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Sump Pump Repair Questions

A sump pump is a pump that has been designed to take out water that has collected in a sump basin, usually in the basement of houses, is called a sump pump. These pumps are useful in houses where basement flooding is a common occurrence and also help in combating dampness in places where the water table sits above a house’s foundation. Sump pumps direct the water out of the house and into a dry well or a storm drain.

Listed below are a few questions answered by Experts on sump pump related issues.

My sump pump is pumping water but refusing to shut off. As a result, I have to plug and unplug it every half hour. What can I do to fix this?

It seems like the float in your pump is stuck. If you can take a look at the pump, check to see if the float can freely move up and down. The pump should stop if the float is down. If the float appears to be working, you might need to replace the pump.

My sump pump has stopped pumping out water and is making a buzzing noise. I tried removing sediment and gravel from the bottom and shaking it but it still doesn’t work. Do you know what the problem could be?

You can try removing the pump and cleaning the screen. It’s possible that the impellers have some sediment lodged inside. Remove it and see if the impellers spin freely. In case they spin properly but the motor continues to hum, you might have to get the pump replaced.

Is there a way to check if my sump pump has become faulty or whether the electrical outlet is just malfunctioning?

Try plugging another appliance into the outlet and check if it works. In case it doesn’t, open the electrical circuit breaker panel and check for a tripped breaker. This could have happened because of pump failure. To check if the pump is faulty, run an extension cord from another electrical outlet to the pump and see if it works.

My sump pump has started ringing and I can’t stop it. I tried to unplug it and even managed to shut off the electricity supply but nothing worked. What else can I do?

It seems like your sump pump has a battery backup. These systems have an alarm and they start ringing when the primary pump stops working and the backup starts running. It’s probably better that you call a plumber to check out the pump. Without power, the battery will run out. If the power supply is resumed, the charger should charge the battery. But it’s better to get it checked out since water damage could occur in the event that the backup pump stops working.

My sump pump started smelling like sewage so I used bleach to clean it. The smell is now back. What can I do to get rid of the smell?

If you have stagnant water lying in the sump basin, your pump could start smelling. You could use a shop vacuum to take the water out of the pit, re-fill the basin with water and then add the bleach. In case, the problem persists, use a sealed lid to cover the pit.

Sump pumps could develop problems due to factors like age. Although the life expectancy of a sump pump is estimated to be around ten years, you might need to replace certain parts like the impeller, switch and o-rings to avoid problems during this period. Sump pumps can also be damaged by lightning or power surges. To prevent this, it’s always better to safeguard your entire electrical system at home with a surge protection device that covers the whole house. Finally, if you stay in an area prone to power outages, using a water-powered sump pump or back-up emergency battery would help. However, if you have to undertake any repairs with a sump pump, it’s sensible to ask an Expert to evaluate the situation before you proceed.

Ask a Plumber

Marc
Marc, Plumber
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 1075
Experience:  Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor
50715266
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