A sump pump overflow can be real trouble for your home or business’s foundation and moisture content.
Here are some things to consider and 6 common causes of a sump pump overflow, plus an additional guide on stopping your basement sump pump from overflowing – and a few tips on how to prevent the problem in 2023.
Learn More Overflowing Sump Pumps:
6 Ways to Stop Sump Pump Overflow
1. Under-powered Sump Pumps
While a typical sump pump rated at 1/3 horsepower is designed to handle a home of standard size, it can be a more complicated issue than that.
In areas with high water tables or that are prone to high seasonal rainfalls, it may be necessary to install a sump pump that is larger than usual to prevent the sump pump from overflowing. Larger homes with normal-sized pumps are where this problem occurs the most.
Need A More Powerful Sump Pump?
If you need a more powerful sump pump then we recommend investing in a sump pump with a bigger motor like the Zoeller M63
2. Prevent Pump Clogs
A clog can cause a basin to overflow, but luckily, this is usually a low-cost and easy repair.
If a clog is a culprit, then it is essential to consider why or how it occurred so measures can be taken to prevent it from happening again. Fixing a clog can be as simple as flushing the lines and installing a filter to avoid more sump pump overflow.
3. Loss of Power
A power surge or other electrical interruption from the power source may cause a pump to stop working and lead to a flood.
Even if the rest of your home or business has an electrical service working correctly, electricity may not get to your pump. Check to see if your sump pump tripped your breaker or if your GFCI outlet has been popped and reset it.
4. Resetting your Pump
Sometimes, overflowing pump can be reset simply by unplugging it and waiting a few minutes before plugging it back in. If the problem goes away, then you can just remember to do this again if it occurs.
Of course, if your pump is overflowing or losing power more frequently, you should get it looked at by a qualified service person to determine the leading cause. You should also lift the check valve to ensure it works properly.
5. Frozen Discharge Lines
During cold weather, the discharge line of your sump pump system can become frozen. When a sump pump discharge line is frozen, this can lead to water pooling in your sump pit and basement.
You may need to run warm water through your system or pick away at the blockage outside your home to operate your pump correctly.
A professional basement waterproofing company can help you find accessories and ways to prevent your sump pump from freezing during the winter.
Always make sure to turn off your pump before trying to assess problems or bail out your pit to eliminate the risk of shock. If your basement is severely flooded, then it is advisable to throw the electrical breaker that controls your pump.
6. Lower the Float Switch
Lowering the activation level by adjusting the float switch will cause the pump to turn on sooner – giving the drainage system more time to run before overflowing and causing water damage.
4 Ways to Prevent Basin Overflows
1. Install a Battery Backup
A backup battery will kick in when your power goes out in a big storm and prevent a flooded basement. The electric company will usually have your control on quick enough that there won’t be a problem, but if trees knock out a local breaker and the roads ice over, you may be out of power for a few days. Installing a battery backup is easy and can prevent a flood in the future.
2. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Your sump pump – like any other piece of equipment needs regular cleaning and maintenance. Check your owner’s manual for exact instructions and cleaning schedules. We recommend at least clearing debris from the line and pit every few months, as well as after large storms. It is also good to check the check valve connection to look for rust, small leaks, and problems with the weep hole.
3. Have a Powerful Pump
The most common cause of overflow other than pump failure is too much water in too little time. Small pumps that can’t pump as many gallons of water per minute as pumps like the Zoeller 98 can get “backed up” during the surge of groundwater.
4. Flush the Line
Most of the name brand pumps will run for years without a problem. The most common source of failure, leaks, and overflow is the drainage lines. Start by pouring hot water down the line and make sure it comes out the other side. The water should come out clean the other side shortly after you begin.
Water damage can lead to tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home or business. When it comes to the sump pump system, it is a good idea to call an expert to assess your pump and the water table around your home.
The cost of getting professional advice is a pittance compared to the trouble and expense that ignoring the problem or attempting your repairs can cause.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you fix an overflowing sump pump?
An overflowing sump pump can be a major problem, especially if it is your only way to remove water from your basement. One way to fix an overflowing sump pump is to add more drainage. You can do this by adding a pipe from the discharge of
How do I stop my basement sump from overflowing?
Sump pumps are designed to remove water from your basement. If it overflows, you may notice standing water or a wet floor in the basement. This is because the pump has reached its capacity and is unable to push out any more water. To fix this problem, there are two main things you can do: You can either add another sump pump to help drain the water or you can increase the size of your drainage pipe.
Why does my sump pump keep flooding my basement?
A sump pump is a device that helps remove water from a basement. If it keeps flooding, there are two possible explanations: either the pump is unable to push out any more water or there is not enough drainage. To fix this problem, you can either add another pump, increase the size of your drainage pipe or prevent water from entering the basement so there is less to drain.