How to Diagnose Sump Pump Problems

Home ownership can be trying. If you have basement flooding problems, you might install a sump pump. Then you might develop sump pump problems. There are a number of things that can go wrong to make your sump pump ineffective at preventing floods. The list below will help you diagnose your sump pump's problem(s).

  • Plugged screen Sump pumps have a small screen or opening through which the water flows. If this screen is clogged or blocked, the water won't flow through properly and your basement may flood [source: Scherer].
  • Switching problem There are a number of causes for switching problems. The sump pump's switch may be lodged against the side of the basin. Similarly, the basin inside the pump may have moved, leaving the switch useless. Debris may also be caught in the switch. Manually inspect your pump switch, making sure it's connected and free of debris on the inside [source: Carter].
  • Frozen sump pump drainage pipe If you live in a cold climate, the drainage pipe located outside your home may be frozen. If this is the problem, you can install a stop that redirects the drainage so that water exits the house before reaching the frozen drainage pipe [source: Truini].
  • Tripped electrical circuit breaker Home appliances use a lot of energy. If you have too many appliances connected to one circuit, you run the risk of tripping the electrical circuit breaker. Dedicate one circuit to only the sump pump [source: Concord Carpenter]. Because sump pumps are always near water, make sure the outlet is protected by a ground fault interrupter [source: Scherer].
  • Noisy sump pump The noise you're hearing is called water hammering. Though there's nothing wrong with the sump pump, the noise may annoy you. Installing a quiet check valve will reduce the noise [source: Truini].