How to Repair Common Sump Pump Problems

What You'll Need
Flathead Screwdriver
Metal File
Utility Knife
Pipe Cutter
Check Valve

Though the average lifespan of a sump pump is about 10 years, sump pump problems are a very common thing and can be mended very easily and with your minimum labour. Sump pumps are very efficient for protecting the basement of your house or office from flood and water damage. But if the sump pump suddenly breaks down you won’t have enough time for calling a professional to fix the problem. So it is best to know the basic troubleshooting so that you can repair and deal with the most common problems of a sump pump.

    Step 1: The Check Valve

    It is often the case that the sump pump is not working properly because the check valve is not fitted correctly. The check valve sometime jams due to debris and thus malfunctions. If the valve does not work properly then the water goes back into the basin and thus creates extra stress on the pump. Check the valve and clean it if the valve is clogged with debris. Make sure the valve is not pointing towards the pump, but away from it. You can also add a check valve to the line where it is not present. First you need to purchase a valve of proper size. Then cut out a section of the pipe and install the valve. Finalize your installation by filling the cut portion with a metal file or utility knife.

    Step 2: The Float

    The functioning of the sump pump depends on the float. The float is a ball-shaped structure and it rises with the rise of the water level in your basement. When the float rises to a certain height the pump is automatically turned on and it starts functioning. The most common problem associated with failure of the sump pump is the float. Often due to deposition of debris or some other reason the float does not rise with the rise of water level and thus the pump malfunctions. To avoid this, check and clean it on a regular basis or at least weekly.

    Step 3: Power Supply

    After checking the float and the valve, if still the pump is not functioning then it is very possible that the problem is related to power supply. Check the fuse, any break in the circuit and the wiring. There might be some glitches with the wiring or the wire might break somewhere. Very carefully check them and if the problem still persists then you have to look somewhere else.

    Step 4: The Impeller

    There is another fair possibility that the impeller is causing the malfunction of the sump pump. The impeller can jam due to various reasons and start giving out a strange noise. If you hear a strange noise coming from the sump pump, then be sure that the impeller jammed. Clean the impeller and remove any debris or anything else causing the jam. You can also install a filter for trapping debris and keeping the impeller clean so that it is not jammed in the future.