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Sump Pump Failures and How to Avoid Them

A homeowner with a sump pump should know all the possible points of failure and how to manage them.




These days, we can consider sump pumps an important part of our homes. This is because sump pumps are effective in keeping excess moisture and water out of our homes. It helps keep the integrity of our homes in its best shape for a long time and prevents damages to our property and belongings. The failure of a sump pump is problematic and can be costly. With this being said, a homeowner with a sump pump should know all the possible points of failure and how to manage them.


Possible Sump Pump Failures and How to Deal with Them

There can be a couple of reasons why a sump pump may fail. By knowing how to determine the difference between each one and how it happens, you can then figure out how to manage them effectively.


Overworked Sump Pump

Whether you are aware of it or not, the size of your pump matters. It is important to determine the amount of water you need to drain or pump out of your system. If you get a sump pump that is too big for the volume of water that needs to be pumped out, then you may end up overworking your sump pump.

Meanwhile, if you get one that is too small, it may force itself into draining the water out and will have it working double time. These two situations may end up shortening your sump pump’s lifespan. So to make sure you avoid this problem, make sure to get the proper pump size for your home.


Problems with the Switch

Since sump pumps have switches that are interconnected and reliant on the float, switch problems may occur because of a disruption on either of the two. There may be some occasions where the sump pump’s float may be shifted accidentally. This can be because of a shift from the basin’s position. In this case, you have to make sure that your float is always in the proper position.


Power Failure

Sometimes, sump pumps experience power failures. This usually happens when a sump pump is subjected to power surges caused by power outages. If you want to spare your sump pump from having this, you have to make sure that you invest in a backup generator as early as possible. This is because it prevents power surges during frequent power outages. This method can only be applicable for perfectly running sump pumps and will not work in a sump pump with mechanical problems.


Blocked or Frozen Discharge Lines

Whether it be a portable sump pump or a regular-sized one, it is important to keep your lines clear and well-functioning. As a homeowner, making sure that your lines are not frozen during the winter or are not clogged with dirt and debris is essential. This is because the lack of a good and working drainage line will cause the entire pumping process to fail and may damage your machine over time. A good action to take would be to set up some grated cover in your lines to prevent debris and other things from clogging the system. Meanwhile, you can also put covering or warm up the water flowing through your pipes to avoid freezing especially during the winter.


Failure to Install Correctly

Some people find themselves in built-up water damage over time, this is usually caused by improper installation. This is more likely to happen if the installation was done wrong or when the manufacturer’s instructions were not followed. If a sump pump is not installed correctly, the water’s backflow may cause the impeller to go backward and detach from the motor shaft. In this case, the sump pump may still run but will not be pumping out water.

To make sure this does not happen, you have to guarantee that the unit is installed properly. A couple of checks on the discharge line, check valve, and the overall pump is needed. It is also recommended to stay away from positioning your sump pump on a surface of gravel or dirt as its debris may cause some clogging over time.



There are a couple of reasons why a sump pump may fail to work. As a homeowner, having a sump pump that is faulty or failing is the last thing we need especially during rainy days or during the winter season. By learning what causes sump pump failures, we can figure out ways that may prevent it and spare ourselves from unnecessary trouble and spending for its repair or replacement.





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