Is your sump pump not working? With the recent weather, it’s not an uncommon occurrence. We all know that Ohio weather can bring its fair share of problems. With the snow melt and rain during the winter season, sump pump issues are quite common. And when your sump pump stops working, it’s something we strongly advise against putting off resolving. The last thing we want is for our customers to deal with flooded basements and unnecessary water damage, among other unwanted issues. 

Sump pumps are designed to efficiently pump water out through the discharge pipe, safely diverting excess water away from your home’s foundation. However, if a sump pump suddenly stops working, it can quickly lead to basement flooding and other potential problems, as previously mentioned. Fortunately, our team at Kettering Plumbing & Drain is here to help! We have pieced together eight troubleshooting steps to help you narrow down the issue and get it fixed as soon as you can. And if you’re not quite dealing with a malfunctioning sump pump, don’t wait until a problem arises to familiarize yourself with how to troubleshoot your sump pump. Staying prepared beforehand makes all the difference in properly handling a chaotic situation when it does surface. 

Know the Steps to Troubleshoot Your Sump Pump: 

Step 1: The Power Source 

Power outages are a common cause of sump pumps not working. If your sump pump has suddenly stopped working, start by ensuring it is still plugged in and receiving power. You can test the outlet with another device to determine if the outlet is the issue or not. If you still have not figured out exactly what is going on, you can also try unplugging and plugging back in the pump, but keep in mind that this may only provide a temporary solution. 

Step 2: The Pump’s Motor 

Loud, irregular noises coming from your sump pump are a sign that something may be going on with the pump’s motor. If the motor is not running or sounding as it normally does, check the circuit breaker and reset it if needed. 

Step 3: The Sump Pump Pit 

Next, it’s important to examine the inside of the pump basin to understand the situation. Once you take the lid off, look for debris, dirt, or ice buildup in the sump pump basin. If you find any, make sure to immediately remove anything that could block the pump’s impeller and keep the unit from functioning. 

Step 4: The Float Switch 

Try checking the float switch for proper movement as well. Look for any debris that needs to be cleared and ensure the float switch is able to move freely. A stuck or frozen float will prevent the pump from activating as intended. 

Step 5: The Check Valve 

The check valve’s primary role is to prevent water from flowing back into the sump pit. To test the check valve (also known as the overflow), first, make sure it is installed correctly. Then, check for any debris that may be blocking the valve. Additionally, you should inspect the pipe positioned above the check valve as it can sometimes become clogged, which will, in turn, prevent the check valve from working properly.  

Step 6: The Discharge Pipe 

If your basement is flooded and the water isn’t being drained away from your home, it’s highly probable that it is because the discharge pipe is clogged. So, start by locating and inspecting the discharge pipe. If you find that it has an obstruction of some sort, carefully remove the clog. 

Step 7: The Weeping Hole 

If you have not yet pinpointed the issue, it’s important to check the weeping hole in your troubleshooting process. This small hole on the discharge pipe is designed to release air and maintain smooth operation. If the weeping hole becomes blocked, the pump won’t work effectively. In such cases, clearing the clog from the weeping hole is necessary. 

Step 8: The Right Size Pump 

If your sump pump is not properly sized for your space, it won’t be able to handle large volumes of water properly. If this has happened more than once, it might be time to consider an upgrade to prevent it from happening over and over again. 

Hang in there during the troubleshooting process; you can do it! With determination and focused DIY troubleshooting, you should be able to find the cause of your sump pump problem. Dealing with sump pump issues in cold weather is never enjoyable, but always prioritize safety. Take your time and proceed carefully as you assess the situation and follow each troubleshooting step. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Professional Plumber: 

Feeling a tad bit defeated? No worries! If you’re still confused and unsure about the situation, we got you! We’re here to help. If you’ve followed the troubleshooting steps and the issue persists, we recommend reaching out to us for professional diagnosis and assistance in getting your sump pump back up and running. It’s important to have a licensed plumber inspect your sump pump and identify any underlying problems. 

Sump Pump Tips: 

Before we wrap this up, here are a couple of helpful tips to help you with your sump pump maintenance moving forward: 

  • Did you know you can get a backup battery for your sump pump? If you didn’t yet know this tidbit, it may be worth looking into, so you are prepared for anything. In the chance you already have one, simply make it a point to test the battery every now and then to make sure it is fully charged and ready to go. Having your backup battery ready to go in the event an unforeseen circumstance happens will help you prevent things like basement flooding and water damage from happening. 
  • Loose debris is a common cause of sump pump problems. When debris and particles accumulate, it can clog the pump and affect its functionality. Therefore, it is crucial you make sure your sump pump pit lid always stays securely in place and remains properly sealed. A well-sealed lid will prevent debris from entering the pit and causing future interference with the pump.   

Your plumbing system is crucial to the functionality of your home, and there are many potential issues that can arise. That’s why it’s important to entrust your home to someone reliable. At Kettering Plumbing & Drain, we are committed to being that trusted partner. Our customers are our top priority, and we prioritize your safety, comfort, and satisfaction. We are dedicated to providing you with a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Plus, we are open 24/7 for emergency services! 

For all your plumbing needs, trust Kettering Plumbing & Drain. We are here to solve any plumbing issues you may have. Call us today at (937) 764-3788, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!