Most Common Reasons Your Sump Pump Is Running When It Isn’t Raining

The sump pump is a vital addition to any home in a flood zone. It kicks in as soon as water is detected and pumps the water out of the basement and away from the house. It’s reasonable to assume that the pump only comes to life when you’re experiencing heavy rain and the house is at risk of flooding.

However, it is possible for the sump pump to be running when it isn’t raining. While this can mean there is an issue with the pump, it can also simply be a sign that it is working normally.

Your Pump Isn’t Draining Properly

Your pump sits in a pit, ensuring all water that enters the house goes to the lowest point where the pump can remove it. As long as there is water in the pit the pump will come on. However, if you haven’t had any rain it’s worth looking at the pit.

You may find the pump is running but the water level isn’t going down. This likely means a problem with the pump. It will need to be serviced and perhaps replaced.

Clogged Drain Pipe

Another, similar issue, is when the drain pipe is clogged. The pump attempts to send water away from the house via a drain pipe. But, if the pipe is blocked the water can’t go anywhere. That means the pit will stay full and the pump will keep running.

Turn the pump off and find a good sewer camera for sale. You can slide the sewer camera through the drain pipe and locate any clog within it. The camera can help you figure out where the clog is and what it’s made of. This will help you clear it easily and allow the pump to do its job properly.

It’s important to check this early on as leaving the pump running but doing nothing can cause it to burn out.

High Ground Water

Sometimes the pump is running and there is nothing wrong with the pump. The groundwater can be rising for a variety of reasons. For example, the water table has naturally become higher thanks to excessive rain elsewhere or even thanks to snow melting.

In this instance, the groundwater level could be high enough to trigger your pump without there being any rain.

The float Switch Is Broken

Another common reason for the pump to come on during a sunny day is if the float switch is broken. This is the switch that lifts and activates the pump when water touches it. If it’s broken the pump may simply be running and doing nothing.

Unfortunately, as most sump pumps are designed to operate in water, this can have a detrimental effect on the pump. If left there is a good chance it will need to be replaced. That’s considerably more expensive than replacing the float switch.

In all situations, if you hear the sump pump running while the sun is out and there’s been no rain, start by checking the basement to ensure everything is working as it should be.


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