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Question DetailsAsked on 4/12/2013

what is the life of a sump pump

we just had our 6 year old sump pump break on us. How long should this typically last?

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3 Answers


The wear and tear on the pump plus the quality are factors. My sump pump is 14yrs and has 20 minutes of use on it. So I expect it will outlive me. Invest in a monitoring device to alert you IF the pump fails they are battery driven and work even in power outage example=waterwatch with built in tester and audible alert if water rises in sump pit.

Jim Casper Old Waterproofing Guy

ps your answer is who knows?


Answered 7 years ago by jccasper


As jccasper said, the amount of usage it has had is a significant factor. However, because it sits in a moist area, it is going to fail sooner than most household appliances regardless. A cheap one I would not expect to last more than 3-5 years or so, whereas a commerical-duty brand-name pump with all brass and stainless metal parts might last anywhere from 5-7 years all the way up to 40 years (as I had once).

A couple of things you can do to make it last a bit longer -

1) wipe off, then spray the exposed float mechanism parts with WD40 once a year or so (don't get oil into the motor / switch itself) so the float mechanism moves freely,

2) keep the sump water clean - this may involve pouring a gallon or so of fresh water into the sump in dry periods (maybe monthly) so it does not go slimy and sulferous (which can clog and corrode the pump parts),

3) keep the sump clean of grit and sand, including floor dirt,

4) if it has a screen on the bottom, brush this off with a paintbrush or scrubbrush or old toothbrush yeary to be sure the water can flow into the unit freely, and

5) be sure when it runs that there is not a significant amount of backflow into the sump after it shuts off. If there is more than a cup or so of backflow, then you probably need a backflow preventer on it (or it is stuck), as every bit of backflow from the piping back through the pump is that much wter than needs to be pumped out again when it next runs.Some pumps have a built-in backflow preventer, others are installed in the discharge line near the pump.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


I lived in a house for 20 years that had no sewer system. We were on well water and used a sump pump.

I wasn't involved much in the maintenance of the pump, but my late husband would have the sump pump drained by a professional company at regular intervals (annually? every 2 years?). He would also add chemicals/microbiotics (?) to the pump himself. If I remember correctly, it was all below ground, so there was nothing to brush at the bottom.

Answered 7 years ago by PRWins

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