8 Helpful Troubleshooting Steps If Your Sump Pump Isn’t Working 

Winter, Basement, Clog, Discharge Pipe, Float Switch, Flooded, Frozen, Ice, Maintenance, Pump Motor, Snow, Sump Pump, Sump Pump Pit, Troubleshooting, Valve

Has your sump pump suddenly ceased functioning? Given the recent weather, this occurrence is not uncommon. We are well acquainted with the fact that Ohio’s climate has a knack for inducing its fair share of plumbing predicaments. With the combination of snow melt and persistent rainfall throughout the winter season, sump pump complications are, dare we say, at their peak. And when your sump pump fails, we strongly advise against procrastination. The potential consequences of a flooded basement and water damage, among other undesirable scenarios, are certainly not what we wish upon our valued customers. 

Sump pumps are specifically designed to efficiently remove excess water from your home’s foundation through the discharge pipe. However, when a sump pump suddenly stops functioning, it can quickly result in basement flooding and escalate into various other catastrophic events. Fortunately, you can rely on the expertise of our professionals at Middletown Plumbing & Drain to help you know what to do to address this issue promptly. In fact, even if you are not currently in a sump pump predicament, don’t wait for problems to arise; keep reading to familiarize yourself with the top 8 common reasons why your sump pump may experience malfunctions.  

Follow These Steps to Accurately Identify the Problem with Your Sump Pump: 

Step 1: Try Checking the Power Supply 

Power outages are a top culprit of a malfunctioning sump pump. Whether it was caused by a severe storm or a tripped circuit breaker, if your sump pump has stopped working, the first thing you should do is confirm that the sump pump is plugged in and is receiving power. If not, you should also test the outlet with another device to verify if the outlet is the problem. You can also restart the pump by unplugging it and plugging it back in. Although this may work, keep in mind that it may only be a temporary fix.      

Step 2: Try Testing the Pump Motor  

Listen for any abnormal noises emanating from the pump motor. If the motor is not running, inspect the circuit breaker and reset it if needed. 

Step 3: Try Inspecting the Pump Basin 

It is also important to examine the side of the pump basin to determine the issue at hand. Take a close look for any debris, dirt, or even ice buildup in the sump pump basin. If any obstructions are found, make sure to remove them promptly (but gently), as they can hinder the pump’s impeller. 

Step 4: Try Examining the Float Switch 

If you have still not been able to find the problem, proceed by examining the float switch to ensure smooth movement. Remove any debris and verify that the float switch moves without obstruction. A float that is stuck or frozen will not be able to activate the pump as intended. 

Step 5: Try Testing the Check (or Overflow) Valve 

Confirm that the check valve (also known as the overflow valve) is correctly installed. Take care to clear any debris that may be blocking the valve. Additionally, check for potential blockages in the pipe above the valve, as this can hinder its proper functioning. When the check valve operates as intended, it effectively prevents water from flowing back into the sump pit. 

Step 6: Try Inspecting the Discharge Pipe 

If your basement is flooded and the water is not being properly discharged away from your home, there is a high probability that the discharge pipe is clogged. Therefore, it is important to direct your attention toward locating and examining the discharge pipe and then taking care of the obstruction. 

Step 7: Try Looking at the Weeping Hole 

Check the weeping hole to ensure the proper functioning of your sump pumps. This small hole on the discharge pipe is designed to release air and maintain smooth operation. If the weeping hole becomes blocked, the pump will not work effectively. Clear any clogs in the weeping hole to restore optimal performance. 

Step 8: Try to Think About the Size of Your Sump Pump 

If you’re experiencing issues with a sump pump that seems overwhelmed, it could be due to incorrect sizing for your space. This is particularly true if this is an ongoing issue you deal with quite often. Upgrading your pump might be a worthwhile consideration in the near future.  

You’ve got this! With determination and focused DIY troubleshooting, you can successfully identify the source of your sump pump problem. Dealing with sump pump issues in cold weather can be challenging, but remember that safety should always be your top priority. Take your time, proceed cautiously, and carefully assess your situation as you progress through each troubleshooting step. 

Be Ready to Seek Professional Assistance:

Are you still puzzled, trying to make sense of the situation? Don’t worry; we’re here to help! If you’ve followed these troubleshooting steps and the issue persists, we recommend reaching out to us for professional assistance in diagnosing and restoring the functionality of your sump pump. Don’t forget that it’s crucial to have a licensed plumber inspect your sump pump to identify any underlying issues. Rest assured. We’ll get your sump pump up and running smoothly again. 

Consider These Valuable Suggestions for Optimizing Your Sump Pump: 

Before we wrap things up, here are a few valuable tips to help you maintain your sump pump effectively: 

To ensure smooth operation and prevent any issues, it’s a good idea to make it a habit to periodically check on your sump pump. Simply ensure that everything is running smoothly and that there are no unusual noises coming from it. On top of that, aim to keep the area around it free from any clutter, random objects, and loose debris. Loose debris can cause various problems with the sump pump, including clogs and obstruction. Therefore, it is essential to always secure and properly seal the sump pump pit lid, preventing any unwanted particles from entering. By maintaining a secure lid, you can effectively prevent debris from interfering with the pump and ensure its smooth operation.   

Your home’s plumbing system is vital, and it’s important to address any potential issues promptly. That’s why it’s crucial to entrust your home to someone reliable. At Middletown Plumbing & Drain, we strive to be that trustworthy partner. Our top priority is our customers. We prioritize your safety, comfort, and satisfaction. Moreover, we are committed to serving you with a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Your peace of mind is our ultimate goal.    

For all your plumbing needs, count on Middletown Plumbing & Drain. Call us today at (937) 298-9979, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!