Knowing When Your Sump Pump Is Going Out

sump pump

Homeowners who frequently encounter basement flooding from an unknown source are part of thousands who experience sump pump problems every year. When the submerged pump simply stops working or is not powerful enough to pump water out of your basement, excess water has to go somewhere, which is usually your basement.

Sump pumps may go out without prior notice, so it may be difficult to ascertain when your pump could be failing.

Here are several issues that cause pumps to go bad, along with what signs you will notice prior to the complete upheaval of your pump.

Powering on and off intermittently

It happens pretty frequently

When an overabundance of water from rain or other outside sources starts filling up the hole where the sump pump is placed, your pump automatically turns itself on. Once excess water has been pumped, it will shut itself off.

Should pumps start turning themselves on and off without the presence of excess water, several issues may be at fault. Either your float switch has gone bad, there is an issue with the power source or the pump itself simply needs replaced due to wear and tear.

Strange noises

Some noise is normal

Not all sump pumps are quiet; some noise is to be expected. But if you’re hearing excess grinding, loud rattles or unexpected thuds, there is an issue with your motor that needs to be immediately addressed. Because the average lifespan of regular sump pumps is roughly 10 years, motor erosion is expected.

If your home is in an unusually wet or rainy climate, noises may happen frequently, as your pump has to work harder to keep your basement dry. As your pump actuates, the basin the pump sits in should be constantly emptied below the flotation device. Bound-up float switches may also make sounds when there’s an obtrusion in your pump well.

Water does not discharge fast enough

It can mean several things

Most residential basements have between a one-third and three-fourths horsepower motor outfitted in their sump pumps. They come bigger, yet anything smaller risks overworking the pump beyond its design capacity. In terms of flow rate, three-fourths horsepower motors are good for roughly 5,600 GPH (gallons per hour).

These facts are worth mentioning because maybe your pump simply is not big enough to withstand the amount of water filling the basin. Normal wear and tear will interrupt the flow rate, but even a one-third horsepower pump is designed to keep up with torrential rains.

Lack of consistent water discharge, as stated above, could mean a float switch or motor problem.

Plumbers should inspect your sump pump

This should happen at least once per year

With so many things that could go wrong with a sump pump, having a plumber inspect the basin and test the motor could prevent excessive water damage, not to mention other costly repairs to your basement.

Plumbers can also clear any debris inside the basin, make sure the float switch is not stuck and exchange any pipes leading out of the house that are necessary to keep the pump working properly.

Keep your basement free of groundwater by staying on top of your sump pump’s maintenance.

Our skilled plumbers know that homeowners in Cerritos need working sump pumps to maintain clean, mold-free basements. Need a new pump or simply want your current one maintained? Call us today at (562) 413-1928 or check us out at

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