Sump Pump Odors as Red Flags: What Those Smells Are Trying to Tell You | Blog

sump pump odorsSump pump odors may be a sign you just can’t ignore, even though you wish you could. Installed in a damp pit in the basement floor, a sump pump is never going to be a source of pleasant fragrance. That’s why most sump basins have a tightly-sealed lid.  Still, when the sump pump seem unusually pungent, this may indicate a problem requiring the services of a professional plumber.

Odors are unpleasant, but a flooded basement is an even worse way to discover that your home’s sump system isn’t functioning properly. Any sump issues, including unexplained odors, should be resolved promptly.

When something smells bad in the basement, here are some likely causes:

Sewage Infiltration

If the household sewer line is leaking or ruptured, raw sewage commonly saturates ground water that, in turn, enters the sump basin, causing noticeable odors. The smell may be intermittent at first, but eventually, a major sewage rupture will require emergency plumbing service. Take heed of early warnings like sewage odors from the sump pit and have a plumber check out the sewer line ASAP.

Stagnant Basin

A sump pump is designed to empty the sump basin every time ground water or water from some other source accumulates. If the pump fails to run at all or the float switch isn’t properly adjusted to completely empty the basin, standing water may stagnate and become a source of odor.

Another problem? A defective check valve that allows water pumped out of the basin to flow back in after the pump stops, so water is always present and soon stagnates. A plumber can check proper operation of the pump, as well as the action of the float switches, to make sure the basin empties completely. After correcting the problem, he’ll also rinse the basin with a mixture of water and bleach pumped through the system to eliminate odor.

To resolve sump pump odors in your greater Cincinnati home, contact the experts at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

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