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Why Does My Sump Pump Keep Running

Like any other motorized device, a sump pump running too often is a recipe for disaster. Pumps that run too often or for too long can burn out, failing when you need them most and resulting in a basement flooding emergency.

Sump pumps use a float switch to turn on and off. When the float is raised, indicating the presence of water, the pump kicks on. When the float is lowered, the pump turns off. If this switch gets stuck in the on position, the pump will continue to run whether water is present or not. A broken sump pump float can fail to work properly, causing the pump to either stay on or stay off. A float that is stuck on debris can also leave the switch in the on position. Even the side of the sump pump can be the culprit when it comes to getting the sump pump switch stuck. Vibration from the pump running too long can shift the entire unit into a position that causes the float to get pinned.

Another common cause for a failure is the sump pump check valve. This important component ensures that water that has already been pumped out is not allowed to re-enter the sump pump pit. If the check valve breaks or is installed incorrectly, water that has been removed will go back into the pit, turning the pump back on. This cycle can repeat indefinitely until the unit burns out.

Water under a home or along the perimeter of the home due to a burst underground pipe or broken sewer line can also cause a sump pump to operate more often than it should. While a water table issue cannot be readily fixed, a licensed plumbing company can complete the sewer line repair or underground broken pipe replacement needed to remove pooling ground water.

Inspecting the pump to determine if water is present while it’s running can give you an indication of what the problem may be. Unfortunately, however, knowing what’s wrong is only the first step. Knowing how to fix a sump pump and having the right tools and parts to do so, are the next steps, and these are much harder for homeowners. A professional plumber will have the experience needed to complete your sump pump repair correctly the first time, protecting your home from water issues.

If your sump pump is running constantly, give our licensed plumbers a call. We’ll send someone out right away to diagnose and repair the unit right away. If your sump pump has a malfunctioning or broken part, we can replace the component to get your sump pump repair completed quickly. If the sump pump motor has died from continuous use, we can do a sump pump replacement to protect your home from future water damage.

Additional resources:
Why would basement flooding occur with a sump pump installed?
Avoiding repeat basement flooding
Diagnosing a leaking hot water heater
Replacing a Sump Pump
How to clean out a sump pump