What to Do If Your Sump Pump Starts Smelling
Having a working sump pump in your home is beneficial in many ways. It keeps your basement dry and protects your personal belongings. It prevents mold and mildew from growing inside your home. And it gives you peace of mind.
However, sump pumps aren’t perfect and they can sometime present some drawbacks. One common issue we hear from our customers is a foul smell wafting up from the sump pump. Whether you have a finished or unfinished basement, this is not a scenario that you have to put up with.
Here are some common causes of a smelly sump pump – and how to fix them.
How to sump pump works
Before diving into the issues, it’s important to know how a sump pump works. The pump is submerged in a basin that is dug below the basement floor. As water seeps down from the outside ground or rises from that water table, it will flow to the lowest place in the home – which is the sump pump pit.
As the basin fills with water, the float of the sump pump rises until it hits a predetermined level. This triggers the pump to push the water in the pit up the pipe and discharge it outside or into the storm sewer.
Back to the smell. If there’s old water sitting in the basin and it doesn’t get pumped out after frequently, then bacteria, mold, and mildew can start growing on the walls of the pit, which would produce a funky smell.
Stagnant water can happen if there’s a dry spell and new water isn’t entering the pit, or if the sump pump has an issue and won’t run.
What you do: spray and scrub the walls of the pit with bleach or a mold killer. Then pour water in the pit to force the pump to discharge. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to have the sump pump repaired or replaced.
Sewage in pit
It shouldn’t happen but sometimes sewage water can end up draining into the sump pump pit. This obviously would cause an unpleasant, smell, even after the water is pumped out. The source of the problem could be a broken sewage pipe that is leaking into the groundwater, seeping in the soil, and ending up in the basin.
What you do: Drain and disinfect the pit (don’t forget to wear proper protection to avoid contact with harmful sewage). If the bad smell returns, having a plumber inspect your sewage pipes. It’s also not a bad idea to see if any of your nearby neighbors are having a similar issue.
Sump pump service in North Shore
For the health of you and your home, don’t ignore a sump pump that smells or isn’t working properly. At Waldman Plumbing and Heating, Inc., we have over 100 years of experience keeping customers safe and happy. For knowledge service on your sump pump, call us today at (781) 780-3184.