Especially when the rain starts to build up, you might start seeing moisture in your crawl space or basement. A sump pump helps you tackle that moisture if it starts to collect in the basement or crawl space.
Even if you have effective crawl space encapsulation and other important metrics to avoid crawl space flooding, you may still end up with some basement or crawl space water. That’s where a sump pump comes in, pumping the water out of the home through a motorized process.
However, sump pumps can also malfunction or have other problems at times. If you’re having a tough time with your sump pump, chances are other people have had similar problems. Read on to discover more about your sump pump.
Sump Pump Alarm FAQs
Especially as it rains more outside, your sump pump may start working overtime. If you have a sump pump alarm, you might start to hear this alarm more frequently as the rain continues. Even though this alarm serves an important purpose, it may be confusing.
A sump pump alarm helps you know when the water is too high in your basement or crawl space sump pump system, making it difficult for your pump to remove the water effectively. The alarm typically rests on top of the sump pump, and when it gets wet, it beeps like a smoke alarm.
If the sump pump alarm works properly, it can help you discover that the water’s too high and you need a backup plan to help prevent basement or crawl space flooding. It must be loud so you can hear it from the rest of the home.
If you’re hearing that sump pump alarm sound, it means one of two things. Either the water’s higher than the sump pump’s typical capacity in the room, or water somehow got onto the top of the pump, setting off the sensor and therefore the alarm.
This alarm doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong, just that you need to check your sump pump. Like a smoke alarm, a sump pump alarm alerts you to a specific situation. It doesn’t necessarily tell you what you need to do in that situation. While it is up to you to make an informed choice, it is always best to consult with a professional before trying to repair a problem.
Is your sump pump going off regularly without anything happening to set it off? If your sump pump alarm keeps going off, you may need to change something to make sure it only goes off when there’s actually a problem, and not for false alarms.
Make sure there aren’t any ways for water to get on top of the sump pump. If your sump pump is in a particularly unlucky space, water could pour on top of it in certain situations. You should also check to see whether the sump pump alarm is going off for a good reason. If it is, but it’s going off too frequently, you may need a more powerful pump.
If your sump pump alarm is going off because your power has gone out, then you may want to think about investing in a battery backup. The battery backup makes sure that your sump pump is still working, even when the power is out.
It can be startling to hear the sump pump alarm sound. You should learn what to do when your sump pump alarm goes off before it does, so you know how to jump into action. Do not unplug your sump pump, but you may need to remove the sump pump alarm for a short period of time.
If the water has risen quickly, or it’s still rising, triggering the alarm, it may mean the pump is having a tough time keeping up with the rain. However, if you can still hear the sump pump working, it means it’s still trying to pump out the water. Dry off the alarm and set it aside out of the reach of water. Let the pump work until it’s gotten rid of the water, and then replace the alarm.
To be on the safe side, you’ll also want to call your local waterproofing specialist to make sure that your pump is operating at peak efficiency.
Water Pooling FAQs
Sump pump alarms typically start to go off when there’s too much water in the area. If the sump pump alarm is functioning properly, but it’s going off too regularly, that means there is too much water pooling in your basement.
If you suddenly start to see a substantial amount of water in your crawl space or basement, you may be running into several different problems. Most commonly, this problem happens because of heavy rain, which may come into your crawl space or basement and start to pool.
Typically, that’s why you have a sump pump. It’s an extended measure to help with unexpected basement or crawl space flooding in case it happens in your area due to circumstances beyond your control.
However, this significant influx of water can still be a problem. If you have an encapsulated crawl space, but water has suddenly shown up out of nowhere, check for a plumbing leak or other leak. If you still can’t find the source of the water or your sump pump isn’t able to pump it all out, contact JES for a free inspection.
One way water can enter your basement or crawl space is through leaking windows. Especially if you have ground-level windows in your basement, outdoor flooding can cause significant hydrostatic pressure, sometimes leading to leaks.
