In Case of a Sump Pump Failure What Can You Do?

What Should You Do in the Case of a Sump Pump Failure?Sump Pump Failure

Raise your hand if you’ve had this nightmare before – you’re sleeping soundly when suddenly, you’re jolted awake by the unmistakable sound of rushing water. You groggily make your way downstairs, only to discover your basement is slowly but surely morphing into an indoor swimming pool.

The culprit? Your sump pump has quit on you amid a total downpour. There you are, standing ankle-deep in an ever-rising pond, feeling like a deer in the headlights. It’s the stuff of homeowner horrors!

Understand the Importance of a Sump Pump

A sump pump is like the unsung hero of your home’s defense system. It works tirelessly to keep your basement dry by pumping out excess water that could lead to flooding. Without it, a minor rainstorm can cause significant water damage, mold growth, and structural problems. Knowing what to do in case of a sump pump failure is crucial.

But don’t panic just yet! As scary as it seems at that moment, a sump pump failure is one of those household hiccups that you can work through. You’ve gotta know the right moves.

Immediate Steps to Take

Check the Power Source

First thing first – do a power check. A lot of times, the issue is as simple as the pump being unplugged or a tripped circuit breaker. If it’s getting no juice at all, well, there’s your problem! You may just need to reset or replace the backup battery if you’ve got one of those systems.

Inspect the Pump for Obstructions

Next up, give your pump a once over and see if any obvious gunk or debris is keeping it from doing its thing. Lots of times, these guys can get gunked up and clogged over time. Carefully clear away any leaves, dirt, toys, you name it from that intake screen, and make sure the float switch can move freely.

Test the Float Switch

Still no luck? Okay, time to test that float switch itself. That’s the little bobber that tells the pump when to turn on as water levels rise. Give it a lift manually – if the pump kicks into gear, bingo! You’ve found the issue. May just need to adjust or replace that float if it’s stuck.

Long-Term Solutions

Consider a Backup System

Of course, a sump pump failure are a prime opportunity to take some preventative measures for the long haul. You may want to look into installing a backup – either one that runs on battery power or hooks up to your home’s water supply. That way, if the main one craps out again, you’ve got another line of defense.

Regular Maintenance

Keeping up with some regular maintenance is key too. It’s easy to install these guys and forget about ’em. But just like any appliance, sump pumps need their annual checkups to keep trucking. Once a year, get in there and give it a good cleaning, testing all the works to make sure it’s still shipshape.

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If you’ve tried all the basic tricks and it’s still hitting the fritz, wave the white flag and call in an expert. Sometimes there’s just no DIY solution for the stubborn clogs or broken parts. Don’t be a hero get the pros to diagnose and fix the real issue!

Preventative Measures

While you’re at it, you can explore some preventative measures around your home’s drainage too. Springing for a high water alarm can clue you in early if levels start rising. Ensuring your landscaping, gutters, and foundation are all directing water flow away from your house can cut down on the pump’s workload.

Water can seep through cracks in your foundation, even if your sump pump is working correctly. Inspect your basement walls and floors for any cracks and seal them up. This prevents water from entering and reduces the workload on your sump pump.


At the end of the day, your sump pump is like a bodyguard working 24/7 to protect your basement from becoming an indoor pool.
The occasional failure is bound to happen. But knowing the warning signs, staying on top of maintenance, and having a backup plan can go a long way in avoiding those middle-of-the-night flood freakouts.

So next time stormy weather rolls in, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got a solid game plan if you experience a sump pump failure. No more wading through ankle-deep waters, frantically trying to google solutions at 3 am.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Water Conservation