What to Do When Your Sump Pump Fails


Dealing with a sump pump failure might not be very frightening or stressful until you are in dire need of the tool. A sump pump is mainly found in the basement of homes, and homeowners use it to remove water standing in a sump pit. 

Some of the reason sump pumps fail is power failure, a stuck switch or overworking the pump. If yours fails, check the power source, pump’s cord, and fuses to ensure a good power supply. You should also check for any dirt clogs and leaks in the discharge pipe. 

Plumbing systems are complicated to deal with, but you can get help from trained, qualified experts. If you cannot detect the problem with your sump pump, connect with expert plumbers like Clover Services. Click here to connect with the best experts who repair sump pump fixtures.

Reasons For Sump Pump Failure

Before knowing what to do when a sump pump fails to work, it is essential first to learn its cause. It helps the homeowner and the plumber know how to fix the problem and prevent future failures. Some of the reasons sump pumps fail are:

  1. Power Failure

Most power outages are caused by bad weather. Storms lead to heavy rains, which leave a lot of standing water, including in the basement. Unfortunately, power outages also occur during these times, meaning your sump pump cannot pump out the water. 

However, an excellent solution to this problem is buying an alternative power source like a generator. You can turn on the generator to help the sump pump drain water in your basement. This way, you won’t suffer flooded basements and mold problems. 

  1. Overwhelmed Pump

Homeowners should consult sump pump specialists and plumbers to get the right-sized pump. When the pump is not of the right size, it gets overwhelmed by an influx of water. The overwhelming can also happen if you don’t have the correct horsepower. 

When the sump pump is too big, it can get overworked, reducing its overall lifespan. Additionally, having a sump pump that is too small is also not suitable because it underworks, which also reduces its lifespan. Determine the size and amount of horsepower you need by the amount of water you want to pump. 

  1. Stuck Switch

A stuck switch could be the reason your sump pump isn’t working properly. The mechanical problem happens when the pump shifts inside of the basin. The float that operates the button hides along the side of the sump pump, making it ineffective. 

Another reason your pump’s switch is stuck is debris accumulation around it. Homeowners can prevent these problems by cleaning the pump and ensuring it is in the correct position in the basin. 

  1. Poor Maintenance

Some homeowners rarely inspect their sump pumps, which leads to problems like dirt and debris accumulation. The pump needs maintenance and cleaning every four months. 

When cleaning, use clean water and vinegar to remove any dirt and clean the vents of the tool. The air holes on the discharge lines should also be working perfectly. Additionally, keep checking the tool’s position to ensure the float is unrestricted. 

  1. Aging

How old is your sump pump? Sump pumps have a lifespan of about ten years, so if you have an older model, you need a replacement. An older machine has high maintenance requirements and is also susceptible to failures. 

  1. Incorrect Installation

Homeowners want to save on labor costs after purchasing expensive tools, so some choose a DIY installation. However, sump pumps are complicated and require the installer to have the right experience and expertise. 

Installing the pump incorrectly can lead to expensive and avoidable issues down the line, like sump pump failure. The plumber should ensure they install the check valve on the discharge line correctly and drill an air relief hole in the discharge line. 

What To Do If Sump Pump Fails

Now that you know why your sump pump could fail, it is easier to know how to fix it. If the sump pump fails in the middle of a storm, wait until the weather is calm and start by:

  1. Checking The Power Source

Since sump pumps mostly fail due to power distractions, start by checking the power. You should check if there is electricity. Also, ensure the cord is correctly connected to the power source and look at the fuses and circuits. 

If you’re dealing with an unexpected power outage, you can get a backup battery or generator to run the pump if there is a storm. If you have a backup and it doesn’t work, check the batteries and ensure they are in good condition. 

  1. Ensure There Is No Debris in The Sump Pit

Dirt around the sump pump is another reason for failure. It clogs and jams the tool, making it unable to pump water. Open the pit’s lid and remove any debris visible. Also, check for children’s toys and anything strange in the pit. 

  1. Inspect The Discharge Pipe

The discharge pipe should be working perfectly to enable the sump pump to do its job well. Check if there are leaks on the part where the line exits your home. The leaks cause more water to stay stagnant in the basement. 

  1. Clean Or Replace The Filters

The impeller is a small filter in the sump pump that clogs due to dirt in the pit. The clogs could cause it to stop working, stopping the entire tool. Check if the filter is working perfectly. If there is a problem, you’ll likely need to clean or replace the filter. 

  1. Check The Float

When the sump pump’s float is correctly working, it starts on its own when the pit is filled with water. However, the float wears out and stops functioning properly due to aging. Without it, the pump cannot start, so you should replace the part when necessary. 

  1. Clean The Weep Hole

Dirt also clogs the weep hole, which is located between the check valve and the pump. If your pump stops working, check if there is any dirt around this area. You can clean it using a sharp object, but ensure you don’t push dirt inside. 

Final Words

After reading this in-depth article, you now have a general idea as to what happens when sump pump fails to work.

If it is your first time experiencing a sump pump failure, call a sump pump professional, like a plumber, to identify the problem. Opening up the machine to check for issues could lead to more damage. Furthermore, the professionals know how to repair the pump too.

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