It’s a dark, stormy night, and you’re snuggled up on the couch watching your favorite show. Suddenly, you hear the telltale sound of water dripping. Your heart drops as you realize your basement is flooding. You rush down to check your sump pump, which you haven’t replaced in several years, and you’re wondering how long do sump pumps last? Unfortunately, sump pumps are not immortal; like any equipment, they have a limited lifespan. 

In this blog post, we’ll share some common sump pump problems and expert tips to help you keep your sump pump working efficiently and protect your home from water damage.

How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?

The performance and longevity of sump pumps have improved significantly in recent years because of technological advancements. However, even the most advanced sump pump will only last a while.

On average, a sump pump can last up to 10 years. Several factors can reduce this lifespan, including power outages, water quality, and mechanical wear and tear. Your sump pump’s impeller could clog up with debris over time, and the float switch could break down, making the pump less effective.

It’s also crucial to frequently check the functionality of your sump pump. For example, it could be time to think about replacing it if you notice any changes in the sound, vibration, or frequency of cycling. This is especially crucial if your sump pump is more than ten years old because there is a much higher chance of failure and flood damage.

Common Sump Pump Problems: 4 Signs You Need a Replacement 

The Pump Won’t Engage

When a sump pump doesn’t turn on, it could be due to various reasons, such as a faulty float switch or a stuck check valve. The float switch is the device that triggers the pump to turn on when the water level in the sump pit rises above a certain point. If the switch is stuck or defective, it won’t send the signal to the pump to start working. A clogged or frozen discharge pipe can also cause the pump to fail. When the pipe is blocked, the pump cannot effectively remove water from the sump pit, and this can lead to basement flooding.

The Pump Runs for a Long Time

When your sump pump runs for an extended period, it could indicate that the check valve is not working correctly. The check valve prevents water from flowing back into the sump pit after the pump has turned off. When the valve is faulty, the water will flow back into the pit, causing the pump to turn back on and run continuously.

To minimize prolonged pump operation and premature wear and tear, make sure your pump is sized correctly for the volume of water that needs to be evacuated. A pump that’s too small for the job will have to work harder and longer to keep up. Additionally, it’s essential to have a drainage system that is properly installed, sloped, debris-free, drainage system that will allow water to flow away from your home. A poorly installed or obstructed drainage system can also prevent your pump from running for an extended period, leading to problems.

The Sump Pump Shows Signs of Corrosion

Sump pumps commonly come into contact with moisture, which can lead to rust and corrosion on the components of the pump. The pump’s housing may become weaker due to corrosion, resulting in leaks, electrical issues, or even full failure. It’s imperative to call a qualified plumber as soon as you see any rust or corrosion on the sump pump so they can diagnose the problem and decide if the pump can be repaired or needs to be replaced.

The Pump Is Getting Old

As previously noted, a sump pump typically has a lifespan of 10 years; after this period, it may become less efficient and more susceptible to failure. An aging pump may not be suitable for your current home needs, and it’s crucial to plan for a replacement before it fails. Installing a new sump pump ahead of time can prevent the inconvenience of a flooded basement and the expense of water damage restoration.

Overcome These Common Sump Pump Problems with Help from the Experts at Custom Plumbing 

If you’re wondering, “how long do sump pumps last?” and are experiencing common sump pump problems, don’t worry! The experts at Custom Plumbing are here to help, 24/7. 

At Custom Plumbing of Arizona, we understand how crucial it is to keep your home dry and protected. We offer 24/7 emergency services to address any sump pump problems promptly. Our team of experts can diagnose and fix issues with your sump pump and advise you on how to extend its lifespan. Contact us today to schedule your appointment at 602-866-2665.

Posted on Categories Sump PumpTags Leave a comment on How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?

Got a smelly shower drain? Check out some of the reasons for the unpleasant odors here, as well as some helpful tips.

A hideous smell from the shower drain will deter you from feeling clean. Showering is an essential part of the daily routine of most people. Getting into the shower is an expectation that you will smell the scent of soap. There are times when problems with the shower drain, such as mildew or sewer odors can get in, and you cut your shower short.

There is nothing worse than smelling the odor of your shower drain rising up in the air since it can feel too embarrassing. The truth is, however, that drains often come with unpleasant odors.


It is often possible to clear up a smelly shower drain with a good clean of the trap and drain. Still, sometimes the smell can be a sign of something more serious that requires the help of a professional plumber. Depending on the cause, we can attribute the smelly shower to various reasons.

4 Possible Reasons for a Smelly Shower Drain

It is important to note the unpleasant smell you notice in the bathroom when a shower drain makes your nose wrinkle. This way, you can identify the possible source of the smell. Following are some possible reasons behind the smelly shower drain.

    Clogged Drains

It is important to clean your shower drain regularly. Several reasons may contribute to it becoming blocked, including hair that can accumulate in soap scum, debris, or the P-Trap.

A solid clog can result in unpleasant odors emanating from the shower as a result. Such clogs can easily be cleaned up using the right tools, chemical solutions, or a professional’s help.

How to Clear a Drain Clog

To clear out a drain clog, you’ll need to take off the face shield on your plunger to get a better grip before plunging it into the blockage. Common causes of smelly shower drain like this can be very difficult because it requires you to use one hand inside the dirty p-trap while using the other for the plunge – which is uncomfortable at best.

