Sump pumps have many parts that make draining water from your basement or crawl space possible. Each part plays in important role in pumping water – in this article we will explore the 9 most common parts and where to find replacement parts in case yours breaks!
The float switch is one of the most important parts of a sump pump. It is responsible for activating the motor when the water rises in the basin and turning it off once the water has drained. The two most common types of float switches are vertical and integrated.
Our favorite replacement float switch is the Basement Watchdog BWC1 which is a good choice for fixing broken switches. It can replace broken floats on most popular brands and is easy to install.
The pump body is responsible for protecting the interior parts and keeping them dry. If water leaks into the sensitive parts of the motor it can ruin the entire unit. The most common types of bodies are solid cast iron and thermoplastic. Cast iron pumps tend to be more expensive and last longer while thermoplastic models are cheaper but more likely to leak.
The check valve presents water from flowing from the pipe back into the basin. It is a one-way valve that lets water flow up but not back down. If your check valve has sprung a leak it can’t be replaced as long as you get the same size as your pump and NPT drain lines
If your current check valve has sprung a leak we recommend installing the Zoeller 30-0181. It is designed to reduce water hammering and works with most systems.
The motor is one of the most important parts in your pump. Unfortunately if your motor burns out or does not run correctly it is usually impossible to replace and you’ll have to buy a new system. Homes come in different horsepower is ranging from 1/4 hp all the way up to 2 HP for larger homes.
The impeller is the part inside the motor that pushes water up the drain lines and out of your home. This part can easily be damage by small debris in the line and often can’t be replaced. Cheaper pumps are more likely to have ‘weaker’ impellers that can easily be damaged while more expensive models like Zoeller can withstand and pass small particles.
NPT Drain Lines
NPT drain lines are responsible for carrying water up out of the basin when the motor is active. The most common size is 1.5″ lines which is wide enough to handle the water flow in almost every situation. They are usually made of tough plastic that is designed to handle cold elements in the basement. From time to time the piping may need replacing. especially if you notice leaks near connecting joints.
Fixing Drain Line Leaks
If the leak is small you may be able to patch it with some putty instead of replacing the entire line of piping.
The power cord may not seem like a big deal but without a connection to a wall socket your pump will not be able to turn on. Most palms come with a power cord that is at least 10 feet long and waterproof so you don’t risk electrical problems around the basin.
One part that many people do not think of until it is too late is an extension cord. Not all pumps have a power cord that can reach across the room and you may need an extension. Click here to learn more about picking the right size cord.
Not all pumps come with a backup battery but if you live in an area that experiences power outages during storms we recommend installing a backup battery that can run for at least a few hours. When the primary source of power fails the battery backup system will detect the failure and automatically transition to battery power.
Cheaper batteries will last for an hour or two while more expensive systems can last for more than 5 hours which is a good choice if you live in areas with heavy rain and extended outages.
Most sump pumps do not come with built in alarm so it is important to add one as soon as possible. Backup alarms trigger when they detect a power outage or basin that is overflowing sound a loud alarm around the home or send you an alert via text message.