Two submersible pumps on a brick floor.

Top 7 Most Common Sump Pump Problems

Whether you live in a place that’s prone to heavy rains or you merely want to safeguard your home against water damage, sump pumps can be great additions to your home. Sump pumps, which can be installed in your basement or crawl space, work hard to keep your home dry from harmful water levels.

Over time, you may run into unexpected challenges with your pump—especially if it has to operate often. If you encounter a sump pump failure or a malfunction, follow this guide of the most common sump pump problems. However, first thing’s first: ensure the power to your sump pump is shut off and you read the manufacturer’s safety guidelines before attempting any work.

Now, let’s go over seven sump pump problems and solutions to help your system get back to normal.

1. Wrong Size Sump Pump

A wrong size pump is one of the most common sump pump problems. If your sump pump is too large, the pump will end up working much harder than it has to, which can cause wear and tear. As a result, your pump’s lifespan may shorten considerably.

Similarly, if your sump pump is too small, the sump pump pit might fill too quickly and won’t be able to pump out the water properly. Consequently, your pump may burnout and suffer a shortened lifespan. Either way, a wrong size system may have you calling for an unexpected sump pump emergency service.

2. Improper Pump Installation

If you’re desperate to know sump pump problems and solutions because your system is acting strangely, it may be because your pump was installed incorrectly. For instance, if you hear the motor running but don’t see water pumping, your technician might not have installed a check valve on the discharge line while installing your sump pump.

If the sump pump pit was set in dirt or gravel, you might have a problem. This placement can lead to unwanted debris entering the pump and causing clogs. Of course, a sump pump clogged with sediment can quickly malfunction.

3. Overworked Sump Pump

If you’ve recently experienced heavy rains, your sump pump may be overwhelmed by a heavy flow of water. When your sump pump is overwhelmed or overworked, it can end up breaking down or malfunctioning.

When it comes to these sump pump problems and solutions, your best option may be to upgrade your sump pump to better fit your needs. Also, you may want to consider using several sump pumps to battle heavy storms and significant volumes of water.

4. Clogged Sump Pump

Maybe not surprisingly, a clogged sump pump intake is one of the most common sump pump problems. You also run the chance of encountering more clogs because of a lack of maintenance and if your sump pump is lidless. Over time, dirt and other debris can build up within a pump without a lid.

Sump pump clogs can be repaired by a professional—or replaced, if necessary. Regular pump maintenance, which includes an inspection and cleaning, can help keep your pump in peak condition.

5. A Stuck Switch

If you find yourself looking for sump pump problems and solutions, turn next to your pump’s float switch. Faulty, restricted, or stuck switches can cause problems for your pump.

Many sump pumps have pressure sensors or float activators. A stuck float will be unable to change its position, which could be why your sump pump is not turning on.

Are you constantly asking, “why is my sump pump running so much?” If the sump pump is running with no rain, there is likely a problem that needs to be addressed; this problem could have to do with a tangled or clogged float switch.

6. A Clogged Discharge Line

When your sump pump collects water, this water is often emptied through discharge lines. These discharge lines expel the water away from your property, so you don’t have to panic over potential water damage. However, these lines can become frozen in cold water or clogged by debris, causing your pump to malfunction.

Are you wondering why does your sump pump keep turning on and off? If so, a clogged line could be why. If your line is blocked, it won’t be able to expel water, which could be why it runs constantly.

Your discharge lines should be clear at all times. Plus, insulation will help keep the pipe from freezing. Ensure that the end of the line is protected to prevent debris and small animals from entering it. You can also purchase attachments to prevent water from flowing into your basement when the line is frozen.

7. Power Outages

Is your home a victim of constant power outages? When your home loses power, so does your sump pump. The most suitable solution for this problem is to invest in a backup sump pump. Battery backups with a high capacity can help you battle floodwaters during storms that cause unexpected power failure.

Fixing Your Sump Pump

There are several sump pump problems and solutions, so it may take some time to identify the exact issue with your pump. However, if you can’t diagnose and fix the problem yourself, there’s no need to worry.

Magnolia offers professional sump pump maintenance and repairs that will have your pump back up and running in no time. Our expert technicians are familiar with the most common sump pump problems and will provide a fast and efficient remedy. Reach out to Magnolia today to schedule a sump pump service and more.