Spotting Trouble Signs With Your Home’s Sump Pump

You should never hear your sump pump running constantly unless your basement is under water. If your pump IS running non-stop, that's a sign that you may have a problem with the pump. Unfortunately, the issue could be one of several things. Here are a few tips to help you narrow down the possible cause of the problem before you call a technician.

Is The Float Switch Sticking?

The float switch is the mechanism that triggers the pump to run when water fills the basement. As the water reaches that switch, it pushes it upward, which turns the pump on. As the water level drops, so does the switch. When it falls below the pump trigger level, the pump turns off. If the float switch sticks above that line, the pump won't shut off. If your pump was running to clear out water and now isn't shutting off, you may want to consider calling a technician to service the float switch.

Is There A Problem With The Power Supply?

Is the sump pump itself getting consistent power? Sometimes fluctuations in the power supply can cause the motor to cycle on and off repeatedly. If the float switch and pump are plugged into different power outlets, consider putting them both on the same receptacle. If this fixes the problem, it means the outlet in question has a problem. Otherwise, it may mean there's an internal issue with the pump.

Is It Too Small?

If there is water in your basement and the pump is running non-stop or can't keep up, it may be an indication that the pump you installed is just too small to meet the demand of your basement. While smaller pumps may seem more affordable initially, the capacity is an important consideration. If you're running a pump that's too small, it will ultimately burn out the motor because of the strain. That's why it's always better to buy a pump that's a little bigger than you think you need instead of smaller.

Is The Liner Insufficient?

Even if the pump itself has sufficient capacity, you also need to be sure that the liner is sufficient. If the pump is sending water out quicker than the liner can fill, you'll end up with a dry liner. This can cause the pump to cycle power, turning on and off repeatedly. When this kind of behavior persists, it can burn out the pump. Your sump pump installation technician can help you evaluate the capacity of the liner to be sure that it matches that of the pump.

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