Sump Pump Replacement, Repairs & Maintenance in Topeka
The plumbers at Pat Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning are experts at sump pump installation and repair. We can handle all of your residential or commercial sump pump needs in Topeka and the surrounding area.
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What is a Sump Pump?
A sump pump is designed to remove water and is usually installed at the lowest point in your basement or crawl space. Sump pumps solve most basement flooding and leaking issues.
Sump Pump Replacement
Is it time to replace your sump pump? Although there is no general guideline on how often a sump pump should be replaced, sump pumps do wear out over time and their life expectancy largely depends on how often they are used. However, if your pump is over 10 years old, it may need to be replaced. Here are some things to keep in mind when replacing your sump pump.
If the type of sump pump you had before was effective, try to replace it with a similar model. There are two different types of sump pumps: submersible and pedestal. Submersible sump pumps are quieter and less obtrusive than pedestal sump pumps. Pedestal sump pumps are more economical than submersible sump pumps. Plus the exposed motor of the pedestal variety makes repairs and part replacement easier.
Since storms that produce flooding often knock out power, it is important to know that your sump pump unit may not work when you need it most, unless you have a backup system. There are several backup options, including battery backup sump pumps or water powered backup systems that can use your home’s or business’ water supply pressure to remove water.
Battery Backup Sump Pumps
Battery backup sump systems for your Topeka home. What are they?
A battery backup sump system is a backup sump pump with a dedicated battery for pumping water when the power is out. Whether the power goes out or your primary sump pump fails the battery backup sump system kicks in.
Pros of battery backup sump pumps/systems:
- Ability to pump a higher volume of water than a water powered sump system.
- Built in trickle chargers and alarms to keep them ready for pumping and let you know with an audible alarm when they’re not.
Cons of battery backup sump pumps/systems:
- Periodic maintenance is needed. The battery of the better sump pump backup systems is designed to be on standby. They do require periodic maintenance, topping off the battery with distilled water annually to maintain the highest effectiveness of the of the battery.
- Susceptible to electrical surges which can fry the delicate electronics on the computer board. Whenever you can use a surge suppressor it will help protect the battery backup sump system.
- They take up more space then a standard sump pump. The footprint of a battery backup sump system is larger than not having one obviously so we just need to make sure you have the room to have one.
Water Powered Sump Pumps
Water powered sump pump systems are powered by the water in your home. A water line is piped from the cold water supply system of the home plumbing system over to the sump pit, a backflow preventer is installed and then the water powered backup sump pump system is installed.
The system operates by creating a siphon with water from the household plumbing system and pulling the water from the sump pit and sending it outside. It uses approx 2 gallons of water for every 1 gallon removed.
Pros of water powered sump pumps/systems:
- They are not reliant on a battery for power. There’s always water pressure to your home so they are dependable.
- They take up less room than a battery back up sump system and don’t need as much floor space.
Cons of water powered sump pumps/systems:
- They use a lot of water to remove water so your water bill can increase if the primary sump pump goes out (I know that’s the least of your worries).
- They do need to be checked and tested yearly to make sure they are functioning properly.
- They do not pump as many gallons per minute as the other pumps that are powered by electricity or battery back up sump pumps. If you have heavy usage they may not keep up.
- They are subject to the seals breaking down like the rest of the plumbing system in the home due to our hard water.
- All in all water powered sump pumps are better than not having a backup sump pump system but may not the best choice depending on you individual situation.
Floor Drain Piped Sump Pumps
The last form of sump pump backup system is the floor drain piped to the sanitary sewer system. The City of Topeka Plumbing Code states that you may not discharge rain water to the city sanitary sewer directly. It is permissible though to discharge it indirectly as a backup method. This means you can have a floor drain located next to your sump pump pit in case your primary sump pump goes out and it can be used as a backup.
There is good and bad in this though. It sounds like the perfect backup system but…
Pros of floor drain piped sump pumps/systems:
- Very little maintenance. Every year or sooner you’ll need to pour water down the drain to replace the water that has evaporated. This will keep your p trap “seal” in place and prevent sewer gas from coming up from the drain from the sewer.
