You rely on your sump pump to work properly and keep your basement dry, especially when the snow melts in the winter and when spring storms arrive. It protects your basement from flooding and prevents costly water damage.

Most likely, you don’t even think about your sump pump until you need it. One of the most common causes of sump pump failure happens when the device runs continuously. Most issues with constantly running sump pump systems have simple causes and easy, common-sense solutions—if you catch the problem in time. Keep reading to learn more about what might cause your sump pump to run continually and why it’s a problem.

Jammed Float Switch
Sump pump systems include a float switch designed to drift up as the water rises in the sump pit. When the water reaches a certain level, the float switch triggers the pump to turn on and drain the pit. Once the water level decreases, the pump turns itself off. The pump may continue operating even after the water has been emptied if the float switch malfunctions, hooks onto something (like a pipe or wire), or if debris in the sump pit jams it into the “on” position. Without water to cool off the motor, the sump pump could burn itself out.

Check Valve Failure
The discharge line is designed to carry water up and away from your home’s foundation. A check valve inside the pipe prevents water from flowing back down into the pit. If this valve malfunctions, water will go up the pipe and then drain back down into the pit immediately, creating an on-off cycle that never ends.

Underground Leak
Water can seep into the sump pit from an underground source such as a burst sewer pipe or leaky drain line from the sprinkler system or pool. Issues like this will keep your sump pit full and will force it to operate constantly. Even though the sump pump is doing its job, the underlying plumbing issue should be addressed promptly before water damages your home’s foundation or overwhelms the sump pump.

High Water Table
If your house is built on top of a water table or underground spring, you may find that your basement is under the water table line when it rises during a rainy season. In this case, the sump pump must run constantly to try to empty the basement of a never-ending flood of water. You can’t change the location of your house, but you can install a second sump pump to protect your basement in case the first one fails.

When Should a Sump Pump Run?
A sump pump should run only when the water level is high enough to activate it. It’s not uncommon for it to run two to three times a day, depending on your location and the weather.

Sump Pump Services
Sump pump failure will leave your basement vulnerable to flooding and extensive water damage. If you have a sump pump that needs servicing, the professionals at Ideal Basement Waterproofing can help. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.