September 26,2022

3 Causes of Sump Pump Failure

More than half of American homes suffer from underground wetness or flooding in the basement. The popularity of sump pumps has increased greatly, mainly in lower-level areas or in places that receive heavy snow which could melt and cause basement floods. Sump pumps are prone to fail at least once during their lifetime. While we cannot give you a permanent solution to eliminate sump pump failure, we do have some tips that could help prevent the possibility of it from happening. Here are three main problems that could cause you to need sump pump repair.

How a Sump Pump Works

To understand what kind of problems can show in your sump pump, it’s important to understand how they work. The mechanism is straightforward. A hole is dug in the lowest part of your basement where the sump pump is placed. As the pit starts to fill up, the pump turns on, sending any water from the pit through pipes and out to an area where it can drain, such as a dry well or a storm drain. A one-way valve is designed to prevent water from entering back into the home. The pump is generally powered with your regular household current. However, it’s recommended to have a circuit interrupter installed because of the risk of water being in the same area. If you need to install a sump pump or would like advice from a professional plumber, call Mr. Rooter Plumbing for assistance.

Improper Installation

The ability of your sump pump to function strongly depends on the way it was first installed. If the plumber who installed your sump pump forgot or misplaced any wrong equipment, it could ruin the whole system. Starting off, the sump pump should not be installed near dirt or gravel. This is because if debris finds its way into the pump, it can mess with the pump’s on and off switch.


The manufacturer’s guidelines should be observed cautiously for the establishment to stay away from extreme water damage. Most manufacturers prescribe or require a check valve to be installed on the release line. If it’s not installed, the black flow of water can make the pump impeller turn in reverse and unscrew off the engine shaft. Manufacturers also require an air relief hole to be placed between the pump and the check valve. Its purpose is to protect the pump from the air pressure in the discharge pipe.

Power Failure

One of the most common reasons for sump pump failure is a power outage. If your power is knocked out because of a storm or for any other reason, it’s safe to have a backup plan, such as a generator. Having a backup generator that can be manually activated will save you the stress of worrying about your sump pump for some time. Unfortunately, the generator will not work if your sump pump fails mechanically though. In this situation, you will have to call for a sump pump repair.

Lack of Maintenance

Maintenance is a key component that is super easy and quick to do. Let’s be realistic, you can’t save all your problems with just maintenance, but it’s a huge part of keeping your sump pump healthy. Doing quarterly maintenance is regular, but if you think you won’t be able to keep track, at least do these once per year. Check the operation of the float, clean out the air hole in the discharge line, listen to any unusual noises, and replace the battery on the backup sump pump every few years. You can do these without breaking a sweat, and if you need professional help along the way, Mr. Rooter Plumbing is always here for you.

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