Sump Pump Troubleshooting | Causes & Fixing

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A quality sump pump is every homeowner’s primary choice of defense against a flooded basement, either caused by a plumbing leak or a storm. So, if your front-liner can’t hold its ground against terrible weather, the user (or you) shares a part of the blame. Sump Pumps can weather the storm given we take care of it. It’s a machine after all glitches and sudden failures are natural. The only way to minimize such incidents is to understand sump pump troubleshooting. The sump pump can fail or malfunction in several ways, so you must be aware of the problems and their solutions. In this article, we’re going to look at some common issues and talk about the best ways to deal with them.

Sump Pump Troubleshooting

Guide to Sump Pump Troubleshooting

Although a sump pump sits quietly in the basement for most of the year, once the rain starts to fall or the snow starts to melt, it’s time for it to get into action and prevent your basement from flooding. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money on maintaining your sump pump. Here are some of the most common sump pump problems that you need to fix or keep an eye on.

Check the Float

One of the essential parts of a sump pump is its float, and it is also the most vulnerable. The float rises with the water in the sump pump pit, which causes the pump to start by flowing the water out from the pit. To check the float, you need to pour some water inside the pit. If the float rises along with the water and starts the machine and then shuts down after channeling the water out, you are in luck. You can repeat this process every few months.

Clean the Sump Pit

Debris and dirt in the sump pit are significant causes of a malfunctioning float. Even if your sump pump is working correctly, cleaning out the sump pit should be a regular activity. So, you need to remove the debris and any other loose items from the pit.

Test the Check Valve

One way to test the check valve is to pour some water inside the sump pit. If this doesn’t trigger the pump and channel the water out of the pit, then you need to replace your check valve.

Clean the Impeller

As we said earlier, keeping the sump pit free of debris is vital to sump pump maintenance. However, sometimes debris infiltrates past the cover in the pump and can clog the impeller. If this happens, you need first to unplug the sump pump, remove it from the piping and then remove the device from the sump pit. Next, you need to disassemble the sump pump to gain access to the cover and impeller.

Lastly, remove the debris from it and reset the sump pump.

Check the Electricity

You need to check the power supply in case the sump pump isn’t working at all. Ensure that the pump is correctly connected to the electrical outlets and check on the circuit breaker. If the power supply seems to be in working order, then the chances are that your pump needs to be replaced.

Common Sump Pump Problems

Every mechanical device goes through some technical issues now and then. Sump pumps require a power source, and when that fails, the device fails. Also, there are many different brands, types, and models of sump pumps that are poor or cheap kind. Moreover, incorrect installation of the sump pump can also cause it to malfunction. These are some of the common ways in which a sump pump might fail.

Over Pressured Sump Pump

Most of the time, a single sump pump isn’t capable enough to handle a flooded basement. It happens because the pump may not have the required features or isn’t powerful enough to control the volume of water pouring into the basement So, the quality of a sump pump is essential. For instance, a cheaply built plastic model of a pump is more prone to burnout over a short period. Therefore, you have to purchase a powerful sump pump and also get a backup pump if needed.

Sump Pump Appears to Function, But the Pit Has No Water

Lack of water in the sump pump is a typical sign of an incorrectly installed pump. It could also be a sign of the pump not being linked to the drainage system. A sump pump works efficiently when there is a drainage tile installed internally along the basement’s enclosed perimeter. This basement drainage system has to be designed to collect water and flow it effectively towards the sump pump to be discharged inside the pit.

If the pump system is clogged or not installed correctly, it will be unable to divert the water effectively.

Sump Pump Loses Power

If your sump pump loses access to power while you are away from home, your basement will be vulnerable to flooding. If your circuit breaker dies or the pump is accidentally disconnected, the device will stop operating entirely.

So, we recommend that you get a battery-powered sump pump for your primary pump.

Clogged or Frozen Discharged Lines

Sump pumps usually remove any collected water through discharge lines. So, when the discharge lines become clogged or frozen, the system fails. You need to keep the discharge lines covered and clear from any debris or dirt so that they can efficiently channel the water out of the basement.

A Stuck Switch

This is one of the most common mechanical issues that cause a sump pump to fail. It usually happens when the pump moves inside the basin, causing the float operating switch to become ineffective by getting itself stuck against the side of the sump pump. Another reason it might get stuck is due to debris clogging the float. Both of these issues can easily be fixed with simple cleaning and adjusting the pump’s position inside the basin.

Setting the Pump in Dirt or Gravel

Many people often attempt to set the sump pump in dirt or gravel to get a snug fit inside the hole that has been dug for the pump. However, the dirt will cause the sump pump to fail by meddling with the pump on and off switch and its float arm.

Final Thoughts

A top-notch sump pump is almost like a first aid kit for your basement. It prevents flooding inside the basement and keeps your furniture and objects from being damaged. So, it’s essential to know how to maintain a sump pump and the common problems one might face while using it. We hope our take on sump pump troubleshooting has given you the premise for tackling these pesky issues.

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