Sump Pump Repair: Complete Guide

People sometimes tend to ignore some of the repairs around the house, but leaving your sump pump repair on hold is not the greatest idea.

If you want to prevent floods in your basement and office, and save some time and money, we highly recommend you to read our article and fix the issue as soon as possible.

When a sump pump breaks down, there is no much room for panic attack or calling a professional.

Once the flooding starts, you want to act quickly and prevent headaches over the damaged things in your basement.

Today, we will teach you basic troubleshooting in case your sump pump betrays you.

Relax – sump pump repair is an easy fix and requires minimum labor.

Let’s jump to it.

Where Is The Catch with The Sump Pump?


Yeah, we know a sump pump doesn’t sound like a big deal. After all, this is one of the appliances in your home with the average lifespan of about 10 years.

That is why we seem to overlook it, even though sump pumps can save our lives sometimes.

However, despite the lifespan, issues with the sump pump jump out frequently, and you should know what to do in such cases.

A sump pump will protect your home and office from flooding, and possible water damages.

Even though it sits in your basement quietly, a sump pump activates as soon the snow starts melting or during heavy rains in spring.

This is a truly valuable appliance which serves its purpose numerous times. In case it breaks for any reason, we will tell you how to fix it.

The Most Common Sump Pump Issues

If you notice any of these issue with your sump pump, then make sure not to skip the following chapter – sump pump repair.

  • Year of Production

Just as we mentioned above, a sump pump can serve you up to 10 years. In other words – it doesn’t last forever.

Things that affect the pump are the frequency of use, the electrical source, and the very quality of the product.

If your sump pump has just started acting up, it could be it is about time for a replacement.

However, if the thing is not getting near to the end of its lifespan, that means you still can repair it.

  • Improper Installation

You may experience a situation where the pump is running, but you see no water in the pit.

This is a sign that the pump is not hooked up to the drainage system or it is not installed correctly.

It could be that the drainage system is clogged up as well.

However, no matter of the cause, it would be best to disconnect the pump and to try to reinstall it.

  • Clogged Pump

Sump pump without lids tends to amass dirt and harmful contaminants and debris within, which, of course, leads to clogs.

Once you notice slowing down in the pump’s performance or a complete stoppage, that means you are dealing with a clog.

An airtight lid would prevent further clogs and collecting debris in your pump.

  • Excess Noise

Even though the pump in your basement would always make certain sounds when working, any rattling, thuds, and gurgling is a red flag for you.

Irregular noises are a certain indicator there is a problem with the motor.

However, this is totally fixable, and you shouldn’t worry.

  • Sump Pump Overdrive

It is possible for your sump pump to run continuously or to run too much, even though the weather outside is not alarming.

This is a specific situation you should solve as soon as possible, as the more overworked pump is, it will require sooner replacement.

Some of the reasons for the overdrive are:

  1. Wrong-sized pump,
  2. Broken or missing check valve,
  3. Stuck pump switches,
  4. Continual flooding.
  • Losing Power

Sometimes it is the human factor, as you may accidentally unplug the pump and forget to plug it back in. Other times, there may be a blown fuse on the circuit or a battery backup lost its power.

How to Perform a Sump Pump Repair?



Just as we promised, this won’t be a tough task, so here is what to do in order to repair that pump.

1.     Check the Float

A vital, and, at the same time, the most vulnerable part of a sump pump is the float. In other words – the functioning of your pump depends on this part.

If you are wondering how does it look like, you will recognize it for its ball-shaped structure.

As the level of water in your basement rises, you will notice the float as well.

Once the float achieves a certain height, the pump turns on automatically.

The float is, at the same time, the most common reason for the sump pump failure.

If the float is not rising with the water level, that is a certain sign deposition of debris caused its malfunction.

To prevent this, make sure to check and clean the float on a regular basis, depending on the weather.

In order to check it, pour some water into the pit. You want to inspect whether the float rises at the same time as the water level does.

If all this activates the pump at the same time, you can consider yourself lucky – the pump is working.

On the other hand, if the float is not rising, clean out the pump from debris.

Most of the debris gathers in the sump pit, so check there.

Even if your pump is working the way it should, we would still recommend to include the cleaning of the sump pit into regular maintenance.

2.     Test the Check Valve


Here is a simple test – pour some water into the sump pit and see whether water is returning to the pit.

If the pump is returning water, that will create extra stress on the motor.

On the other hand, if this triggers the pump and it starts removing water, that means you have no issues.

In case the check valve is not fitted correctly, you will notice malfunction with the pump.

Just as with the above-mentioned situation, debris inside the pump may cause such problems.

Sometimes debris causes jams and malfunctions, which means you should check the valve and clean it eventually.

Make sure the valve is pointing away from the pump, not towards it.

In case you detect a problem with the valve, you will need to replace it.

Pay attention to the size of it, as you need one of proper size.

Now, as you have a new valve, cut out a section of the pipe to install it.

Once you finalize the installation, fill the cut portion with a utility knife or a metal file.

3.     Clean the Impeller

We already told you to clean the sump pump and its pit out of the debris.

This indeed is an important part of the maintenance of this appliance, but debris sometimes finds its way to the impeller and jams it.

You will know the impeller is jammed when it starts releasing strange noises.

If you hear unfamiliar sounds from the sump pump, then we can say with certainty the impeller is clogged.

In order to take back the pump into full performance, you should first unplug it in order to clean out debris from the impeller.

Now that you unplugged the pump, disconnect it from the piping, and remove it from the pit afterward.

To reach the screen and impeller, you will have to disassemble the pump, and then clean it out and reassemble.

Of course, make sure not to forget to plug it in after you are down with work.

4.     Check the Electricity


As we mentioned in the previous chapter, sometimes you can simply forget to plug the sump pump back it after the last time you plugged it off.

If the pump is not working at all, make sure to check the power supply.

Of course, it may be that the pump is plugged in, but there is a problem with the power supply.

Inspect the fuse and check the circuit breaker and the wiring.

If you notice any wiring issues or if any of wires broke somewhere, then you will probably professional help to fix this.

However, if the electrical supply works perfectly and there are no glitches, there is a great chance you will need to replace your pump.


As we are living in the modern age, we should take advantage of it.

Don’t you think your old sump pump would use some backup?

Did you hear about backup sump pump?

Battery backup sump pump will make your sump pump last longer.

The main function of a backup pump is to supplement your primary pump.

Old pumps tend to fail because of numerous reasons.

We already mentioned some of them, while, on the other side, your pump can fail due to excessive use, mechanical failure, or power outages.

Backup sump pump provides extended protection from potential water damage.

The biggest advantages of the battery backup sump pump are:

  • Easiness of installation,
  • Performance without water supply.

Bottom Line

Who likes heavy rains after all? Rainy days usually make us feel depressed, we have to wear umbrellas (and most of us usually lose it somehow), while the biggest con of heavy rain is the fact it threats to cause a flood in your home.

Of course, you are very well aware of the consequences, and you bought a sump pump to save the day when it rains heavily.

However, it would be great to check the pump from time to time, as it may be needing a repair.

Sump pump repair is not a big deal, as we explained through our article, and we hope there won’t be any unnecessary costs for replacement and plumbing service.

However, just in case – secure your sump pump with the battery backup sump pump, and rainy days won’t feel so stressful anymore.