Sump pumps emit a humming sound as they operate, but loud or sudden noises are an indication that your pump needs attention. A clogged check valve or a damaged impeller could be to blame.
To fix the problem, you’ll need to disassemble the pump and be comfortable working with electricity. You’ll also need to rinse the discharge pipe of any debris that’s accumulated inside. Contact On Point Plumbing & Heating to schedule a cleaning and maintenance appointment today!
Check The Power Supply And Electrical Connections
A sump pump is a vital tool for keeping water from seeping under your home, preventing structural damage, wood rot, and pests. However, it is not infallible, and over time, certain components may wear out or break down. If your sump pump isn’t working as it should, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try.
A common problem is the pump turning on but not pumping. This can be caused by a clogged intake screen, a malfunctioning float switch, or an impeller that’s worn out.
Start by checking the power supply and electrical connections to the pump. Make sure the GFCI outlet is plugged in and that the cord is not kinked or frayed. If the GFCI breaker trips, you’ll need to reset it. Next, check the discharge outlet to ensure it is open and free of debris. Finally, check the float switch to ensure it is not stuck.
If you are using a pedestal or submersible pump, remove the lid and check inside for any objects that may have fallen in. If you have a lid-less pump, small rocks, and tree roots can get inside and jam the float switch. Finally, if the pump’s impeller is clogged, you will need to remove the pump from the pit to access it and clean it.
It’s also worth noting that if your pump is making loud clanging noises, this can be an indication of loose or broken brackets or a faulty internal motor. A plumbing professional can inspect the system to determine what is causing the problem.
If you’re still having trouble, it might be time to call a waterproofing contractor for professional assistance. If a faulty component is to blame, a skilled technician will be able to replace it quickly and efficiently.
Check The Float Switch
The float switch is a vital component of your sump pump that is designed to prevent flooding. It works by moving up and down with the water level, triggering your pump to turn on and drain away the water. If this part fails, it can cause several problems for you and your home.
One of the most common reasons for a sump pump float switch to fail is that it becomes locked in the ‘on’ position. This can mean that your pump is constantly engaged and draining, which will eventually burn out the motor. Once this happens, you will suddenly find that you have a flooded basement and a sump pump motor that needs replacing.
Another common reason for a float switch to become stuck is that it becomes jammed with debris in the pit. Pumps often vibrate while they are running, which can cause the float to move out of its original position and get caught on something. If you check the pump pit and find that the float is jammed, simply removing the debris should help it to work again.
Other common reasons for a sump pump
to stop working are that it has become too dirty or that the discharge line has clogged. These problems can be caused by rust and corrosion or by leaves, mud, and other debris that has made its way into the pump basin. You may also find that your sump pump has a clogged impeller that is causing it to screech and rattle as it pumps water out of the basin.
If you’re having trouble with your sump pump, it is important to have it serviced by a professional. Regular inspections and maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs and extend the life of your pump.
Check The Valve
If your sump pump fails to turn on or work properly, you could find yourself facing flooding and expensive repairs. There are many reasons a sump pump might not be running, including no power (check that the unit is plugged into a functioning outlet or hasn’t blown a GFCI), a clogged impellor/intake screen, blocked discharge pipe, weep hole issues, and a burnt-out motor.
If you hear loud rattling noises coming from your sump pump, they might indicate that it’s overworking itself trying to suck water through its impeller. This is a sign of excessive wear and tear and can be a serious safety risk for your home. You can often remedy this issue by cleaning the impeller and making sure the weep hole is open.
Another common cause of loud rattling noises is that the check valve is not closing fast enough. The check valve is designed to keep water from flowing backward through the discharge line. This valve must close quickly to prevent pressure surges and shock waves that can rupture pipes, create vibrations, and damage equipment and pipe supports. A slower-closing check valve can also allow dirt to enter the valve body and reduce its life span.
A quick way to test your sump pump’s check valve is to manually lift the float switch by hand. If it moves up but doesn’t activate the pump, it’s likely stuck in the on position and needs to be reset.
The check valve can be found in a wide variety of industrial and residential applications, such as water and waste treatment, desalination, chemicals, food and beverage, mining, oil and gas, power, pulp and paper, and more. They are available in several designs, sizes, and materials including bronze, cast iron, plastics, carbon steel, stainless steel, and alloys. They also come in several different end connections such as threaded, socket weld, butt weld, flanged and grooved.
A frequent problem with sump pumps is that their discharge lines freeze during the winter and block their flow. This can be easily remedied by having a licensed technician add an air gap or reroute the line to ensure it’s not exposed to the cold.
Check The Discharge Outlet
The pump’s discharge outlet is where pumped water goes after it leaves the pit. It should be routed away from the house and at least 8 inches (20 centimeters) from a foundation wall. It must be located near a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet, and it should be installed at the lowest point in your home’s basement. It should also be at least 6 feet (18 meters) from sewer and water pipes. You may be able to connect the pump’s outlet to your drain tile or your home’s sewer system, but you will need a check valve to prevent backflow into the sump pit.
A faulty check valve can prevent the pump from running, but it could also mean that there’s debris in the outlet pipe. You can check this by pouring water into the pump pit and looking for a flow of water out of the discharge pipe. If the water returns to the sump pit, you have a clogged discharge pipe.
It’s also possible that your pump is simply overheating. This happens if the pump runs constantly for too long or is pumping more water than it’s designed to handle. A GFCI outlet or circuit breaker may have tripped, or the pump’s motor might be too small for your needs.
If your pump is making loud rattling noises, you likely have debris stuck in the float switch or the discharge line. These can make the pump work harder than it should, leading to overheating and potentially a burnt-out motor. You can try to clean the switch and the pit, but you might need to replace it if there’s mineral buildup.
If your sump pump isn’t working properly, it’s important to have it inspected by a professional. A waterproofing expert will be able to determine whether there’s a simple solution like cleaning the discharge outlet or if the pump needs a new motor. They can also check the backup power source and alarm and reroute drainage lines as necessary. They can even install a battery-powered water alarm to ensure you’re always alerted when the pump needs to be triggered.