It’s easy to overlook your sump pump–until it fails, leaving you with wet feet or, worse, tens of thousands of dollars in damages. But how long does a sump pump last? The U.S. Department of Housing and Development estimates that sump pumps run for about 10 years.
But that number varies widely depending on the pump and the conditions it’s subjected to. Some manufacturers claim their pumps will last two decades, and some fail in five years or less.
Sump Pump Life Expectancy & Lifespan
Sump pumps – like any other piece of machinery wear out over time. Most pumps will work effectively for around 10 years. Each model has an expected lifespan based on its construction, building material, and pump power. More expensive pumps tend to have a longer life expectancy, but many good value picks are on the market.
There are several things you can do to prevent sump pump failure and extend their life like:
- Performing regular sump pump maintenance
- Keeping the sump pit free of debris with regular cleaning
- Preventing rust
- Using the right size pump for your home
- Proper sump pump installation
- Install a backup sump pump
- Type of pump – A pedestal sump pump tends to last longer than a submersible sump pump
Want a pump you can depend on to last for at least 5 years? We recommend the Zoeller M53 Mighty Mate. It is affordable for most homeowners and built with a tough cast iron body that gives it a long lifespan!
How to Check Your Sump Pump for Damage
Identifying problems with your sump pump before it fails will save you from catastrophe and tension headaches. You shall replace your sump pump before it fails, and a routine check-up can give you heads-up if some components start breaking down. We always say – the best time to replace your sump pump with a new one is before your current one fails!
Every few months during the rainy season, you should check to see if your pump works by pouring several gallons of water over the pump or just enough to raise the float switch and trigger the pump to turn on.
Ideally, the float will rise, flip the pump switch, and the pump will quickly remove the water. The pump should shut off as soon as the water hits the bottom of the tank. In case the pump doesn’t shut off quickly, you might need a new float.
If you have a submersible-style sump pump (as opposed to a pedestal-style sump pump model, which sits outside the tank), it’s a good idea to pull the pump entirely out of the tank to cleans out the drainage grate and make sure the output areas are free from obstructions.
Keep an eye out!
Sometimes a sump pump’s suction pulls small rocks into the intake pipe, which reduces suction and makes your pump work harder than necessary to keep water moving. Keep things clear to make sure your pump and the backup system works as effectively as possible or else it might cause water damage.
If you don’t feel handy, a plumber can also service your submersible pumps to ensure everything is in order. The time you take to ensure everything works properly is a smart investment in your home’s well-being, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
It is always a good idea to test your backup sump pump, sump basin, check valve, and discharge pipe for problems regularly – or else you may end up with a flooded basement.
How Long do Zoeller Sump Pumps Last?
Zoeller pumps like the M53, M57, and M98 and some of the most dependable – and longest-lasting pumps on the market. It is impossible to say precisely how long your new Zoeller sump pump will last due to different workloads. As long as you perform regular maintenance (and get a powerful pump), it should work for a long time.
Have a Backup Plan
Most sump pumps run on electricity, which is excellent if you don’t have a power outage. Installing some redundancy helps ensure your pump won’t fail when you need it the most. Power outages can strike any time during a large storm, so it is essential to have a backup ready for basement waterproofing!
For backups, some people choose to use an electric generator simply. This is a fairly straightforward solution, assuming you’re either home to turn the generator on when the power goes out or the generator is wired into your home’s circuitry to kick in automatically (a more expensive option).
Another option is a battery-powered backup. A battery backup runs independently from the primary sump pump but is connected to start if the primary pump stops working. These units are typically simple to install and cost anywhere from $150-$250, with most of the best options–like this one–close to $200. It is also essential to track how long your sump pump battery will last while the power is out.
Though they’re not a great solution for extensive use, hydraulic pumps do add an extra layer of security in case your primary pump fails, and you can get a highly-rated one for under $200 on Amazon.
Check your sump pump
If you check your pump regularly, you’ll have a chance to replace it before it leaves you in a lurch. Some of the top indicators that your pump has problems and you are about to experience pump failure are out-of-the-ordinary noises. This switch doesn’t work, a pump that is pumping significantly slower than usual, and a high water level.
These could mean you need to replace your pump, but they could also indicate an obstruction or another problem that a simple service call would fix.
You don’t know exactly how long your sump pump will last, but you can take steps to keep it running strong. And you can ensure you’ll find out as soon as something goes wrong. That’s a wise investment you won’t regret and will prevent pump problems and basement flooding.