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If your sump pump isn’t functioning normally or it won’t turn on or off, it’s time to call a plumbing pro for sump pump repair. Sump pumps play a crucial role in keeping your home safe and clean by removing water that collects in the sump basin of your basement or crawlspace. There are submersible, pedestal, water-powered and floor sucker sump pumps. The most common type is the submersible pump, which sits — submerged — in your sump basin. With all sump pumps, as water collects in the sump basin, the motor switches on and pumps water up and out a drain line. If the motor stops working, the float becomes stuck, the impellers aren’t rotating or the water stops pumping, it’s time to call a professional. Here are the cost factors of repairing a sump pump.

Quick fixes

Most sump pump problems are easy to fix, says James Jones of Loyalty Drains and Sewers of Orting, Washington. Two of the most common issues he sees are a float that is stuck or a jammed impeller.

  • Stuck float: The float is a type of rubber ball that floats on the water in the sump basin. It rises and falls as water collects in the basin, and signals to the pump when the water has reached a level that needs to be pumped out. If the float is stuck in an up or down position, the pump will not function correctly. Often this is a quick readjustment that the homeowner can easily perform (after unplugging the pump to prevent electric shock). Loyalty Drains and Sewers will unstick a float free of charge during an estimate visit, while other plumbers may charge a service fee to account for their time and the trip.

  • Jammed impeller: The impeller has blades that are powered by a motor, pushing water outward with centrifugal force. When the movement of the impeller is impeded by debris or other obstacles, the pump will not function correctly. The quick fix is to unplug the sump pump, remove the housing, and clear any obstacles.

If you’re not DIY-savvy or your basement is already flooded, it may be best to call a pro in for help.

Sump pump replacement

If your sump pump motor completely burns out, or the pump develops other serious problems and is not under warranty, it’s often better to replace it, says Mark Van Der Sande of Van Der Sande Plumbing of Tecumseh, Michigan. Key factors to consider in selecting a sump pump are the vertical distance that the water must be pumped out of your basement or crawlspace to reach the sewer system, and how many gallons per minute you need it to pump. The greater the elevation, the more powerful — and more expensive — the pump. Here are some examples of sump pump replacement cost:

  • Standard sump pump installation: $325 from Van Der Sande Plumbing.

    • Includes parts and labor.
  • Zoeller 54 sump pump (with 10-foot vertical power): $580 from Loyalty Drains and Sewers.

    • This size is adequate for a standard house. Price includes pump, parts and labor. The pump costs approximately $325 and labor $255.
  • Sump pump with up to 25-foot vertical power: $1,800-$2,500 from Loyalty Drains and Sewers. Includes parts and labor.

  • Commercial sump pump with 25-foot vertical power: $2,500 from Loyalty Drains and Sewers. Includes parts and labor.

Sewage pumps

Sewage pumps — also referred to as grinders — are similar to sump pumps, pumping sewage water out of your home instead of groundwater. Pricing for sewage pump repair or installation can vary greatly, from $1,000 to $15,000 or more, says Jones with Loyalty Drains and Sewers, so always get an in-person estimate.

Regional price differences

Sump pump repair costs can vary based on regional cost of living, local labor rates, business overhead, and local or regional insurance requirements, among other factors.

Cost-saving strategies

Ask if your plumber provides free estimates instead of charging you a service fee to assess the job, recommends Jones at Loyalty Drains and Sewers.

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