Unless your basement is actively flooding or you’re experiencing some severe weather, you shouldn’t hear your sump pump running non-stop. If your pump is running continuously, it could be a sign that there’s a malfunction. Luckily, with a little bit of troubleshooting on your own, you can narrow down some of the most common causes of sump pump issues. Here’s a look at a few of the things you should check.
Consider the Size
If there’s water in your basement and the pump won’t shut off, it could be that the pump itself is just too small for the demand you’re putting on it. Smaller sump pumps are more affordable, but if you ask it to do more than it has the capacity for, it will cause a pump failure eventually.
To avoid this, check the specifications on the pump before you invest. That way, you can ensure that it’s adequate for what you’re going to need. It’s better to invest in a pump that’s slightly larger than you think you might need instead of ending up with one that’s too small.
Check the Electrical Source
Another common problem with sump pumps lies in the electrical supply. Whether it’s a problem with the power cord or issues in the power receptacle, insufficient power or poor power cycling will lead to pump problems. If you have the pump cord and float switch cord plug plugged into different outlets, try switching the plug for the pump into the connector on the float switch plug. This would combine both into a single power receptacle. If this works, you’ve got an electrical problem with the other outlet. If it doesn’t, there may be a problem in the wiring of the pump.
Inspect the Liner
Sometimes, even if the pump capacity is sufficient the liner isn’t. In that case, the pump is likely to send water out of the pump faster than the liner can fill. This leaves you with a dry liner, which causes the pump to continue running longer than necessary. It may even cause the pump to power-cycle, or turn on and off frequently. If you are uncertain about the liner, talk to a pump repair technician.
Assess the Float Switch
The float switch regulates when the pump turns on and off. When the water in the basement reaches the pit of the sump pump, it lifts the float switch. When the water pushes the switch to a specific level, it turns the pump on. Then, when the water level drops far enough that the float switch is below that engagement switch, it turns the pump off. If the switch is jammed or broken in the “up” position, it could leave the pump running unnecessarily. You’ll need to have it serviced by a technician from a place like Stettler Supply Co if this is the case.