Why is Your Sump Pump Not Working? 10 Reasons to Know

A sump pump is the most important member of our basement house, otherwise, we can’t remove water from it But what happens when it stops working? If your sump pump is not working correctly,  it may be trouble for you and can also reason of flood in the basement. But why isn’t your sump pump working? Have you ever tried to figure it out? Don’t worry In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most common reasons why your sump pump not functioning properly and how to fix the problem and run as quickly as possible before you deal with any water damage.

Power Outage

The sump pump is work on electricity, if your power goes out, your sump pump will not work. If you live in an area that has issues of power loss, so you should have a backup plan in place for your sump pump. Also, you can make an arrangement for other items, such as battery backup systems and water-powered backup systems. Battery backup systems help to keep the sump pump running for a certain amount of time after the electric power goes out. Water-powered backup systems use to measure the pressure of the water in your home’s plumbing to operate the sump pump. These systems can be used even if electrical power is not available. You can also make arrangements for a backup pump.

Clogged Discharge Pipe

A clogged discharge pipe can be another reason if your sump pump isn’t working properly because the discharge pipe carries water away from the sump pit and is usually located outside of the home. If it will clog then will stop the flow of water. To clear a clogged discharge pipe, you have to disconnect the pipe from the sump pump and then use a garden hose to flush out the pipe. If the hose doesn’t clear the blockage, you may need to use a plumber’s snake or a power washer to remove the obstruction.

Blocked Impeller

Blocked impellers can cause your sump pump to stop working, and can also lead to water flooding your basement. The impeller helps the sump pump to move water properly so if it’s blocked then the water will not move. This can cause the pump to overheat and burn out. To fix a clogged impeller, you will need to clean it out with a brush or other tool. Instead, you will need to call a professional to troubleshoot the issue.

Overloaded Circuit

Sump pumps need a sufficient amount of energy to run. If the circuit is overloaded, the sump pump will not be able to create enough energy to operate. The power supply to your sump pump should provide a continuous flow of power, otherwise, the pump will not drain the water.  You can check the circuit by unplugging all other electrical appliances connected to it and then you can restart the sump pump. Also, you should check the power cord of your sump pump. If the cord is damaged or brake, then it will not be able to transmit a sufficient amount of electricity to the pump.

No Weep Hole

If you don’t have a weep hole in your sump pump, water can build up and freeze, which will result in the failure of your pump. Weep holes are essential for proper sump pump operation, so if you don’t have one, be sure to get one as soon as possible. You can contact professionals to install a weep hole.

Switch Failed

Many times we heard from our regular plumber that if the sump pump is not working it doesn’t mean that it is just because of mechanical problems. If your sump pump stops working, it could be because the float switch is stuck. Due to continuing working, switching may be damaged or not working. You have to check the switch before looking into other causes. The switch can be failed because of dirt or water mineral build up around it, so you have to remove it to start your sump pump.

The lifespan of the Sump Pump

Assuming that you have a properly installed and maintained sump pump, it should last for around 10 years. However, if it isn’t maintained properly, it could only last for 3-5 years. If your sump pump is over 10 years old, it’s probably time to start shopping for a replacement. Because after a certain period of time, the sump pump will not work. 

Improper Installation

If your sump pump isn’t working, it might be due to improper installation. Improper installation can occur when the pump is not level, the wrong size pump is installed, or the discharge pipe is too small. If your pump isn’t level, it won’t be able to properly remove water from your basement. The best way to ensure that your pump is level is to install it on a solid concrete pad.

If you have a smaller sump pit, you’ll need a smaller pump. Conversely, if you have a larger sump pit, you’ll need a larger pump. The discharge pipe is responsible for carrying water away from your home once it’s been pumped out of the pit. If the pipe is too small, it can become clogged and cause your pump to fail. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate size of discharge pipe for your particular type of a sump pump.

Lack of Maintenance

As a homeowner and owner of your sump pump, you should always keep your sump pump maintained and in good condition. A properly maintained sump pump can help protect your home from flooding, and it can also save you money on repair costs of sump pump. If you don’t maintain your sump pump, it will eventually stop working. Well maintained sump pump will last for almost 10 years and save your electric bills during its working period. Sump pumps should be regularly inspected and cleaned to prevent build-up of debris and sediment inside them. Otherwise, the pump will overheat and break down.

Pump Motor Burned Out

If your sump pump has trying to run but the discharge pipe has been blocked by debris or sediments, then the possibility of the sump pump mote will burn out. Depending on the model of your sump pump, this may be a fairly easy process. However, if you have an older or more complex model, you may need to hire a professional to do the job. Either way, replacing a burned-out sump pump motor is not something that you can put off for very long. If your basement is prone to flooding, a new sump pump motor should be high on your list of priorities.


Sump pumps are essential for many homes to maintain water in the basement area, and when they’re not working properly it can cause big problems. Fortunately, there are several possible causes of a sump pump not working and most of them can be fixed relatively easily. Check the power source first, then make sure the float switch is functioning correctly. If those two things check out but your sump pump still isn’t pumping water effectively, you may need to replace some parts or even buy a whole new unit altogether—but hopefully with these tips in mind you won’t have to do that too often!

Joxan Williams
Home Maintenance Expert | joxanwilliams@gmail.com | Website

I'm a licensed home maintenance contractor with over a decade of experience, dedicated to preserving your home's value. My expertise includes roofing, gutter installation and repair, fencing, pool maintenance, deck and patio construction, plumbing, appliance repair, lawn care, painting, garage doors, windows, sump pumps, and steam heating systems.