Should my sump pump be running constantly? No, it shouldn’t. A sump pump eliminates excess moisture and prevents your home's crawl space or basement from flooding by pumping groundwater away from the foundation. It's designed to turn on as needed when it detects water. But if the sump pump is continuously running, it runs the risk of malfunctioning and prematurely wearing out the motor.
Read on to learn what causes a sump pump to run continuously and how to solve the problem to avoid sump pump damage and water in your home.
Most sump pumps require replacement every seven to ten years. However, its cycle runtime, how much water it has had to displace, and how much maintenance it has received impact its lifespan. If you think your sump pump is constantly running, the best course of action is to have a qualified plumber provide a pump inspection and cleaning.
Sometimes, you may need a sump pump replacement, but installing a replacement is far less expensive than repairing property damage from a flooded home.
Top signs your sump pump requires replacement include:
- Continuously running
- Cycling on and off frequently
- Making loud or strange noises or vibrations (it should sound like a low hum when it runs)
- Not turning on when it should
The three most common issues leading to a sump pump continuously running are the following:
- Jammed float switch
- Blocked discharge pipe
- Faulty check valve
In more severe cases, however, it’s possible that these plumbing issues could be the cause:
- Underground water leak
- High water table
- Incorrect sump pump size
If you suspect the latter, contact your local plumbing expert.
Here are some steps you can take to determine what’s wrong and resolve the issue:
- Check out the float switch.
The float switch is the sensor that tells the pump to activate when there is water. It rests on the water’s surface and lifts when the water rises to trigger the switch that turns on the pump. Check that the float and the arm are not stuck or tangled. If they are, turn off the power and untangle them.
- Determine if the discharge pipe is clogged.
The sump pump removes the water from your property and sends it out of your home through the discharge pipe. If this pipe becomes clogged with debris and sediment, it may send the water back to the pump, where it will continue to run and repeat the cycle. You can attempt to use a plunger or drain snake to remove an existing blockage.
- Examine the check valve.
The check valve prevents water from returning to the sump pit. If the valve is faulty, it can lead to a sump pump constantly running. Take a close look at the check valve to see that it’s correctly positioned with ring clamps and does not show signs of wear. Replacing a worn-out or damaged check valve may be enough to get your sump pump back in optimal condition.
If you follow these steps and still wonder, “why is my sump pump always running?” it’s time to turn to your trusted local professionals at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. Our team of experienced plumbers cares about your home plumbing and will perform the necessary repairs or replacements to restore your sump pump to peak performance.