Sump Pump Not Working? Find Out What’s Causing It

Plumbing and drain services

A sump pump is your best guard against moisture if you have a basement that leaks or floods whenever it rains. When functioning well, your sump pump keeps mould and mildew in your basement at bay. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to deal with a flooded basement. Nonetheless, a sump pump not working can create a host of problems that can be costly to rectify. This means that knowing the warning signs of sump pump failure is crucial.

People usually notice malfunctions soon after they occur. If you are like most homeowners, you don’t think about the possibility of sump pump failure on a daily basis. In fact, you may even forget your sump pump needs regular maintenance to continue operating at an optimal level.

Signs of Sump Pump Failure

Inconsistent Performance

Sometimes a sump pump keeps running even when it is in distress. But instead of running consistently, the pump should work intermittently. If you begin to hear the sound of your sump pump turning on and off irregularly, it’s a telltale sign that maintenance or replacement is necessary.

A Pump Running for A Long Time

A sump pump that runs longer than expected is another sign that there could be trouble looming. This means your sump pump is having to work harder based on the amount of water in the basement or the distance the pump needs to carry the water to deposit it. So, how often should a sump pump run? When it rains, a healthy sump pump should empty the water in the basin in about 10 seconds. This is called the sump pump cycle. The amount of rain will determine how quickly water fills back up into the basin.

brampton plumbing company

Noisy Sump Pump

Under normal conditions, your sump pump should make a faint humming sound when working. Any sump pump noise louder than usual is an indication that there could be more water in the sump pump than it can handle. This happens if you have a small sump pump basin. In cases where there is a lot of flooding, the motor of the sump pump may depreciate quicker if the system is working overtime to keep water out of the basement. A solution to this problem is buying a sump pump with a larger basin that can handle frequent flooding.

Sump Pump Not Turning on At All

If you switch on your sump pump and it does not turn on, it’s clear there is a problem. Plain and simple. The first thing you should do is make sure this isn’t simply a case of your sump pump float not activating properly. Check this first before concluding that you need to buy a new pump. If it is a malfunction of the float switch, you don’t need to replace your sump pump; you just need to have the float switch repaired.

READ MORE: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WATERPROOFING YOUR BASEMENT

When Is Sump Pump Replacement Necessary?

Plumbing Contractor Toronto

The last thing you want is to replace a sump pump that doesn’t need to be replaced and only needs repair. So test your pump to see if the problem can be solved without replacing the system. If there are performance issues, find out how to reset a sump pump and see if that solves the problem. To do this, locate the reset button on the motor of your sump pump. Each model is different, so if the one you have does not have that button, use the on/off switch or unplug the pump from the power outlet.

You will need to replace your sump pump if it becomes unresponsive and you cannot get it to start, or if it won’t turn off.

Keep in mind that the life expectancy of sump pumps is about 10 years. If performance issues persist like sump pump discharge problems, sump pump noise, or your system gives out completely, it’s time for a replacement. It’s also a good idea to have a backup sump pump in case your primary one malfunctions. You want your basement to be as prepared as possible the next time it rains.