Sump Pump 101 - Resource for Homeowners and Contractors

Some basic questions and answers.
Q Can I replace my own pump, or do I need a plumber?

A It can be uncomfortable to reach into the bottom of the well (they are deep in the floor). Sump pumps come w/ a list of required tools & directions for installation and should really only be serviced by experienced technicians. See the Replacement section.

Q Do sump pumps have filters which need to be cleaned or replaced?
A No, but they do have small ports where water enters the pump. These can sometimes be clogged with residue if the well is not kept clean.

Q What service does my sump pump require?
A The only service that your pump requires is to make sure that the bottom of the well is free of debris (see previous answer). Clay, silt, gravel etc. should be kept at a minimum. Annual or bi-annual service is a good idea as it can head off a problem in advance.

Q Can I pump water into a sewer drain or basement floor drain?
A No. Ground water should never be pumped into a sewer drain or basement floor drain. During heavy rains the septic system is usually at saturation. Adding water from a sump pump can overrun the septic system. It is also against code everywhere.

Q Should my sump pump be on a dedicated electrical circuit?
A Yes. Pumps have higher amperage and tend to throw a breaker if sharing a circuit? This could disable the pump and cause a flood.

Q What is the most common cause of sump pump failure?
A Simply being unplugged or power outage. The second cause of failure is mud and debris accumulation in the well clogging the pump.

Q:What does it cost to replace a pump?
A:Depending on the quality on the pump $400-800. This would not be the cost of installing a pump and a well which is much more work and runs about $900-1500.

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