one can tell when your sump pump will fail. But, there are some things you can do to protect your home.

1) Operation

Make sure your sump pump is operating. Listen to hear that it’s “flushing” periodically. Or, test it by pouring a bucket of water into the pit. If it doesn’t flush-out, you need a replacement NOW!

2) Backup

A piggy-back system – two sump pumps mounted in the pit – can be installed to ensure you have an operating pump. Or, a battery backup can protect your home in the event of a power failure. While battery power is not suitable for long-term service, it’s perfect for emergency outages.

3) The Right Size

Check with an expert technician at Flader Plumbing to make sure you have the right size equipment for your home. How many pumps are needed based on water flow and the size of your home? How much horsepower is needed based upon the depth of your basement, size of the drain, and distance the water must be pumped? One of the expert technicians at Flader Plumbing can recommend the best solution customized for your home.

4) Maintenance

Like everything mechanical, proper maintenance is necessary. An annual inspection by a Flader technician will ensure there is no debris that may interfere or block the operation of the float. Pet toys, dryer lint, or other loose articles can sometimes slip into the pit and clog the operating mechanism.

5) Clear Surroundings

Keep your gutters and drains clear and direct downspouts away from the foundation. These practical steps will protect your home and relieve you of a catastrophe during the next storm. Be proactive.

Budget

Prices for sump pumps widely vary. Quality of materials, the strength of pumping ability, horsepower, and labor costs are among the variables. You can find a budget-brand pump for as little as $100 at a do-it-yourself store. Contractors tend to charge in the $300 to $900 range, plus labor. Backup systems usually run from $300 to more than $1000, plus installation, depending on the power source.

And, should you need a larger pit or 2nd pit, Flader Plumbing can provide a cost estimate for this custom need.

We Help Homeowners

Flader Plumbing and Heating is uniquely suited to assist you in determining the solution that best fits your home and family’s needs. We’ve been serving your neighbors and our Community for over 100-years and 4-generations.

The Flader Difference

Only Flader Plumbing and Heating delivers:

  • The most responsive service – 24-hours/7-days a week.
  • Personal attention from certified and licensed technicians.
  • Only the most dependable equipment and parts.
  • Money-saving Maintenance Agreements.
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

Reliability

Flader Plumbing and Heating only recommends equipment, models, and brands proven to have the fewest problems and service calls. We specialize in:

Comprehensive Services

Whether you’re replacing your water heater, furnace or central air conditioning, adding a humidifier or clean air system, or cleaning and servicing your air quality system or sump-pump, we are knowledgeable and expert in delivering the service you need.

Our professional technicians arrive on-time, listen, answer your questions, recommend the right solution, and deliver as promised. Flader technicians average 15-years of experience and are EPA certified.

Expert service, quality parts, and satisfaction guaranteed. That’s the combination you deserve. Don’t compromise. Call us at 847-491-6980.  

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Mandy Boes presents Doug Flader with framed youth jersey in appreciation of Flader's sponsorship of the Evanston (EBSA) Rookie League.

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