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How to Replace a Sump Pump Safely

Replacing an old sump pump with a new sump pump is fairly straight-forward if there’s nothing wrong with the old pump and you already have a new, properly sized, sump pump for your home. In an ideal case, you would unplug the old pump, disconnect the discharge line, seat and level the new pump, reconnect the discharge line to the new outlet pipe, and test it. However, for most homeowners, a sump pump replacement is rarely an elective practice under the best of circumstances. These common complications may exist, making the job more difficult:

  • Water

A broken or malfunctioning sump pump may have allowed water to backup and flood the area, requiring that the water be bailed out and dried up before installing a new sump pump. A sump pump that fails during heavy rain may need to be replaced as water is actively entering a home, which can be dangerous if done incorrectly.

  • Inappropriate Sizing

If the wrong size sump pump was installed, it may work correctly and still be unable to do its job effectively. In this case, it’s helpful to have a professional plumber on hand to advise on which type of sump pump is needed and obtain it in a timely manner at an affordable price. Homeowners trying to do the research themselves to find the best unit for their needs may run into an issue where they can’t get the sump pump they need when they need it. 

  • Age

An older sump pump is likely going to be more difficult to remove (especially one that was used regularly) because minerals and sediment in water can build up around connectors and joints, making the discharge line difficult to remove. A professional plumber has the tricks and tools needed to remove the line without compromising its functionality. If the discharge line is damaged or blocked, it may need to be replaced, which can be challenging without the right tools as well.

  • Testing

Once a new sump pump has been installed, it should be tested to ensure that it will work correctly when needed. Pouring a bucket of water in should trigger the pump to begin pumping out water. If the pump does not turn on, or the water isn’t removed while it’s running, further diagnosis may be needed to troubleshoot the issue. An experienced plumber can tackle this challenge and quickly provide a backup pump if the new one is malfunctioning.

Additional resources:
Basement Flooding Explained
Reasons for Repeated Basement Flooding
Sump Pump Running Continuously
Flooding with a Sump Pump
Cleaning a Sump Pump