A sump pump is one of the most important pieces of equipment in any home. They are responsible for keeping your basement or crawlspace dry by pumping out any water that may have accumulated there.

Without a sump pump, your home would risk flooding whenever it rains or snows. This could lead to extensive damage to your home through a flooded basement or room.

Thankfully, they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. They don’t require a lot of maintenance, either. As long as you keep an eye on the water level in your sump pit and ensure the pump is never submerged, it should last for many years.

You can do a few things to help prevent sump pump failure. First, ensure that your sump pit is clear of debris so that water can flow freely. You should also check the float switch regularly to ensure it works properly. Finally, consider installing a backup sump pump in case of power outages or other failures.

However,  these pieces of equipment are not infallible, and a few sump pump problems can arise. Take it from someone with personal experience, sump pump problems can be extremely frustrating to have, especially during times when you need them the most.

Sump pump problems and sump pump failure in crucial moments can be the difference between a few hundred and multiple thousands of dollars worth of damage. If you don’t catch the sump pump problem early, it can cause extensive, if not irreparable, damage to your home.

Related: Does a Finished Basement Need A Sump Pump

Sump Pump Problems



Common Sump Pump Problems

Some of the most common sump pump problems include:


Float switch

Sump Pump Float Switch

The sump pump float switch gets stuck in the “on” position, causing the sump pump to run continuously and potentially overheat.

A float switch is a device that triggers a sump pump when the water level in the sump pit reaches a certain point. The float switch consists of a float (usually made of Styrofoam or plastic) connected to a long rod or wire. The other end of the rod or wire is attached to a switch that turns the sump pump on when the water level rises to a certain point.

The float switch can get stuck in the “on” position if the water level in the pit gets too high. This can happen if there is a lot of rain or if the sump pump isn’t working properly. If the float switch gets stuck in the “on” position, it could run the risk of overheating, which will severely damage it and eventually cause sump pump failure.

The sump pump will eventually stop turning on, and the water level will continue to rise. This can cause the sump pit to overflow and flood your basement.


Clogged impeller

Sump Pump Impeller problem

The pump impeller gets clogged with debris, causing it to lose effectiveness.

An impeller is a rotating device to move fluid or gas by transferring energy from the rotational motion to the fluid or gas. The most common impeller type is the propeller, used to move water or air. Other types of impellers include those used in pumps and compressors.

You can find the impeller of a sump pump at the bottom of the unit, which helps move water out of the sump pit. This part is essential to the proper functioning of the sump pump, and if it becomes damaged or worn out, you will need to replace it to keep the pump working correctly.

One of the most common sump pump problems is with the impeller. If the sump pump is not working correctly, it may be because the impeller is clogged. The impeller is the part of the pump that moves the water.

If it becomes clogged, the water will not be able to move through it, and the pump will not work correctly. There are a few ways that an impeller can become clogged. First, if there is debris in the water, it can get caught in the impeller and clog it. Second, the impeller can become clogged with sediment if you don’t use the pump regularly.


Discharge pipe

Sump Pump discharge pipe Problems

The discharge pipe becomes blocked, causing water seepage by letting it back up into the pit.

A sump pump discharge pipe removes accumulated water in a sump pit. A discharge line is a series of connected discharge pipes that drain water away from your home’s foundation.

The discharge line is connected to your sump pump, which pumps water out of your basement or crawlspace when it floods (1). The water is typically pumped out of the pit and away from the home or business to prevent flooding.

Businesses make discharge pipes of various materials, including PVC, steel, and cast iron. The most common material for sump pump discharge pipes is PVC, which is solid and durable. Steel and cast iron are also options for sump pump discharge pipes, but they are more expensive than PVC.

A sump pump discharge line can become blocked for several reasons. Some common causes include:

  • leaves and other debris collecting in the clogged discharge pipe
  • a buildup of sediment or minerals in the pipe
  • a blockage in the discharge line or sewer line that the pipe connects to

If you suspect that your sump pump discharge pipe is blocked, the best thing to do is contact a plumber or other professional to help clear the blockage. Trying to clear a blockage yourself can be difficult and dangerous, so it’s always best to leave it to the professionals.


What is a sump pump?

Sump Pump parts and problems

A sump pump is a device used to remove water accumulated in a sump pit. The water is typically pumped out of the pit and away from the home or business to prevent flooding.

