Common Sump Pump Problems: How to Detect and Address Them
A sump pump is an essential part of any home that has a basement. If your home does not have a sump pump, it’s important to get one installed as soon as possible. Sump pumps help keep your basement dry by pumping water out and away from your home.
In this guide, we will discuss some common sump pump problems, and how to detect and address them.
Top 10 Common Sump Pump Problems
We have compiled a list of the top ten most common sump pump problems. If you experience any of these issues, it is important to contact a professional as soon as possible.
Problem 1: The float switch is not working properly
The float switch is responsible for turning the sump pump on and off. If the float switch is not working properly, the sump pump will either run continuously or not run at all.
Problem 2: The impeller is clogged
This is probably the most common problem with sump pumps. The impeller is the part of the pump that moves water through it.
If it becomes clogged, the pump will not be able to move water, and will eventually overheat and break down.
Problem 3: The discharge pipe is frozen
Unfortunately, this is a common problem in areas where the temperatures drop below freezing. If you notice that your sump pump isn’t working properly, the first thing you should do is check the discharge pipe.
If it’s frozen, thaw it out as quickly as possible using a hairdryer or space heater. You may also need to insulate the pipe in order to prevent future freezing.
Problem 4: The check valve is not working properly
The check valve is an important part of the sump pump system, as it prevents water from flowing back into the sump pit after the pump has turned off.
If the check valve is not working properly, it can cause water to leak back into the pit, which can lead to a number of problems, including flooding, mold growth, and damage to the pump.
Problem 5: The power supply is not working properly
If your sump pump is not working properly, it could be because the power supply is not working correctly. If you have an electrical problem with your sump pump, you should contact a qualified electrician to help you troubleshoot the issue.
Problem 6: The switch is stuck in the "on" position
If your sump pump switch is stuck in the “on” position, it’s probably because there is something wrong with the float switch.
The float switch is what tells the pump to turn on and off as the water level rises and falls. If the float switch is bent or broken, it can get stuck in the “on” position, which will cause your sump pump to run continuously.
Problem 7: The motor is burned out
The motor is the heart of the sump pump, so if it’s burned out, the entire unit will need to be replaced.
If you notice your sump pump isn’t running as efficiently as it used to, or if it starts making strange noises, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look at it. If the motor is malfunctioning, there’s a good chance it will need to be replaced.
Problem 8: The housing is cracked
This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed immediately. If the housing is cracked, water will seep in and damage the internal parts of the pump. This can lead to rusting, and eventual failure of the pump.
Problem 9: The bearings are worn out
This is a common problem with sump pumps. The bearings are located at the bottom of the unit, and they allow the impeller to rotate. Over time, these bearings can become worn out, causing the impeller to stop working properly.
If you notice that your sump pump isn’t working as well as it used to, or if it starts making strange noises, it’s likely that the bearings need to be replaced.
Problem 10: The cord is frayed
If you notice that the cord on your sump pump is frayed, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible. A frayed cord can cause the pump to overheat, and eventually stop working altogether.
These are just some of the most common sump pump problems. If you experience any of these issues, it is important to contact a professional as soon as possible.
Not fixing the problems could cause your home to floor or there could be a sewage smell coming from your sump pump.
How to Detect and Address Them
If you think you might have a problem with your sump pump, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue.
Check the power supply
First, ensure that the sump pump is plugged in and that there is power running to it. If the pump isn’t receiving power, this could be the reason why it’s not working. Sometime you may just need to reset the sump pump.
Check for clogs or debris
Next, check for any clogs or debris that might be blocking the intake of water. This can often be the cause of a sump pump failure. If you find any clogs, simply remove them and see if this solves the problem.
Check the float switch
Another possible issue could be with the float switch. This is a device that turns the pump on and off based on the water level. If the float switch is stuck, it could be preventing the pump from turning on. Try gently moving the float switch to see if this solves the problem.
Check for leaks
Finally, check for any leaks in the sump pit. If there are any cracks or holes, water can leak out and cause the pump to fail. If you find any leaks, you’ll need to repair them before using the pump again.
How to Prevent Sump Pump Problems?
To prevent sump pump problems from occurring, you should:
If you do these aforementioned things, you’ll help ensure that your sump pump will work properly when you need it. There are many reasons why you need a sump pump, so you want to do you best to keep it in good working condition.
What is the Average Life of a Sump Pump?
The average life of a sump pump is about seven to ten years. However, this can vary depending on the make and model of the pump, as well as how often it is used.
If you take good care of your sump pump, it will last for many years. But if you neglect it, you might find yourself in need of a new one sooner than you think.
Do Sump Pumps Require Maintenance?
Sump pumps require very little maintenance, but it is important to perform regular check-ups to ensure that the unit is functioning properly.
You should clean debris from the inlet screen and float assembly on a monthly basis, and inspect the discharge line for any blockages or leaks yearly.
It’s also a good idea to test your sump pump by pouring a bucket of water into the pit to see if it activates properly.
How Much Does it Cost to Service a Sump Pump?
The cost of the sump pump service varies depending on the problem. For example, if you need to replace the float switch, this might only cost a few dollars.
However, if the pump itself needs to be replaced, this can be much more expensive. On average, it costs about $200 to $300 to replace a sump pump. Here you can find some of the best sump pumps for your basement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the sump pump pit supposed to be full of water?
What to do if the sump pump loses power?
If your sump pump loses power, you should check the circuit breaker to see if it has tripped. If it has, simply reset it and see if this solves the problem. If you’re using a battery-operated sump pump, you should also check the batteries to make sure they are working properly. If not, you’ll need to replace them.
What maintenance should I do on my sump pump?
A well-maintained sump pump will have a longer lifespan, and will be more likely to work when you need it. You should check your sump pump at least once a year to make sure it is working properly. It is also a good idea to check it after heavy rains or flooding.
How do I know if my sump pump is clogged?
A clogged sump pump will not be able to remove water from the pit as effectively as it should. This can cause the pump to overheat, and eventually fail. If you notice that your sump pump is running more than usual, or if it seems to be struggling to remove water, this could be a sign of a clog.
What is the best sump pump?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as there are many different types of sump pumps on the market. However, you should look for a pump that is durable and easy to maintain. You should also make sure that it is the right size for your needs.