Will Your Sump Pump Work this Spring?

As we bid February goodbye, we’d love to think we’re nearing the end of winter in Middletown. If so, spring is just around the corner, and that means lots and lots of rain — which means your sump pump needs to be in working order. We love it when you call us for help, but we’d rather our customers do whatever they can to prevent a plumbing hazard. So take a break from what you’re doing to read up on important sump pump information you should know.

When is it time to replace my sump pump?

You’ll know your sump pump isn’t working as soon as you walk into a wet basement. But here are some ways to tell before that happens:

  • Age – If your sump pump is nearing 10 years, start looking into getting a new one. Chances are it will quit before long.
  • Sound – If you don’t hear the pump kicking on at all when it’s raining a lot, the sump pump is not working. You should also listen for constant cycling on and off, as this could indicate the float valve is stuck or that there’s a bigger problem.
  • Wetness – Water surrounding your sump pit usually indicates that the pump isn’t able to pump out water fast enough. It’s worth having a plumber take a look to see if we think it needs to be replaced.

Will my sump pump keep working if the power goes out?

Storms in Frederick County have been known to knock out electricity, and since sump pumps usually run on electric power, this can be a problem if you don’t have one of these backup plans.

  • Some newer sump pump models come standard with a rechargeable battery back-up that will kick on if the power goes out.
  • You can buy a battery-powered sump pump that will start working when the power goes out or if the primary pump stops working for any other reason.
  • It’s possible to get a water-powered backup pump, which is plumbed to a water line in the basement. It uses pressure in the pipe to suck water from the pit like a vacuum. If you have well water, this is not an option since there would be no water pressure during the blackout.

What kind of sump pump do I need?

If your old sump pump worked well until it quit, you’ll probably want the same kind you had before. If you’re looking into getting a sump pump for the first time, there are several types available:

  • Submersible – This type of pump sits in a hole cut into the floor of your basement or crawlspace. The motor is sealed and waterproofed. When water around the pump rises to a certain level, it kicks on and flushes water through piping that runs outside and away from the house. 
  • Pedestal – This type of pump has a motor that stands about two feet above the water, and only the part that pushes water out is inside the pit.

There is a theory that pedestal pumps last longer since they motor stays dry, but quality submersible pumps made of cast iron often outlast their plastic counterpart.

How much does a new sump pump cost?

A 1/3 horsepower sump pump (which is the most standard) costs can cost from $100 to $200 and removes about 2,000 gallons of water per hour, which is the amount that can build up in rainy months in Frederick County.

If you live in a flood zone, you may need a 1/2 horsepower sump pump which can pump 3,000 gallons in an hour. These cost between $150 and $350.

If there’s even a chance your sump pump would need to handle 5,000 gallons in an hour, it needs to be 3/4 horsepower which costs from $175-$350.

Why should a plumber install my sump pump?

Water and electric wiring are a combination that typical homeowners don’t know how to safely handle, so it’s important to have a licensed plumber remove your old sump pump and install your new one. We can recommend the right model and components such as the sump pit liner, and we back up our work so you can rest assured knowing if something goes wrong with it, we’ll fix it.

Rest Easy When Spring Rains Come. Call Putman Plumbing!

Don’t wait until you have sopping wet belongings in the basement and have to call a plumber in the middle of a storm. Call us if you suspect your sump pump isn’t working properly so you’re ready when the rain comes!