- A floor drain will take away a large volume of water due to the size of the drain pipe (it’s usually a two inch pipe).
Cons of floor drain piped sump pumps/systems:
- A floor drain is the indicator of how high the water level is in your basement. If the water level is that high over your sump pump it will be causing hydraulic pressure on the underside of your basement floor and can squeeze through the cracks. If left for extended periods of time the water can push through those cracks and get your floor wet underneath the carpet in a finished area and get items on the floor wet.
- A concrete floor is almost never level and sometimes doesn’t have proper slope towards the floor drain. So when the water backs up out of the sump pit from the failed sump pump the water may not go straight to the drain. Water has gone around the drain only to soak the basement. Recessing of the drain will definitely remedy this problem.
Attached is a picture of a concrete basement floor that we saw cut and removed. We then installed a drain next to the sump pump pit. Finally, we poured the concrete back but recessed the area between the floor drain and the sump pump pit to ensure proper drainage to the sump pit.
All in all every backup sump system has their pros and cons. Cost estimates show all three systems are comparable in costs. You need to look at each system and see which works the best for you, your home and your needs.
If you’re undecided and not sure on costs, one of our plumbing professionals at Pat Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning would be happy to help you out.
Pat Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Sump Pump Replacement Services
Our sump pump experts will professionally install your replacement sump pump. Sump pumps can either be hard-wired into the electrical system of your home or business or be plugged into an outlet. We strongly recommend installing your replacement sump pump with a backup system to make sure that the unit will work during a power outage, like during a severe storm. Our sump pump experts will present all available options to you during your consultation and prior to your sump pump installation.
Call the experts at Pat Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning if you need your sump pump replaced. We specialize in sump pump installation and replacements so we’ve got you covered should you need a new unit and backup sump pump.
Sump Pump Repair
Sump pumps are critical for preventing basement flooding and water damage. You will immediately know if there is an issue with your sump pump because you will see moisture in your basement.
Helpful Signs that Your Sump Pump May be in Need of Repair
- Mold or mildew smell in your basement. If you smell mold or mildew, this could be an indication that your sump pump needs to be cleaned or cared for in some way. Cleaning the sump pump will remove the smell and also ensure that your sump pump will work properly in the event of basement flooding.
- The float switch is stuck. If the float switch is not working correctly, it could prevent the sump pump from working when the water level rises above the designated acceptable level. To test your sump pump for damaged float switch, simply pour water into the pit and wait for the pump to kick on. If the water rises above the designated acceptable level and the pump doesn’t turn on, it’s in need of repair.
- Loud noises. If you notice loud or odd noises coming from your sump pump, it may be a mechanical issue that can eventually cause the unit to fail when needed. Call the experts at Pat Plumbing Heating Air to keep your home or business safe from the risk of flooding.
- Sump pump not running after it has rained. If your sump pump hasn’t run since it last rained, this could mean that your unit isn’t pumping water. It’s possible that if it rains again, you could be at risk of a flood in your home or business.
Regardless of your sump pump issue, Pat Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning can help because we are experts in all sump pump repairs.
Sump Pump Maintenance
Sump pumps are generally low-maintenance but they should still be inspected on a regular basis. We recommend following these steps to ensure that your unit is well maintained.
- Test your sump pump. Pour a bucket of water into your sump pit. If working properly, the pump should turn on, remove the water, and then turn off when complete.
- Check the discharge line. Be sure the line isn’t blocked or frozen. Also, it is always a best practice to never decrease the size of the discharge line. When needed, unclog the air vent hole in the discharge line.
- Check the inlet screen. Be sure that the screen isn’t clogged with residue or debris.
- Clean the sump pump. At least once a year, disconnect the unit from its power source and flush it with water to remove any residue or debris. Be sure to clean the sump pit from debris during this time. After reinstalling the pump and reconnecting to its power source, be sure to test it by pouring a bucket of water into the pit to ensure it turns on when needed.
Our plumbers are experts in sump pump maintenance and can help you with your maintenance needs.