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4 Most Common Sump Pump Issues and How to Fix Them

The basement is an important part of any home, and a sump pump is essential to keeping it a dry and healthy space.  

While many basements already have a sump pump to prevent water buildup below the home, not all sump pumps are equal. Because of factors like age, location, or materials, many sump pumps fail homeowners when they need them most and lead to water damage. 

On this page, we’ll explore common sump pump issues homeowners face and how to fix them. 

4 Most Common Sump Pump Issues 

Sump pumps are crucial for preventing basement flooding by removing excess water from the sump basin. However, like any mechanical system, they can experience issues. Here are four of the most common sump pump problems: 

Noisy Sump Pump 

Sump pumps are not completely silent when they work, but they should only produce a light, steady hum. If your sump pump is making jarring, rattling, grinding, or gurgling sounds, this is a warning sign that the machine is not working properly.  

Continuously Running Pump 

When water reaches a certain height in a sump pit, the pump switches on. Once all the water is gone, the switch should turn off automatically. If the pump continues running even after removing all water, investigate immediately. 

Malfunctioning Sump Pump 

Sump pumps automatically turn on when water gets high enough in the sump pit. If your sump pump pit doesn’t turn on as water builds up inside it, the pump is broken or faulty. Look out for overflowing water in your basement, especially near the sump pit itself.  

Rusted or Corroded Sump Pit 

Some sump pits are made with materials prone to rust or corrosion. This is a critical issue because sump pits encounter water on a regular basis. Replace your sump pit if you notice it breaking down as the problem will worsen over time.  

What Causes Sump Pump Issues? 

The causes behind sump pump issues are varied, ranging from mechanical or electrical problems to blockages. Understanding the cause is essential to finding the right solution. This could include: 

  • Switch malfunctions 
  • Power outages 
  • Blockages to Discharge Pipe 
  • Clogs in Your Sump Pump 

What Happens if Sump Pump Fails? 

Since the basement is below ground, it is more susceptible to issues like basement leaks, mold growth, and standing water. Even in the most arid areas, water can be locked in the soil, putting pressure on basement walls and floors.  
If your sump pump fails, leaking and flooding can devastate your basement, and damage any personal belongings found below your home. A sump pump is a reactive solution that addresses the problem immediately, making it one of the best tools to ward off water damage, especially when combined with other basement waterproofing solutions

How to Fix Sump Pump Issues 

To ensure an effective repair, it’s best to consult with a professional team before attempting sump pump repairs. While it may be tempting to try to repair the issue yourself, the electronics and engineering necessary to repair the sump pump can be challenging to figure out without the proper training or tools.  

However, there are some steps you can take to assess what the problem is. If you suspect a simple clog or blockage, you should switch the pump off and check the filter, pit, and main pump for obvious debris. If there aren’t any blockages in the pit, check that the float switch is not jammed or tangled, then check the discharge pipe for external blockages. Once this is done, try switching the pump back on. If it begins to work again, you should quickly notice an improvement in the water levels in your basement. If not, contact a professional for more support. 

Performing regular checks and having a general awareness of sump pump issues will help you mitigate them before they get worse. To improve the functionality and longevity of your sump pump, consider working with basement waterproofing experts like our team at Groundworks to install a high-quality sump pump system in your home. 

Trust Groundworks to Resolve Your Sump Pump Issues 

If you suspect issues with your sump pump, it’s best to contact an expert. Attempting certain DIY fixes could turn a minor task into a major one. Contact Groundworks today for a free inspection and quote. We are committed to providing effective waterproofing solutions that ensure your basement remains healthy and dry. 

Leah Leitow

Leah Leitow

Content Writer

Leah is a Content Writer for Groundworks with nearly ten years of experience working in the foundation repair industry. Her experience ranges from working with homeowners to find the right solution to training inspectors and staff. In her background as a Michigan journalist, she gained invaluable insight into people's lives throughout our state. Leah lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two sons.