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Sump pumps are essential to keeping your house dry and free of mold and mildew. They come to the rescue for emergency flooding and for groundwater that threatens the basement and foundation.
Sump pumps can only help if they are in good working condition. Poorly maintained sump pumps have a lower pumping capacity or may stop working altogether. The average cost of repairing a sump pump is $475, with high costs averaging $550 and low costs averaging $400.
There are two main types of sump pumps, with each type having distinguishable qualities that drive the cost of sump pump repair: pedestal and submersible sump pumps.
With pedestal sump pumps, the pump’s drawtube rests at the bottom of the sump pit, but the motor remains dry, above the water.
Pedestal sump pumps are less expensive to install and maintain than submersible sump pumps. They tend to last longer since the motor is not submerged in water. However, pedestal pumps have lower pumping capacities than submersible pumps, on average.
Expect to pay on the lower end of the sump pump repair cost scale for pedestal units: around $400 to $475.
With submersible sump pumps, the entire pump, including the waterproof motor, rests at the bottom of the sump pit.
Submersible sump pumps are more commonly used than pedestal pumps. They are considered to be stable since they rest within the enclosed sump pit. Plus, they save space on the basement floor. Installed submersible sump pumps are more expensive than pedestal pumps, thus repairs are more expensive, as well.
Submersible sump pump repair costs will be on the upper end of the pricing range: around $475 to $550 or more.
Submersible sump pump repairs are typically more complex than repairs to pedestal sump pumps.
Seven years is the average expected lifespan of a submersible sump pump. Pedestal sump pumps usually last a few years longer: about 10 years. If the sump pump is very old, parts may be difficult to obtain. Other issues, such as rust, may complicate the sump pump repair.
Your sump pump is only as good as its discharge lines. Frozen or clogged discharge lines mean that the problem extends beyond the sump pump and outside—which may entail digging.
All sump pumps must be plugged into dedicated GFCI outlets located near the sump pump.
If the problem is electrical, an electrician must repair or replace the GFCI outlet or even the wire leading from the outlet to the circuit breaker and electric service panel.
Replacing a GFCI outlet with an existing wire costs between $140 and $160 per outlet.
The plastic float triggers the pump to turn on or off, according to the water level in the sump pit. Much like the plastic float in a toilet tank, the sump pump float must move freely in order to work. Simply loosening the float should incur only a minimal service call charge.
The sump pump float triggers the float switch. If the switch is jammed, often it can be freed manually. If the switch is broken, the switch can be replaced.
Though sump pumps are screened, debris can work past the screen and jam the impeller that drives the water. Repairing a submersible sump pump’s impeller requires removal of the pump from the sump pit.
Many annual sump pump maintenance tasks can be performed by the homeowner:
Often, it is more efficient to replace rather than repair the sump pump, especially if the unit is at or past its expected lifespan.
Pedestal sump pump replacement costs range from $400 to $900, for an average cost of $650.
Submersible sump pump replacement costs range from $800 to $2,000, for an average cost of $1,400.
Depending on your area, there may be waterproofing contractors or professionals who work specifically with sump pumps and with other residential waterproofing systems. Most plumbers can make basic repairs on sump pumps, too.
Yes, whenever the sump pump is removed, the pit should be clean. Remove large debris by hand. Extract the rest with a shop vacuum on wet mode.
Dirty sump pits resulting in debris that blocks the sump pump’s impeller blade is typically the most common cause of pump failure. If you are having your sump pump serviced, the servicer may not clean out the sump pit unless you specify that you would like that done, as well.
The most common reason why a sump pump can be heard throughout the house is due to the check valve opening and closing. When the valve operates, it vibrates the pipes throughout the house. You can replace your check valve with a silent, spring loaded check valve.
Lee is a home improvement writer and content creator. As a professional home expert and an avid do-it-yourselfer, he has decades of experience at fixing up and writing about houses. When he’s not wielding a drill or hammer, Lee loves to untangle difficult home topics for readers across a range of media outlets.
Lexie is an assistant editor who is responsible for writing and editing articles over a wide variety of home-related topics. She has almost four years’ experience in the home improvement space and harnessed her expertise while working for companies like HomeAdvisor and Angi (formerly Angie’s List).