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7 Common Sump Pump Problems: How to Fix Them

A sump pump plays an important role in your home when it comes to basement waterproofing. Issues with your sump pump can lead to water damage to your foundation and basement walls. A faulty sump pump can expose your property to flooding and water damage, extensively harming your basement and costing you a lot of money in the long run. 

Unfortunately, many homeowners do not think about the health of their sump pump until it’s too late. Don’t be one of them. Stay on top of your basement game. 

Our basement waterproofing professionals can help you leave nothing to chance, ensuring you experience no sump pump malfunctions or damage to your home. 

In this guide, we will take a look at some of the most common problems homeowners face when their sump pumps break down or malfunction and their basements are exposed to the harmful effects of water damage. 

7 Common Sump Pump Problems and Solutions 

A sump pump, being a machine, consists of moving parts that can break down and hinder its performance. Sump pumps need to be maintained on a regular basis, and this is work that is best left to the professionals. 

Here are seven common problems sump pumps face and what a basement waterproofing professional will do to ensure the continued operation of this device in your home: 

1. Pump Is Not Running 

If your sump pump won’t turn on, the problem is most likely in the motor. The motor may not be running because the power is not connected to the sump pump. Check if the sump pump is plugged in. The receptacle could have poor contact because dirt and debris are hindering its operation. You may need to bring in a basement waterproofing professional to replace either the plug or the receptacle or clean the plug prongs. We do not recommend trying these repairs out on your own. 

malfunctioning sump pump with open lid

2. Pump Is Running but Won’t Eject Water 

One of the most common reasons this happens is because the impeller has gotten loose on the shaft or has been clogged up. To fix this, a basement waterproofing professional will tighten the fasteners and replace the key. They may also clean the volute or impeller. 

3. Pump is Running but Intermittently 

One of the main reasons a sump pump may be turning on or off on its own is the result of an internal motor defect. The sump pump motor may also be tripping. This is a job for an electrician, who will need to check the branch circuit voltage and repair the circuit. 

4. Pump Won’t Stop Running 

If your sump pump won’t stop running even after it has cleared your basement of water completely, you may be looking at an issue with the level switch. A professional will try to fix that by turning off the power, disconnecting the sump from the pump, and checking to see if the impeller and shaft are rotating nominally. 

5. Pump Doesn’t Complete Cycles 

water draining into sump pump installed in basement

This issue arises from faulty check valves or an excessive amount of water flowing through the pump. To fix this problem, a basement waterproofing professional will attempt to clean the valve gate and readjust the control floats. If these fixes don’t work, you may need to install a larger pump. Your current pump may be too small for the amount of water accumulating in your basement. 

6. Pump Turns On and Off Frequently 

If you notice that your sump pump is constantly turning on and off, you may have a problem with the float operations. Your sump pump’s float operations may be restrained or obstructed. This is often the result of debris having blocked up or bent the float rod. To fix this issue, your basement waterproofing professional will add water to the sump pit. Next, they will turn your sump pump on. At that point, they will attempt to readjust the weights or control floats. 

7. Pump Is Louder Than Usual 

Sounds you never want to hear from your sump pump are grinding or hammering. Even squealing noises may be a sign of something sinister happening in the inner workings of your sump pump. The noises coming from your sump pump may be the result of the impeller rubbing the inlet plate or pump housing, the impeller being loose, or the rotating parts being obstructed. Your sump pump may also not be firmly anchored to the ground. 

Sump Pump Inspection 

If your sump pump is experiencing any of these issues, you will need to call in a professional for an inspection. 

As part of the inspection of your sump pump, a basement waterproofing professional will take the following steps: 

Step 1: Restart the Sump Pump 

If you’ve ever had a problem with any device in your home and called technical support, you know that one of the first questions they will ask you is, “Did you try restarting it?” As a sump pump is also a device, restarting it can help it get back on track. Switch off your sump pump. Next, they will plug the motor back in and turn it on. What they will look for is whether the motor turns on immediately. If it doesn’t, your sump pump is in trouble and will need to be repaired. 

crew working on basement sump pump

If the motor does indeed turn on, the basement waterproofing professional will plug the float switch back in and move on to the next step. 

Step 2: Flush the System 

The best way to find out if your sump pump is working properly is to run water through it. If the sump pump turns on immediately in the presence of water and does its job by ejecting that water out of your basement, you’re in good shape; everything is in working order. 

However, if your sump pump does not do its job, it’s time to figure out why. Your basement waterproofing professional will inspect the float, clean the filter, check the discharge pipe, and inspect the check valve. 

Contact AFS for Reliable Sump Pump Solutions

If you’re worried about the state of your sump pump, it may be time to call in the experts from AFS Foundation and Waterproofing Specialists. We have more than 20 years of experience in diagnosing and repairing sump pump issues, as well as completely waterproofing basements. Homeowners know they can trust our expertise, industry-leading solutions, and unmatched customer care in their journeys to a safe and dry basement.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free inspection and repair quote. We’ll complete a thorough assessment of your sump pump and basement, and then provide you with a no-obligation estimate for repairs customized to meet your needs. Get started today!

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

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