Why Your Sump Pump Is Not Working?

sump pump stop working

Has your sump pump ever stopped working? If your head nods to this question, what was the exact reason? The cause of sump pump’s failure owes to a plethora of reasons.

Probably it can be due to the power failure, a clogged discharge pipe, improper installation, lack of maintenance, the dearth of sump’s cover, hydrostatic pressure, or any other sound logic.

Sump Pump which is an indispensable part of home security systems needs to be in impeccably working condition every time. Else, you have to confront flooded basement problems.

If you want that the water doesn’t accumulate in the basement of your home and gets drained off easily out of the home, you need to clearly understand the obstacles that hinder the smooth working of the sump pump.

Let’s Identify The Top Reasons For The Sump Pump’s Failure.

Inaccurate Size Of The Pump:

The sump pump might work inefficiently due to its inaccurate size. The pump should be neither too big nor too small. For an instance, if the pump is too small, it might not be able to handle a large volume of water thus creating wet basement issues for the homeowners.

Its overwork might lead to shortened life span. Whereas, in case of large size pump, the underwork might lead to its diminished life span. Therefore, always opt for a sump pump of required horsepower.

sump pump troubleshooting

If your home resides on a high water table, you would definitely need a sump pump of high horsepower. Many times, a single pump is not powerful enough to handle an influx of water. Therefore, you would require more than one pump made up of high-quality material.

Power Breakdown:

The sudden power breakdown can result in non-working of the sump pump thereby affecting its ability to drain water. In such a situation, you may encounter flooded basement problems. Losing power is a natural phenomenon.

You have no control over it. However, the only thing in your hands is to have a battery backup for your sump pump system. A good and effective power generator works as life savior especially when the electrical breakdown occurs due to bad weather conditions.

sump pump stopped working

In case of interruption of electrical service, you can switch on the generator and save your basement.

Choked Discharge Pipe:

The discharge pipe is a medium through which water from the sump basin moves outside of your home. However, if the discharge pipe is choked with dirt and debris, the pump becomes unable to extract water from the sump pit thus resulting in the backflow of water and rise of water level in the sump basin.

sump pump trouble shooting

The only way to stop this is to prevent the discharge pipe from being clogged with debris. This is possible by protecting the pipe’s opening with a grate. In addition to this, you can also install a protective cover for your sump pump that will put a halt on the entrance of gravel in the discharge pipe thereby keeping clogging at bay.

Inappropriate Installation:

If you are currently confronting inefficiency in the sump pump’s working, it might be due to your unprofessional and inaccurate installation. For instance, you may not have installed a check valve on the discharge pipe.

It is a simple valve that allows water to flow in only one direction i.e. the direction opposite to that of the sump pit. Its presence prevents backflow of water. Secondly, there would be a dearth of air relief hole in the discharge pipe.

sump pump problems diagnosing

Drilled between the pump and the check valve, its absence paves the way for the air pressure to build up inside the discharge pipe and force the sump pump to work harder thus leading to drastic repercussions like a sudden failure.

Hence, to ensure that sump pump last longer, invest your time and money in the professional installation of the sump pump.

Lack Of Airtight Cover:

If you don’t cover your sump with an airtight cover; debris, dirt, and gravel would easily invade the sump pit thus making a firm place. Gradually, the pump will also be filled with such debris thereby closing the entire unit.

fix sump pump

As a result, your sump pump system will experience a complete shutdown. To prevent this situation, keep your sump basin covered with an airtight lid.


Next time, if your sump pump stops working, a closure look at the aforementioned reasons will surely guide you so that you can keep your basement dry.

To ensure the regular functioning of your sump pump, invest in expensive sump pumps. In addition to this, engage in its regular maintenance and cleaning process. In case of some grave problem, take no time, instead, play safe, and call a professional to get the issue rectified.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Which pump size should I take for my home?

No “one size” pump fit every homeowner’s needs. How much horsepower your pump needs depends upon the area of drainage connected to the sump. If your home resides on a high water table, you would definitely need a sump pump of high horsepower, say 1/2 horsepower sump pump that has a capability to pump 60 gallons of water per minute. On the other hand, if the influx of water is less, you can opt for a 1/3 horsepower sump pump capable of pumping 35 gallons of water per minute to adequately tackle potential flooding.

Q2. What type of maintenance practices should I undertake for the smooth functioning of a sump pump?

To ensure the long life span of the sump pump, you should undertake regular maintenance practices. Apply vinegar solution throughout the sump pump once in every month. Clean the vents on the sump pump and the air holes present on the discharge pipe. In addition to this, consider replacing your sump pump after 8-10 years keeping safety purpose in mind. Rest, in case of any serious problem, prefer calling an expert.

Q3. What will happen if the discharge pipe is clogged?

If the discharge pipe gets clogged with dirt and debris, this will result in the backflow of water causing the basement to get flooded with water. Also, the pump will get heat up with the excess load and even get shut down. So, to avoid denting a hole in your pocket, prevent the pipe from getting choked.

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