Sump pump: What you need to know

If you Live in Ohio you might have experienced or heard about basements flooding due to failure of a sump pump. It is unfortunate but according to the American society of home inspectors 60% of American homes have underground wetness or water damage. If these issues are not spotted right away they could cost you thousands of dollars in damages. This is a huge in the central Ohio area especially in the past couple of weeks.

As a contractor that finishes basements I will share with you some tips and ways to try to prevent water damage and protect your home. Unfortunately, sump pumps only have a life span of between 3 to 20 years depending on quality, size and the installer. Ultimately the best and most inexpensive way to keep your basement dry and increase life span of sump pump is maintenance.

Here are a couple of tips you can use to maintain your sump pump:

  • Test sump pump annually or twice a year specifically Early fall and Late winter. I would also check it when having heavy rain and flooding the area.

  • When testing your sump pump, go outside to make sure it is discharging water

  • Sometimes the pump can run but not pump any water. This means the impeller has disengaged from the pump shaft or the check valve is installed backwards.

  • Check the operation of the float to make sure it is not restricted

  • Clean out the air hole in the discharge line

  • Listen for any unusual noises when the motor is running

  • If there is a back-up pump, unplug the primary pump and run the back-up pump to make sure it works properly

  • Replace the battery on the back-up sump pump every 2 or 3 years

Back up Battery Sump pumps are great to have installed. If the power is out this sump pump will still work. Another reason it is a good idea to have a back up battery sump pump is when your primary sump pump fails, and you don’t catch it you can still be safe but remember this sump pump runs on a battery and it will run out so make sure to maintain sump pumps regularly to avoid possible wetness and even water damage.

Size Matters! Especially when we are talking about sump pumps. So how do you Know the correct size?

Some homes are in an area with higher amounts of wetness, and some homes are in an area that is particularly dry. Therefore, size matters. A big sump pump in an area that is mostly dry, the harder it must work and the faster it will burn out. A small sum pump in an area that has a higher level of wetness will not be able to pump enough water out and flooding will occur. The best way to determine the size is to have a specialist (Licensed plumber) come out and access the area to help you in getting the correct size sup pump.

Another factor that will help your sump pumps live longer and prevent future water damage is correct installation. I cannot stress enough on the fact that getting something as vital as a sump pump installed incorrectly is going to cause issues and a smaller lifespan for your sump pump. For maximum life span a sump pump must be installed flowing manufacture instructions. This is also a place you can find key maintenance instructions and other vital information.

Maintenance is key to protecting your basement, but things happen that are out of your hands. Did you know not all insurances cover basement flooding due to a Failure of your sump pump. My friends at Yu Insurance and Financial services can help get you more information on what you can do to protect your home!


Brittany L. Freeman

State Farm Office Manager Yu Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

Providing Insurance and Financial Services

1930 Crown Park Court l Ste 140

Columbus, Ohio 43235

Bus: (614)885-9507 Fax: (614)885-7191

Call us at North America construction services 614-441-5461 for your renovation needs book your appointment at

6500 Emerald pkwy Dublin Oh 43016 Suite 100

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