A sump pump is something that you rely on to make your home more comfortable and prevent long-term moisture damage to the structure and foundation. If your sump pump is tripping the breaker, then it points to a problem due to faulty wiring or connections.
Here are the 6 most important things to consider if your pump is tripping your GFCI breaker and causing power problems in your basement and how you can prevent future outages.
Keep reading to learn what to do when a sump pump trips a power breaker:
1. Water Seeping into Electrical Connections
Water can wreak havoc on electrical connections and equipment. Although a sump pump is supposed to be sealed and made to work with water, over time, it is possible that seals, connections, or housing could come loose or become unsealed in such a way that moisture causes them to malfunction resulting in the sump pump tripping a breaker.
2. No Surge Protection
A power surge is sometimes unavoidable. During and right after a power outage is a perfect time for this to occur.
A surge protector can be installed to prevent most surges from having an effect on your system. It might be a small investment now but it will protect your appliances for years! Install surge protectors on all your outlets to gain more outlets and prevent power surges from frying your electronics.
With so many surge protectors available it can be hard to find the right one to use with a pump system. We recommend this Belkin 12 outlet strip for more basements.
3. No Dedicated Power Outlet
It is important that your sump pump has its dedicated outlet to plug into. If other devices are plugged into an outlet, then there is a much greater chance of using too much power. Also, it may be the other device that is causing the entire problem and not your sump pump.
It is important to use only a GFCI outlet for a sump pump. If you have an older home, and the outlet is not a GFCI, then you should have the outlet rewired as soon as possible for safety reasons.
Does a Sump Pump need a Dedicated Circuit?
Yes – every major appliance in your home should be run off a dedicated circuit. There may be extra construction cost but having the power hard wired to the pump reduces the chances of future fires!
4. Chasing Electrical Issues is Hazardous
Electricity requires great care when it comes to working out issues. Not using or having the proper tools can lead to electrical shock, fires, and damaged systems.
If an electrical issue is suspected, you should always contact a professional for an assessment.
Even if you are trying to troubleshoot some issues yourself, always make sure your pump is unplugged before sticking your hand in the sump pit or doing any dismantlement.
5. Older Pump Problems
A pump that is tripping a breaker consistently may simply need to be replaced. Cheaper pumps can be harder to repair, and older ones can sometimes be difficult to fix in a cost effective manner.
A new pump that is of good quality will operate for a long time without anything more than a little bit of maintenance such as keeping the motor and lines lubricated.
Testing Old Pump Connections
Not sure if the problem is your pump – try running another powerful appliance like a vacuum and see if the breaker still switches off! If it does you know the problem is not your pump.
Need a New Sump Pump?
If you have an older sump pump it might be time to replace it with a new model – our top rated pump is the Zoeller M53 Mighty Mate. It is powerful enough for almost any home and will last for at least 10 years!
6. Sometimes Wiring is the Issue
The wiring in a home can be older, and this can sometimes mean that it can trip breakers due to fraying or age. If you have older wiring in your home, then it may be time to consider some rewiring by a licensed electrician. In some cases, only part of your home’s wiring may be older.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to determine this without someone taking an in-depth look at how your home is wired. As you can see, there are many things to consider if you suspect a sump pump is tripping a breaker.
Sump Pumps and GFCI Outlets
Your sump pump should not be tripping your GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) unless there is a problem with the electricity or there is a power surge. The GFCI is responsible for preventing damage to the motor or your home when there is a problem with electricity – if your sump pump keeps tripping the circuit breaker there might be a problem with the wiring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does sump pump need a dedicated circuit?
In order to supply your pump with a steady supply of power we recommend installing your pump with a dedicated circuit that is also grounded to prevent surges.
Will a sump pump trip a GFCI?
Most sump pumps will not trip a GFCI circuit but it can if there are electrical problems with the pump or power surges.
Why is my sump pump tripping the breaker?
The most common reasons for a pump to trip a breaker are water in the electrical cords and overloaded circuits.