Skip to Main Content
FSM Service Tech

Addressing Common Sump Pump Issues

Find out more about the most common sump pump issues. Basement waterproofing can help you prolong its lifespan.

Schedule Free Inspection

The best way to take care of your basement’s health is to keep your sump pump fully functional. Any problems regarding your sump pump can cause flooding and extensive water damage. Homes in Traverse City, MI, are especially susceptible to flooding as a result of melting snow and heavy rainfall. 

Many homeowners are unaware of the damage melting snow or even rainfall poses. Do not be one of them and leave your home exposed. You always want to make sure your sump pump is up to the task. Read on to find out more and avoid the need to repair expensive water damage. 

checking sump pump

Frequent Sump Pump Issues and Repairs 

Any machine, including sump pumps, can experience a variety of problems that can cause it to malfunction or perform poorly. Here, we will discuss common issues sump pumps face and ways they can be fixed. 

Although you may be tempted to try and repair your sump pump on your own, remember that these are very complicated mechanical devices. They require a professional’s attention when it comes to maintenance and repair

At the same time, as you are not an experienced basement waterproofing professional, you may actually cause damage to your sump pump. As you can imagine, this can cause you additional headaches and put your home in a dangerous situation. Not having an operational sump pump is a huge issue that leaves your home exposed to water damage. 

Not Operating 

If your sump pump isn’t turning on, this usually indicates problems with its motor. There are a variety of reasons why your motor will not start, including being disconnected from its power source or having faulty electrical contacts. This can be fixed by the replacement of a plug. The plug prongs may also need to be cleaned and the receptacle may need to be replaced. 

No Water Is Being Ejected 

This type of malfunction usually points to a looser or clogged impeller. A basement waterproofing expert will fasten the key or get a new one. A professional might need to clean the volute or impeller as well, after removing the screen cover. 

Intermittent Pump Operation 

A pump may have trouble operating without interruption as a result of the pump motor overload tripping or if there’s an internal motor defect present. In this case, an electrician will check the state of the electric circuitry and the voltage on the branch circuit. 

Won’t Stop Running 

If you are not able to stop the sump pump from running even after all the water has been ejected from your basement, the level switch could be defective. To check for this, turn off the power source and inspect the rotation of the shaft and impeller. Again, you may want to leave this work to the experts as they may be required to do some advanced replacements. 

Cycles Are Too Frequent 

Your sump pump may be experiencing frequent cycles as a result of excessive water flow or issues with the check valve. Experts usually fix this issue by cleaning the gate of the valve or readjusting control floats. However, your needs may be bigger than what your current sump pump may be able to handle. In this case, you may want to get a bigger sump pump. 

Turns On and Off Frequently 

Sometimes, a sump pump may turn on and off due to restrained or obstructed float operation. Your sump pump’s float rod may also be bent or blocked by debris. One quick fix is to add water to the sump pit, turn it on, and readjust the weights. Your local waterproofing expert can do this.

Unusually Loud 

You may have noticed that your sump pump is louder than usual. You may also be hearing squealing or hammering sounds. Unfortunately, these noises could be indicating that an impeller is loose or the rotating parts have been obstructed somehow. Your sump pump may also not be properly secured to the ground. 

If you’re hearing unfamiliar sounds from your sump pump, call an expert right away. Your sump pump may be in serious trouble and needs to be replaced. 

Inspecting the Sump Pump 

If you are experiencing any doubts as to the working condition of your sump pump, a professional can determine if it is faulty in two simple ways. 

Restarting Your Sump Pump 

There are two distinct plugs on your sump pump. One controls the float switch and the other is for the motor. An expert will first unplug both. 

Next, they will plug the motor in and turn the sump pump on. If the motor doesn’t turn on quickly, you may be looking at a sump pump replacement. If the motor sounds fine and turns on immediately, an expert will reconnect the float switch. 

Flushing the System 

If your sump pump restarts the way it’s supposed to, your waterproofing expert can run some water through it to see how it works. They will slowly drain water  into the sump pit. Good working condition can be determined if the pump turns on automatically, ejects the water out of your basement, and shuts itself off. 

If this doesn’t happen, they will check out the following: 

  • Float: Does water flow smoothly on the float rod? 
  • Filter: Often, sump pump filters can get clogged. 
  • Drainage pipe: The drainage pipe can get clogged as well. A specialist will check it for debris. 
  • Check valve: There should be a 3/16” weep hole in the tube between the pump’s discharge pipe and the check valve. 

Although it may be tempting to try to fix your sump pump yourself, you should leave this work to basement waterproofing experts. Here at Foundation Systems of Michigan, we have been helping homeowners keep their homes dry and healthy for a long time. Contact us today and schedule a free inspection and repair estimate for any work your sump pump may need. 

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

DryMich Service Map

Proudly Serving Northern, Central and Southeastern Michigan & Northern Ohio

Grand Rapids Office

5985 Clay Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49548

Livonia Headquarters

32985 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150

Rochester Hills

2817 Bond St.
Rochester Hills, MI  48309

Toledo Office

5555 Airport Hwy
Toledo, OH 43615

Traverse City Office

3805 Elmers Industrial Drive
Traverse City, MI 49685