Plumbing Tip 8: Sump Pump Problems

The sump pump in your home is an important piece of equipment that pumps out excess groundwater, which prevents flooding hazards in basements and water damage to your City Of Industry home. If the pump stops working or won’t shut off, you can usually solve the issue yourself. During times of heavy rain and potential flooding, it’s best to check your pump on a daily basis to make sure it’s running properly.

You can maintain your pump by having it inspected by a professional plumber, and keeping the pump clean and the well free of debris. Feel free to call Ace Pelizon if you have questions about how to maintain a sump pump, or to make an appointment for an annual inspection and professional cleaning.

Most issues can be repaired easily and without the help of a plumber. Here’s a troubleshooting guide to help you solve minor issues with your pump.

Check for Electrical Problems

Always check to make sure the sump pump is fully plugged in and that there aren’t any fuses that have burned out. If there is standing water in the basement, you should take extra precautions when handling any electrical equipment, even a plug. Call a plumber or electrician for advice if you have any safety concerns.

Check the Float Switch

Just like the float in a toilet tank, the float attached to the side of your sump pump acts as a guide for turning the pump on and off. This is called the float switch, and it usually has a large bulb or other floatation device attached to a metal arm. This float detects the water level inside the well, and it turns the pump on when the water reaches a certain height in the well.

If the pump is plugged in and there are no blown circuits, move the float switch up and down to see if it will turn the pump on. Debris can get trapped underneath the float causing it to stick. If the motor is constantly running, this switch may be stuck in the “on” position if debris is lodged underneath it, or if there’s substantial corrosion.

You can actually move the entire pump around to change the position if there’s no apparent debris causing the issue. Sometimes the pump gets shifted around slightly, and the float switch cannot work properly if the pump isn’t plumb or level. Be careful not to move it too much, since it could damage the drain line attached to the pump motor.

If your motor is constantly running, and none of these steps work, the motor could overheat and stop working. Unplug the pump while you’re investigating the problem, and if none of these steps work, call a professional plumber.

Check for Clogged Filters

In addition to causing issues with the float switch, debris trapped in the screen can also cause the motor to overheat or shut down. If your filter is dirty, try to get out as much of the debris as possible, but if this doesn’t solve the issue, you could have a clogged drain line. In this case, you will need to call a professional plumber to snake out the line.

Preventative Maintenance Tips

You can prevent issues with the sump pump in your City Of Industry home with a few preventative maintenance tasks. Keep debris from falling into the well as much as possible, and clean out any particles that could clog the screen or affect the operation of the float switch. Occasionally inspect the pump and well for any corrosion or other concerns. If you are comfortable with the operation of your pump, drain and clean the entire well and pump at least once a year.

Lastly, call a qualified technician at Ace Pelizon for a yearly sump pump maintenance visit.

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