Sump Pump Alarm Is Going Off | What To Do

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Every homeowner in a heavy rainfall area knows how important it is to have a sump pump installed in the basement. It is your final line of defense against flooding, after all. However, if you don’t have a functioning alarm, chances are, even the sturdiest pump defense may fall prey to flood.

The issue with sump pump alarms is that they tend to be quite finicky. Once it goes off, the sound can be a bit annoying and break a good night’s sleep for no reason. However, its impact on preventing disasters is way too good to overlook. The sump pump alarm randomly going off without any water to trigger it can mean a lot of things. In most cases, the alarm goes off if-

  • The primary pump fails
  • The power runs out
  • The sensors get damp
  • The water level rises dangerously high.

In this article, we will give you a thorough rundown of everything there is to know about sump pump alarms and how to address the issues when the alarm goes off. Once you understand and apply these simple-to-follow steps, you should have a fit and fine alarm in no time.

Sump Pump Alarm Going Off

Why Sump Pump Is Alarm Going Off?

If your sump pump alarm is constantly ringing, you need to do a quick check to figure out the issue. Instead of contacting the plumber or contractor, there are a few basic diagnostics that you can do yourself. Here are a couple of common reasons that can cause the alarm to go off.

1. Primary Sump Pump Failure

If there is any malfunction in the sump pump, then the alarm will go off. You should check to see if the primary pump is discharging water properly. There will be vibration coming from the pump if it is working. If not, then you should contact a plumber to take a look at your unit. For sump pump failures, you should turn off the machine until a professional take a look at it. You can check it yourself if you know how to troubleshoot the sump pump.

2. Power Outage (Circuit Breaker Issue)

Usually, the primary reason for the sump pump alarm is a power outage. Even if you have backup batteries installed for the sump pump, the alarm might start ringing if the power is not going through properly. That is why it is a good idea to periodically replace your backup system with a continuous power supply. If your alarm goes off during a power outage, this might be the reason behind it. In this case, you could just wait it out, and the alarm should die down as soon as the power comes back. You should also take a look at the circuit breaker (GFCI plug) and see if everything is okay.

With a working backup power system, your pump should be able to operate for around five to eight hours. Once it runs out, the pump should still protect your basement from flooding for about 24 hours. So, in case of extended power outages, it is a good idea to invest in a good backup system for your sump pump.

3. Excessive Water Volume (Pump Working Too Hard)

The sump pump alarm serves as an early warning that your basement is about to be flooded. If your pump is still discharging water when the alarm is ringing, there should be no issue. It is just working too hard to prevent water from rising. Every sump pump has a limit to the amount of water it can displace and prevent from entering the basement. If the water level gets too much, the backup pump system will engage and help to prevent flooding.

It is essential to get a high-quality backup pump system for when your primary pump fails or cannot keep up with the water level. Working overtime is another common reason for the alarm going off. However, if the pump stops working and the alarm is still going berserk, you should contact your plumber immediately.

4. Sensors Dampening (Float Switch Malfunction)

Sump pump alarms detect water via sensors ergo float switch. Once the water reaches the sensors of the alarm, it goes off, letting you know that the water level is dangerously high. Sometimes, however, the sensors can get damp without coming in direct contact with water. This can cause the alarm to go off despite the water level being low. If you check the basement and see that the water level is fine, but the alarm is going off, then you do not need to do anything. Once the water gets drained, the alarm should turn off automatically.

But if the alarm still keeps ringing after 72 hours, this means something is wrong with the sensors/ flow switch, and you need to replace or repair them.

How to Reset & Turn Off Sump Pump Alarm

Once you have identified the issue, you might want to stop the alarm. The constant ringing is no doubt a bit annoying for any homeowner. Generally speaking, turning off the sump pump alarm is as simple as flipping a switch. Just locate the alarm box where the sound is coming from and turn it off. Usually, the alarm box sits in a separate location over the motor. Find the alarm box, and there should be a turn-off switch. However, there might be a few extra steps depending on the model that you are using. If your unit requires additional steps, you should find the instructions in the owner’s manual.

If you want to reset the sump pump alarm, the steps are identical. You just add one more step- turn the alarm on after you’ve turned it off. However, some alarm models come with a built-in reset button. If you have such a pump, you don’t have to turn it off and back on. Just press reset, and you’re all good.

Final Thoughts

A sump pump alarm is an essential addition to your water drainage system. Now you should have a clearer idea of why it might go off and what steps you should take to stop it. It’s pretty simple. However, if the alarm keeps going beeping while the pump just sits there, and none of the solutions above work, you should consider calling a professional. Anyways, the steps provided should give you an edge on how to handle a sump pump alarm going off.

We hope our article was insightful and provided all the information you need to keep your basement floodproof. Good luck.

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