Sump Pump Sounds Like A Washing Machine? (Possible Causes & Fixes)
No that isn’t the sound of the house being sucked under by a giant whirlpool. What you are hearing, that sounds like a giant washing machine on steroids is actually the sump pump. In many homes, it won’t even matter what room in the house you are in, because it seems there is nowhere that violent sucking sound can’t reach. So what do you do about it? Can you do anything about? What causes it?
If your sump pump sounds like a washing machine then the check valve may need replacing or the water level shut-off needs to be adjusted. Replacing the check valve is a relatively simple and affordable fix. Adjusting the preset shut-off switch is a bit more involved and will typically require contacting a plumber.
Sump pumps are necessary and useful machines, and most of the time we rarely give them a second thought. When those sump pumps begin causing a ruckus, however, we can’t help but notice them. These sounds are also indications that the sump pump may need to be serviced.
Here is a look at the common noises that sump pumps can make, including that sucking dishwasher noise, and how to fix these issues.
How to Fix Those Strange Sump Pump Sounds
Is your sump pump making strange, loud, and bothersome noises? Yes, sump pumps are relatively noisy machines, but when they get louder than normal, those noises can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.
Common sounds that sump pumps can make that warrant our attention and a fix include those washing machine sounds that sound like slurping, knocking noises, beeps, gurgling sounds, and abnormal vibrations.
The Sump Pump Slurping Problem
There is a normal gurgling or slurping noise that sump pumps should make as water is discharged. When those gurgling and slurping noises become louder than usual, however, it can mean that the check valve is going out.
If the problem isn’t the check valve, the other most common reason for those loud and annoying slurping sounds is likely the water level shut-off settings. If the pump doesn’t turn off before the water reaches the pump intake level, those obnoxious noises become evident.
The Sump Pump Slurping Problem Fix
Replacing the sump pump will take a little effort and some time, and the price for the check valve will run around $20. To replace the check valve, let the sump pump run its cycle then shut off the power. Next, drain the check valve, cut pipe at the elbow, and remove the old check valve. Cut new pipe to where check valve was being installed. (You may want to pull sump pump for easier access and visibility).
The last step is to tighten the new check valve with screwdriver and glue in the replacement pipe. If the problem appears to be the shut-off settings, then a plumber will need to be contacted. They will inspect the sump pump system and adjust the water level calibrations properly.
The Sump Pump Knocking Problem
Another natural sound that sump pumps typically make is a muffled bumping or knocking. When that normal knocking sound becomes an aggravating and loud knocking and clanging though, it means our sump pump is trying to tell us something.
The most common culprit for those loud clanging and knocking noises is a lack of proper insulation. The natural vibration of water being discharged through the pipes results in those pipes bumping against sump pump wall and other pipes.
The Sump Pump Knocking Problem Fix
To resolve this issue and get back to a good night’s sleep, one of two issues or both will need to be addressed. For the pipes, inspect their proximity to one another, then locate where they are touch or get close. These areas might need piping insulation (generally rubber or foam) or additional insulation.
It is also a good idea to check the cover. The same vibrations from the water running through the pipes can also create shifting and banging from the lid. Placing rubber feet or stoppers under the lid will help to prevent those unnecessary noises.
The Sump Pump Beeping Problem
One of the most surprising and unexpected sounds from the sump pump is also one of the most problematic. If you are hearing a beeping sound, like a loud electronic alarm, then there is a reason for that. This also means that it is time to visit that sump pump again to find out what is going on.
The Sump Pump Beeping Problem Fix
That beeping sound from the sump pump is an alarm, and it also means that attention is required. When the battery or battery backup system detects a problem, we detect a loud and impossible to ignore warning in the form of an electronic beep.
What the sump pump is trying to tell us is that it is either failing to turn on, the backup system needs to be charged, or that the pump is working fast enough to keep up. These are also all reasons to contact a professional to have them inspect power sources and the backup system for the sump pump.
The Sump Pump Vibration Problem
In some sump pump setups, the sump pump itself is tied to the sewage pipes. That also means that when water passes through the sump pump pipes it can cause deep and unusually loud vibrations as a result of being connected to the plumbing system.
The Sump Pump Vibration Fix
Homeowners have two possible solutions for this issue. One is to wrap the pipes in foam or insulation to buffer or quiet the vibrations. à la the solution for the sump pump knocking issue. Some states, however, prohibit connecting the sump pump to the home’s plumbing system.
If state laws require routing the sump pump directly outside, then the help of a professional plumber may be needed. This will ensure compliance, and these systems alleviate the potential for vibrations coming through your plumbing system.
The Sump Pump Loud Motor Problem
We already know that sump pumps aren’t the quietest machines, but when they are loud, they can be unusually loud. That can also be true for the motor of the sump pump. While a soft or steady humming is one thing, when that soft and steady becomes harsh and noticeable, it may spell the beginning of the end for your motor.
The Sump Pump Loud Motor Problem Fix
Unfortunately, there isn’t much recourse when it comes to a failing sump pump motor. When the sump pump motor starts whining, running loudly, or isn’t working, the solution is a new sump pump.
The average price to replace a sump pump ranges from $375 to $625. A backup battery system will also typically cost a little more. The benefits of keeping our basement and homes dry, however, help to justify the expense of sump pumps.
Why is Sump Pump Running but not Pumping?
If you hear the normal low humming from the sump pump, but it isn’t pumping water, there are a few things to check. Begin with inspecting the sump pump, does the vent have something blocking it? It may also be an issue with the check valve. Verifying that it is pointed in the right position (discharge) will help determine if a stuck valve is a problem.If these aren’t causing the problem, then it could be an issue with the motor. Contacting a professional to inspect the system will let you know if you need a new sump pump.
Which Sump Pump Motor is Best?
Choosing the best sump pump will mean choosing the right sump pump for your needs. If the basement has considerable water accumulation or is prone to flooding then a more powerful sump pump would be preferred.The basic principle for sump pumps is the larger the motor the more gallons of water per hour it can pump. That also means for homes with moderate to lower water accumulation concerns, a low-flow sump pump option might be a better fit.
How Long do Sump Pump Motors Last?
While sump pumps do a great job of removing water and keeping our basements dry when they are working, they won’t work forever. In many cases, unfortunately, there will be no forewarning, and we won’t even notice the sump pump has stopped working until it has.On average, most people can expect to get around 10 years out of their sump pump. Although some have lasted much longer, and others much shorter, sump pumps are necessary to protect our basement, to keep our possessions safe and dry, and for our health.Those noises and strange sounds coming from the sump pump can definitely be annoying, loud, and even unnerving. Those sounds are also signs that something is amiss with our sump pump. So while we may not love the idea of all that ruckus, banging, beeping, and clanging, it is also how we know when there is a problem. And in hindsight, maybe all that noise isn’t such a bad thing after all?
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