Air pressure plays an important role in the function of a sump pump. The pump relies on air pressure to push water out of the sump pit and away from home. If the pressure sensor is too low, the pump will not be able to push the water out, and it will back up into the home.

This can lead to flooding and water damage. That is why ensuring that the sump pump’s air pressure is at the proper level is important.

A sump pump consists of four main parts: the float switch, the discharge pipe, the impeller, and the motor. The float switch is responsible for turning the pump on and off. When water levels rise, the float switch activates the pump.

The discharge pipe carries water away from the pit. The impeller is a rotating device that helps to move water through the pump. The motor powers the impeller and float switch.

These devices have been used for many years to help remove water from homes and other buildings. One often uses these devices in areas where flooding is a common problem or where the groundwater level is high, and it is necessary to keep the basement dry. They work by pumping water out of the area they are placed in and into a drainage system or holding tank.


What are the different kinds of sump pumps?

There are many different types and sizes available on the market today. Some are small enough to fit inside a single room, while others are large enough to be used in commercial or industrial settings. In addition, You can power them by electricity, gasoline, or even solar power. In addition, one can use them in both above-ground and below-ground applications.

Different kinds of Sump Pumps


Submersible pump

A submersible pump is a type of pump you place in a pit or basin to remove accumulated water. One uses these pumps in basements or crawl spaces where flooding is a common problem. People also commonly use submersible pumps in homes with septic tanks, as they can help to prevent sewage backup.


Single room sump pump

A single-room sump pump is a type of pump for removing water from a single room or area. One typically uses these pumps in basements or crawl spaces where there is a potential for flooding. In addition, some people use single-room pumps in laundry or utility rooms to prevent water damage.

Most single-room pumps are typically between 1 and 3 horsepower (2). It’s important to choose the right size pump for your needs by considering the water level in your basement, the capacity of the pump, and the pumping rate.

Some common problems associated with single-room pumps include:

  • Pump failure due to improper maintenance or age
  • Power outage causing the pump to fail
  • Debris clogging the pump intake screen or impeller
  • Sediment buildup in the pump basin prevents the pump from fully draining the water
  • The float switch gets stuck in the “on” position and continues to run the pump even when there is no water pumping
  • Leak in the discharge pipe, causing water to back up into the basement
  • Failure of the check valve to close properly and allow water to flow back into the basement.

A sump pump may be a good investment if you live in an area prone to flooding or have a basement susceptible to water damage. These devices can help to protect your home or business from the effects of floods and high water levels, and they can also help to keep your basement dry and free of mold and mildew.


Commercial and industrial sump pump

Industrial Sump Pump Problems

A commercial or industrial sump pump is a specialized type of pump for use in commercial and industrial applications. These pumps are typically much larger and more powerful than standard residential sump pumps and can handle larger volumes of water.

People often use commercial and industrial sump pumps in flood control, stormwater management, and wastewater treatment applications.

Commercial and industrial sump pumps are typically much larger than their residential counterparts. This is because they must be able to handle greater volumes of water. You need more powerful pumps to move the water through larger pipes.

As such, commercial and industrial sump pumps can range in size from small, submersible models that are only a few inches in diameter to much larger models that are several feet in diameter. Ultimately, you can determine the size of the pump by the facility’s specific needs.

Some common problems with commercial or industrial sump pumps include improper installation, incorrect sizing, and poor maintenance. Additionally, sump pumps can be subject to failure due to power outages, overloading, or simply because they cannot keep up with the demand.

Therefore, it is important to have a professional assess your specific needs to determine the best type of sump pump for your business.

Related: How To Stop Your Sump Pump From Constantly Running


What to do in case of a sump pump failure

Without proper sump pump maintenance, it can fail. If your sump pump fails, you experience a power outage/power failure, or something is wrong with your drainage system, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the damage.

First, try to determine the cause of the failure. For example, check the circuit breaker or fuse box if the pump is not receiving power. If the problem is with the float switch, try moving it to a different position. If the pump is clogged, try to clear the debris.

Or, if you cannot determine the cause of the failure or if you cannot repair the pump, you will need to replace it. Be sure to choose a pump with the correct size and capacity for your needs.

Sump Pump Failure

(1) – http://cchrc.org/crawspace-foundations/
(2) – https://auto.howstuffworks.com/horsepower.htm

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