sump pump diagram

Is Your Sump Pump Constantly Running?

One of the most common signs that there is something wrong with your sump pump is when it begins to run all the time – even when there is no water in the pit. When you notice that the pump is running every five minutes, there is an issue with your sump pump and you need to take action before the system overheats and breaks down.

In most cases, the most common cause to your sump pump continuously running is due to the sump pump float switch being stuck on “on”. Of course there is no actual “on” button, but to see if this is your problem, you need to understand how a sump pump works. There is a piece of plastic that is filled with air called the “float switch”. The float switch sits in the pit and as the water fills the pit, the float switch rises – once it rises to a particular spot, it turns the sump pump on and the water drains, lowering the water and the float switch.

The reason for this is simple to fix and most likely won’t cost anything to fix if you do it yourself. The pump switch can become loose by the constant vibration of the sump pump when it is in action. If the pump switch becomes loose, it can rest and settle on the “on” side of the pump or even become caught on the “on” side by a metal wire or plastic. If this is the root of your problem, simply remove and reposition the pump switch.

Another common problem is an issue with the check valve. The check valve is for the type of sump pump that pushes the water straight upward through a discharge line. The check valve ensures that the same water being pumped upward does not return back down to create an endless cycle. However, if you suspect this is happening to your sump pump, you might need to replace or make some much-needed repairs to the check valve.

After inspecting your sump pump for the above problems and you are unable to find the cause of the problem, it’s time to call a professional. You could have a pipe underground that has burst or the size of your sump pump pit could be too large or too small for your home. In any case, you should turn off the water to your home to avoid not only a high-water bill, but to avoid structural and foundational problems to your home. The water that could potentially be flowing from a damaged sprinkler system could cause some serious damages to your home.

Should you doubt your ability to solve any of the common problems with your sump pump, call a licensed and insured plumber to get your system functioning properly again in no time.