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Get Pumped About Sump Pump Problems

sump pump problems

Without proper attention to your sump pump, your basement could look like this when the next big storm hits.

Last week on our blog, we gave you a little introductory knowledge about sump pumps. You can find that post right here if you missed it. This week we’re back to talk about a few common sump pump problems that may end up wreaking watery havoc in your basement.

Common Sump Pump Problems (and Their Solutions)

Sump pumps are responsible for whisking water away from your basement and your home’s foundation, preventing costly water damage. Here’s a list of some of the most common causes for sump pump failure, and ways to solve and avoid those problems in the future.


  • Power Failure: This is perhaps the most common sump pump problem. It can be especially troubling if the power outage is a result of a heavy rainstorm. That means more water encroaching on your home, and no sump pump to take it away. A backup generator can save the day in situations like this. In the event of a power failure, your sump pump should be one of the first things you plug in.
  • Poor Pump/Installation: Whether it originates in having the wrong size pump in the first place, or having it installed with untrained guesswork, this can cause serious problems later down the road. One that’s too big will have to work too hard to act efficiently, and one that’s too small may not be able to keep up with the amount of water you’re taking on. Just like goldilocks, you need one that’s juuuuust right. You should also have installation done by a trained professional, or at least DIY’d according to the manufacturer’s specifications to the T.
  • Failure to Maintain: Just like other working parts of your home, proper and regular maintenance is key in preventing sump pump problems. Even if your home isn’t taking on water and your sump pump isn’t getting any action, you should be running tests about every 2-3 months. Dump some water into your sump pit and make sure that your pump activates, and then go outside to make sure it’s being properly discharged. If the water doesn’t find its way outside, you may be dealing with…
  • Blocked or Frozen Pipes: While the “frozen” part may not be a problem at this time of year, the “blocked” part certainly could be. Your discharge line may be blocked with sticks, dirt, rocks, or a smorgasbord of other detritus. The pump is supposed to have filtered most of that stuff out from the inside, meaning that the problem is coming from outside the house. A grated cover over your discharge pipe will allow water to flow out without letting that nasty stuff in.
  • Sticky Switch: If you recall the anatomy of the sump pump we talked about last week, there’s a float switch that works similarly to the fill mechanism in your toilet. When water rises to a certain point, the float switch activates, in this case telling the sump to start pumpin’. If that switch (or any other variation of an activation mechanism) gets stuck for whatever reason, your pump may not know to activate when called upon.


Most common sump pump problems can be found with routine testing. It’s better to be over-cautious than under water.

Water Damage? Call ServiceMaster of Baltimore Today!

When water damage strikes, it is important to act fast. Turn off the source of the water, call a plumber to fix the underlying issue, take pictures and contact your insurance company, and call ServiceMaster of Baltimore. We are ready to help with certified licensed restoration technicians available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Click Here to request an estimate today!

Call 866-780 1700 for Emergency Restoration!

Hopefully you have found our blog, “Get Pumped About Sump Pump Problems,” informative and helpful. Continue to check back weekly for more helpful tips.


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