One option is to just caulk the window seals. Although this can help, it’s only a temporary solution. If the home’s directing water toward the windows, or you live in an area with significant flooding from rain, it’s not going to fix the problem.
A professional can help you install special egress basement windows and window wells, which can more effectively withstand the rain. You may also need to ask a JES expert to look at the grading around your home to make sure the water’s directed away from your basement windows and not toward it.
This is one of the more common reasons for water in your basement. If you’re seeing a substantial amount of standing water in a crawl space or basement you thought was well-encapsulated, you should first look for plumbing leaks.
If you have a hard-working sump pump, you may be able to just stop the plumbing leak and allow the sump pump to clean up the flooding. After all, that’s what the sump pump is for. However, there are additional steps you may want to take.
Avoiding moisture, especially in a crawl space, is imperative. That means even after a sump pump has cleaned up the flooding, you may need to use a dehumidifier to keep your home safe and secure. A JES expert can advise you on how to do that.
How to Treat a Sump Pump That's Not Working Properly
It can be frustrating to handle a sump pump that doesn’t seem to be working properly. If it’s been hours since the rain stopped and your sump pump doesn’t appear to have made a dent, you may worry that there’s something wrong with the pump.
This should be a pretty easy question to answer. A whole-home power outage is difficult to miss, even if it happens during the day. The sump pump may stop working if there’s a power outage because it needs to have power to pump the water out.
Many sump pumps have backup power, but if this power option has failed without you noticing, the power outage may have caused your pump to stop. Though it can be frustrating, it’s also not the end of the world.
If the whole home has lost power, don’t worry too much about the sump pump. Wait until power comes back on to the rest of the house, then come back to see whether the sump pump is working. If it’s still not working, that’s when you may need to contact a JES expert to see what’s wrong.
Sump pumps use a motor to pump the water out actively. That means when there’s enough water for it to be active, you’ll hear that motor running. Ideally, you do want it to be relatively quiet, but all sump pumps have a distinctive noise.
If you don’t hear the sump pump working, that may mean the pump’s lost power entirely. If the whole home hasn’t lost power, go through the other options to see whether you can restore power to the pump. Otherwise, you might need to talk to an expert.
There’s a similar problem if you can hear your sump pump working, but it doesn’t seem to be making an impact on the level of water in the basement. If this is the case, the motor may not be working properly anymore.
What if your sump pump isn’t working, but the whole home hasn’t lost power? One possible option may be that a fuse has blown in the area that provides power to the sump pump, but the rest of the home is still benefiting from power.
Looking through your fuses can be a confusing process in and of itself. When you first get a sump pump, it may be useful to ask the individual installing your pump to show you where the fuse box is and teach you how to see whether a fuse has blown. That way, you’ll be able to look.
This is a good way to determine the problem, but it doesn’t necessarily help you fix the problem. If you’re not very repair-savvy, you might not want to handle the fuse box on your own anyway. Though it’s useful to see whether this is the problem, you might still want to contact a JES expert to get help with it.
This can help you understand your next move. If the rain is over and your sump pump is working to pump the water out, you can probably handle a basement that’s a little more flooded than normal for a short period of time. It may be annoying, but it’s usually not a big deal.
However, the problem comes if the rain hasn’t stopped, the water is still rising, and your sump pump doesn’t seem to be making a dent in it. In this case, you need to call JES to help you get the water out and fix the sump pump as soon as possible.
If you heard your sump pump alarm going off, it’s a good idea to check back in every so often over the next hour or two, especially if the rain’s still going. Contact a JES expert to get help if the water starts to build to a point where you’re worried it’s going to stop the pump entirely.
Get Your Sump Pump Serviced By an Expert At JES
There are many reasons you may need a sump pump service from JES. Maybe your sump pump is experiencing one of the problems you see here, or maybe it’s just not working as well as it once did, and you want to know why. Maybe you don’t have one and want one.
Regardless of the reason, JES can help with all your sump pump needs. Talk to a JES expert today about a free inspection and learn more about your options for a sump pump.
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