Case Study: Why You Need Annual Maintenance on Your Sump Pump

A homeowner in Norton, Massachusetts called into the Drycrete office concerned about the activity of one of their pumps. Drycrete had replaced two existing sump pumps in the homeowner’s basement nearly 3 years prior but hadn’t been back to complete annual maintenance since.

The sump pump was churning water in the container but not pumping anything out of the sump pit. This could have several causes, including:

  • Inefficient pump capacity
  • Cracked check valve
  • Block in the discharge line
  • Damaged impeller
  • Malfunctioning float switch

The homeowner did not have Drycrete’s dual pump battery backup system with Wi-Fi monitoring, so we were unable to diagnose the problem remotely. Mike, a seasoned technician, and Drycrete’s Field Operations Manager was scheduled for a service call.

Upon arriving at the home, Mike began his inspection and immediately found the cause of the malfunctioning sump pump. An iron bacteria known as iron ochre had built up in the sump pit and caused damage to the inner components of the pump leading to total failure.

Amazing service! Mike is incredibly helpful and professional! Fixed the issue righ on the spot! Can’t recommend enough!

– Homeowner

Iron ochre is a naturally occurring substance that leads to the formation of a gelatinous iron slime. When installing your sump pump, we do not know if iron ochre is present in your soil. This is one of the many things that we inspect during annual maintenance, and it’s why we encourage every sump pump owner to complete the annual inspection at least one time after initial install.

Every sump pump Drycrete installs comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, however, damage caused by iron ochre is not covered under the warranty, as it is not due to faulty parts, but negligent care of your equipment. 

In this instance, Drycrete waived the service fee, but the customer was responsible for the cost of the new pump. Fortunately, the failure did not lead to flooding in the basement but not every homeowner is as lucky. With annual maintenance this issue and many others can be avoided. During every annual maintenance visit we:

  • Check sump pump operation
  • Clean your sump pit liner
  • Check switch operation
  • Inspect discharge line for blockages
  • Adjust your float switch (when necessary)
  • Conduct French drain health assessment (when applicable)
  • Check for and clean iron ochre issues
  • Evaluate exterior drainage and grading and check for issues with gutters and downspouts

The goal of Drycrete’s sump pump Annual Maintenance Program is to identify any potential waterproofing concerns, never to sell you anything you don’t need. Basement waterproofing is all about managing water and the systems in place to keep it out of your home. Whether you’re a Drycrete customer or just in need of annual maintenance give us a call to book your appointment today!