It is not normal for a sump pump to run constantly. If your sump pump runs every minute and you are not experiencing a large increase in the water table in your area, then this points to something being wrong with your pump.
If you are like many home and property owners, you may have found that you need a sump pump to keep your basement dry and reduce the chances of harmful molds and other moisture damages.
When a sump pump keeps running, it will wear out more quickly and cost you more over time. This issue should be resolved as soon as possible to avoid these excessive expenses. Here are a few of the causes of a sump pump that is constantly running.
Sump Pump Won't Shut Off
Sometimes your sump pump needs to run continuously but in other cases it can be a sign that troubleshooting it required. If there are been heavy rains or continuous water flowing into the pit you need the pump to run all day!
Here are 9 reasons why your sump pump runs every minute.
1. Faulty Check Valve
Over the years, a check valve may become worn and need replacement. This valve allows water to be pumped out of your sump pit and then ensures that it doesn’t flow back into your pit or basement. This is a very inexpensive part to fix but can go a long way towards making sure your system lasts longer and keeps your basement area drier.
2. Lack of Power
While most sump pumps are sized to fit a normal sized home, it is possible that yours is under-powered or losing power due to age or other mechanical issues. Sometimes the problem can be the power cord. If you are not sure what size extension cord to use try our calculator so your pump gets enough power.
Upgrading to a larger pump can solve the problem of a sump pump that runs every minute.
A professional sump pump service person can determine if your pump is not performing well enough for the size of your home or the moisture issues you are dealing with.
3. Periodic Heavy Moisture Periods Can Happen
If your sump pump is running every minute but you have also been experiencing high levels of rainfall or other moisture, then the problem may just go away on its own.
Record rainfall for example in your area may cause your sump pump to run frequently. As long as it starts running less after rainfall tapers off, then the situation is likely under control.
If your pump is going off every 5 min, then try setting the float valve higher, so it doesn’t have such as fast start/stop loop.
4. Clogs or Frozen Lines
A clog or a frozen discharge pipe may cause your sump pump to run more than it should. If temps are cold, then the very end of your discharge pipe could be frozen which can lead to water backing up in your sump pit or basement.
A clog in your discharge line can also make your check valve malfunction so that water feeds back into the basement and your pump has no signal to make it aware that it should shut off.
5. Seasonal Issues
If you are new to an area, it is important to familiarize yourself with seasonal patterns. During the wetter months of the year, it may be very normal for your pump to run more than usual. Buying a new house – ask your realtor if there are any water concerns to keep an eye out for during the wet season.
6. Pump Size Is Not Adequate
If you have a very large home or property, it is possible that your sump pump is not large enough.
Most homes have a sump pump that is rated to handle 25 gallons per minute and be 1/3 Horsepower. Using too small of a pump will make the pump run more and thus wear out much faster. Smaller 1/4 and 1/5 HP pumps may be cheaper but are not powerful enough to keep your basement dry.
If it seems like your sump pump is constantly running, check to see what the horsepower rating is and compare it to the square footage of your basement.
7. Too Small Or Large Sump Pit
A sump pit needs to be sized to fit the home or business it is being used for.
If your pump is running a lot, you may want to have a professional take a look and see if your sump pit is the right size for you.
This is an easy problem to fix in most cases and will prevent you from finding yourself purchasing an entirely new pump.
8. Continuous Moisture Issue
If you have a water leak that is getting worse this can be enough to make it seem like your sump pump is constantly running. It is also possible that the sump pit under your home is that full of water.
A water table that is consistently right below the level of your basement is enough to keep a pump running all the time.
While it is well known that sinking a sump pump low is desirable, sometimes raising it just slightly will prevent a sump pump that won’t shut off while still keeping your basement area dry.
9. Jammed Check Valve
The cutoff or check valve can become jammed so that the pump never receives the signal to turn off.
Debris can sometimes be the problem. If you have a cheaper model of sump, pump the valve can even sometimes get jammed up in the system.
This is another reason it can pay off in the long term to invest in a quality sump pump system.
How long can a sump pump run continuously?
Most sump pumps can run as long as there is water in the pit. A well built and maintained pump can continuously operate for many hours as long as there are no mechanical problems or power outage. If your pump is running for long periods of time you might need a more powerful pump or to check for small problems that could get worse over time!
Call in the Pros
Water and moisture issues are very serious. Procrastination when it comes to sump pumps and moisture can lead to thousands of dollars in damage and create unhealthy conditions for you and your family.
A sump pump system specialist can help ensure that your system is in good working order, and more accurately pin point problems, so you are not spending time and money on repairs that don’t meet your expectations.