    Problem with the P-trap

P-trap problems are common issues. The P-trap may cause an unpleasant smell that appears in your bathroom after a shower if it smells like a sewer. There is a U-shaped pipe underneath your shower drain where the water passes.

If you can see it, you will be able to see how it works. It is called the P-trap. Its purpose is to prevent sewage gasses from returning up the pipe and into the bathroom by holding a small amount of water at all times.

How to Clean Shower P-Traps

When cleaning this section of pipe, check the trap for debris. A paper towel or old rag can help unclog its passage if it appears that something is blocking it.

To fill the P-trap completely with no air pockets, take care to remove all debris from inside the tub, then fill the tub with cold water. By flushing out other blockages, the bad smell can be eliminated.

    Biofilms build-up

Biofilm is another common cause of shower odor. It is possible to build up biofilm inside the shower drain and on the shower wall, resulting in musty, unpleasant odors. You are likely suffering from mold or a biofilm inside the shower drain if the drain smells like mildew.

Biofilm can have negative health effects. The bathtub drain and the rest of your shower need to be cleaned to avoid these dangers and odors. It is possible that your drain needs to be jetted or cleaned by a professional if it still smells mildew despite your best efforts. It is an inexpensive and simple fix.

How to fix it?

For a biofilm problem to be solved, you will need to use a special enzyme-based product that targets bacteria and germs. Additionally, you will also require a few other techniques.

In many cases, unclean maintenance of these areas in the shower drain is at the root of the problem, leading to build-up.

    Pipes with leaks

It may be that your shower drain still smells if the water is draining well and the pipes are not clogged with hair or biofilm. You will smell rotten eggs from your shower drain if there are leaks in your bathroom wall or under the shower, allowing sewer gasses to escape.


For sewer gasses to be contained, they need to come from the P-trap, and if they don’t, there is a leak somewhere in the drain line.


Usually, shower leaks result in rotten egg-like odors because sulfurous gasses are expelled through the drain system. Shower drain smells can be caused by corrosion on your pipes and by loose joints such as those below your toilet seat or on the taps on your sink.

How to Fix it?

Changing corroded joints in your drain system to tighten them and replacing sections of pipe that could be rusting are both things you can do to get rid of shower smells emanating from your drain system.

As daunting as this task may seem, it is absolutely necessary to maintain a safe interior living environment within the bathroom to maintain the quality of life there.

Final Verdict for Your Smelly Shower Drain

The smell of a smelly shower drain or, even worse, stench spread throughout your home due to leaks, and other causes aren’t desirable. To prevent unwanted odors and other health hazards, it is essential to identify and address problems at the earliest possible time.

A professional plumber can handle all of your plumbing issues in your home, inspecting and resolving any issues that might arise.

Posted on Categories Plumbing Service & Repair Phoenix AZTags , Leave a comment on Smelly Shower Drain? This Could Be Why

We have mere weeks before the start of holiday season 2020, and for many households across Arizona, that means hosting family and friends and eating lots of delicious home-cooked meals. It’s not a holly-jolly time for anyone, however, when plumbing problems arise unexpectedly.

Just imagine—you are getting the house ready for mom, dad, and Aunt Sue and her kids to visit and the water heater goes out. Or the toilet goes on the fritz. Or your dishwasher breaks down, and you have to do all those dishes by hand.

Want to avoid this fate? Here are some tips for getting your plumbing ready for the holidays.

Make Sure Your Water Heater Can Handle Extra Use

First on the list, your water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home if you plan to have guests stay overnight. There’s nothing less pleasant than an ice-cold shower in the winter (even in Arizona). Having water heater-related plumbing problems can also leave you with dirty dishes and laundry that requires warm water.

Start by testing what your water heater can handle. If you think you need more heating power to accommodate your guests, you may want to consider upgrading to a model with a larger tank and higher heating capacity.

Know What Food Items Are Garbage Disposal-Friendly to Avoid Plumbing Problems

Garbage Disposals can come in handy when you are spending a lot of time cooking in the kitchen. Certain items, however, can leave you without a working disposal and even clog your sink’s drain.

Items you should avoid sending down the disposal this holiday season include:

  • Bones
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Fibrous vegetables
  • Grease/oil/fat
  • Potato Peels
  • Egg Shells

These items can ruin the blades on your disposal and lead to expensive repairs. When in doubt, throw it out.

Don’t Get Stuck Doing the Dishes

If you have a dishwasher, you should ensure that it is going to be able to handle more frequent use. You can begin testing your dishwasher by inspecting the dishes after they go through a cycle. Are they clean or do they appear grimy? Sometimes, mineral deposit can clog the spray holes on the dishwasher’s spray arms.

Give Your Toilets a Once-Over

When you have lots of people eating lots of food in your house, that means, well…you better have at least a few toilets that actually work. One common problem that is an easy fix is when the flapper valve on the toilet gets worn out. Check each of your toilets to see if they seem to be constantly refilling. If they are, it could be the flapper valve.

Got other toilet plumbing problems? Call us before it’s too late.

Get Your Drains Inspected

One final note on getting your plumbing ready for the holidays—we’ve been talking a lot about plumbing problems that can cause clogged drains, but what if the problem is a clogged drain?

Don’t wait until the last minute if you think you have a drain that isn’t clearing properly.

Want to Avoid Plumbing Problems This Year? Custom Plumbing Is Here to Help!

Contact us now so we can send a plumber to fix whatever your plumbing issue is ASAP.

Posted on Categories UncategorizedTags