My Sump Pump Stopped Working

Last Updated on by Anthony Brown

Like any mechanical device, there can be many reasons why your sump pump has stopped working. A sump pump is only part of a complex system that helps keep your home or business dry and healthy to live and work in.

Sump pumps only have a few parts and most of the problems happen with the motor, check valve or float. Here are some of the reasons that can cause sump pumps to stop working – as well as a guide on deciding between pump repair and replacement.

6 Most Common Reasons

If your sump pump has stopped working we recommend checking these parts first.

1. Power Outage

The first thing to check when your pump is not working is your power it out. Power outages due to down power lines are the most common source of outages during storms and freezing weather.

2. Blown Fuse

Older homes, in particular, are prone to electrical issues. Sump pumps should be plugged into a dedicated outlet that is a GFCI. This offers protection from electrical fires and power surges. Resetting a GFCI is often as simple as pushing a button.

Older homes may have faulty wiring that poses problems for your sump pump and can cause your pump to start smoking in some extreme cases. Contacting an electrician and sump pump specialist is advisable.

Usually, a sump pump technician is the first person you should contact as they can assess the pump and determine if another help is needed.

3. Worn Out Motors

Unfortunately, sump pumps can wear out over time. If your home has an older sump pump and you find your sump pump stopped working during a storm, then replacement is often the best solution to the problem.

Cheaper sump pumps wear out faster than higher quality ones. If your pump is not very old but showing problems like a faulty float valve, you may still be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. If you to replace your sump pump and it is going to see a lot of use over the years, then you are much better off if you replace it with a high-quality pump and get into a good maintenance routine.

4. Broken Check Valve

A common source of leaks is the check valve. If you find a water leak the first place to check is this valve. Start by making sure it is not allowing water to backflow into the pit and that the seals are still water tight.

5. Broken Float Valve

A broken float valve will prevent your pump from detecting water in the pit and turning on. If you see water in the pit but no where else this valve might be broken!

6. Clogged Drain Lines

Clogged drainage lines can cause a variety of problems like a burned out motor and basement flooding. Clogs can be prevented by testing and cleaning your lines a few times per year and making sure everything is running smoothly.

Recognize Small Issues Before They Get Larger

A big problem often starts as a much smaller one. Paying attention to your sump pump can take a little time, but it can save you a lot of hassle, time, and money over the years. During periods of very wet weather or cold temps, you may want to take a peek in your basement daily.

Unfortunately, sump pumps can wear out over time. If your home has an older sump pump and you find your sump pump stopped working during a storm, then replacement is often the best solution to the problem.

Cheaper sump pumps wear out faster than higher quality ones. If your pump is not very old but showing problems like a faulty float valve, you may still be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. If you to replace your sump pump and it is going to see a lot of use over the years, then you are much better off if you replace it with a high-quality pump and get into a good maintenance routine.

Major Basement Flooding

If your sump pump has led to a lot of water in your basement, then you need professional help.

Having standing water in your basement is a major cause for concern and can lead to lasting and permanent damage to your foundation as well as cause a prime growth habitat for harmful molds and other allergens.

Standing water needs to be removed as soon as possible. If the problem has reached this level, then you need professional help.

Rising Water Tables

Changes in the way water flows can influence how much your sump pump has to run. Construction nearby or seismic activity can change underground water flow and have a big impact on the moisture in your home or business.

Upgrading your sump pump system or making major adjustments to your current system may be warranted. A professional sump pump service person can quickly get your system changed to meet new demands.

Repair vs Replacement

Most sump pumps are dependable and pretty hard to break. If yours is not working (assuming you didn’t get a lemon) it is probably only one part that is causing the problem. If you can isolate the problem part you can likely find repair your pump without replacing it.

We recommend check the valves, piping and electrical system first if you are having pump problems as they are the most common source of failure.