4 Potential Causes Of A Problematic Sump Pump

Posted on: 2 June 2016

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A sump pump is a great way to protect your home from the risk of flood. That said, a wonky or non-functional sump pump is a liability to be avoided at all costs. If you have noticed that your sump pump doesn't seem to be functioning properly, read on. This article will introduce you to four potential causes.

The pump isn't receiving any power.

A sump pump without power isn't good for much of anything at all. Check to see that the pump is correctly attached to its power source. Then investigate your circuit box to see if your pump has tripped a breaker. If this is a recurring problem, you should strongly consider investing in a backup generator. This will ensure that your pump continues working, even should your entire house suffer a blackout.

The discharge pipe is frozen.

Your sump pump is tasked with the charge of removing excess water a safe distance from your home. It does this by pumping such water out through the discharge pipe. Yet if the water in this pipe has become frozen, your pump won't be able to do its job. Use portable heaters to help thaw the frozen pipe. Also consider insulating your discharge line to protect against future freezing.

The float switch has become stuck.

All sump pumps contain a so-called float switch. As the water inside of the sump pit rises, so does the float switch. Then, when the switch reaches a predetermined height, the pump kicks on. Unfortunately, it is possible for the float switch to become stuck in a low position. Open up your sump pit and take a look to see whether something is physically impeding the movement of your float switch.

Also be aware that the chances of this problem occurring can be eliminated by upgrading to a system that utilizes an electronic switch. Such systems do not rely on moving parts to activate the pump, and so are not vulnerable to blockages or physical obstructions.

The pump isn't strong enough.

If your pump seems to be working properly, yet you still suffer from elevated water levels in your sump pit, chances are your pump is simply not powerful enough. Upgrading to a pump with a higher horsepower rating may be necessary. Generally speaking, a pump with a rating of 1/3 horsepower should be sufficient for most homes. Yet for those who live in low-lying, flood-prone areas, a 1/2 horsepower pump may be necessary. 

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