How do you troubleshoot a sump pump?

If you are in a region with large amounts of rainfall, your sump pump must be in the best working condition possible to avert likely basement flooding. The overall performance of your sump pump will be determined by the initial sump pump installation, maintenance and the capacity of the machine and the volume of water influx being handled.

Meanwhile, if your sump pump has some problems, you should cater to it and ensure that its problem is resolved to make your device ready as the first defence against flooding. If you want your sump pump to be top-functional, here are some ways to troubleshoot your sump pump and detect what could be wrong with it:

1. Check Power

If your sump pump will not start, the first thing to do is to check if the sump pump has power. Check if the pump’s power cable is plugged into the electric socket. Also, storms may cause power outages, which can render an electric-powered sump pump non-functional during a heavy downpour. However, if you provide backup power during the sump pump installation, check if there is a power supply to the pump.

2. Check the Floating Switch

The floating switch of a sump pump triggers it to start working in cycles when there is flooding. However, the sump pump will malfunction if the floating switch is jammed or stuck because it will fail to notice when water reaches the point to trigger the machine to pump water or stop pumping water. The floating switch may have been displaced and stuck between the engine and wall of the sump pit due to the vibration of the sump pump. A stuck floating switch will make the sump pump either not work or run non-stop.

3. Check for Clogging

A clogged sump pump will not work when the basement is threatened by flooding. To check if your sump pump has been clogged or prevent it from clogging, check if the submersible pump is sitting directly on the bottom of the sump pit. If this is the case, the pump can easily get clogged with debris build-up. Therefore, place the pump on a pedestal to raise it above the floor of the sump pit. Also, cover the pit to prevent children and pets from putting items that can clog the sump pump into it, and also keep them safe.

4. Inspect the Check Valve

A check valve should be installed at the spot where the discharge pipe exits the basement to prevent the backflow of water into the basement after it has passed through the valve. However, if the sump pump is running non-stop, inspect the check valve – it may have broken or not been properly installed. If this continues, the sump pump will burn out. Replace the check valve if it is broken to prevent backflow. To avoid this issue, ensure that the sump pump installation is handled by a professional.

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