Sump Pump Misery

Your home may be nice and warm — and dry — but if you have a basement and a sump pump, anything can happen if there is a failure of your trusty remover of ground water.

Sump pumps work to keep basements dry in certain geographic locations, and we trust our own pump will continue as a reliable sentinel of protection. Yet, as is the case with any mechanical device, failure will eventually happen.

How long should your sump pump work? It depends on several factors, including how hard it works and the mineral content of the groundwater it is pumping out. Anything can happen. The experts say that a sump pump should last an average of 10 years, so do the math.

How old is your sump pump? It might be a good idea to consult a plumber (or do it yourself) and replace it before it fails.

How they work

Sump pumps work on demand. When the ground is dry, they obviously don’t do anything. But when it begins to rain, or groundwater begins to rise naturally, the float switch rises and the pump starts up, removing water to the outside, usually to a storm drain. When the water level lowers, the float switch follows and turns off the pump.

Sometimes, the float switch can become stuck in the “up” position, which means the pump will run continuously. Most people can hear their pump and if you notice it is running continuously, go look and check the float. If the float is down, and the pump is running, it is time to consider replacement.

Over time you will get to know the normal sound of your pump and anything out of the ordinary will get your attention. Don’t ignore an abnormal sound. A flooded basement is no fun.


The cost of a sump pump can be as low as $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on the model you choose. Larger capacity pumps cost more, obviously.

Installing a sump pump can be straightforward, simple. When you purchase a new pump, such as at your favorite hardware store, ask for instructions. Some of them come with the pump, but the experts who sell you the pump also know what to do.

You can also call a plumber. That shouldn’t be too expensive as a professional will make quick work of the task. And you have the peace of mind that the pump is installed correctly and working as it is designed.

Of course, if your pump ever fails you and your basement or crawl space floods, you need professional help to clean up the mess. Call your favorite water damage restoration company, TCM Restoration & Cleaning!After all, it pays to call a pro!