Constantly Running Sump Pump


Stuck Sump Pump Switch

Sometimes the “float switch” on the sump pump gets stuck in the “on” position, resulting in a constantly running sump pump. Vibration caused from a running sump pump can cause the sump pump to shift around in the sump pit and the float switch to press against the liner wall in the “on” position. Likewise, the float switch can get caught on something such as a wire, pipe, mud or debris and get stuck in the “on” position, resulting in a continuously running sump pump.


Sump Pump Check Valve is Missing or Inoperative

A check valve plays an important role in a sump pump system. A check valve is a one-way valve which allows water to flow only in one direction and prevents water from flowing back in the reverse direction.  

A proper sump pump installation includes a check valve that is installed in the discharge pipe of the sump pump. When the sump pump turns on, the water is pumped out through the check valve and up the discharge pipe. When the sump pump turns off, the water that is left in the discharge pipe will drain back down due to gravity. To prevent the water from draining back into the pit, the check valve plays its roll. The backflow forces the valve to close until the sump pump turns on again and reopens the valve for the desired direction.

If the check valve is inoperative, there is a maintenance or installation problem. One of our experienced service technicians can inspect the system and functionality of the check valve and provide a fix. If left unrepaired, the sump pump will continuously run, leading to more problems.

A missing check valve or an inoperative check valve will lead to water backflow into the sump pit and constantly running the sump pump. An easy and inexpensive fix like adding a functional check valve to your sump pump system can prevent potential damage to your sump pump and water backup to enter your home.


Sump Pump and/or Pit is the Wrong Size (too big or too small)

If the sump pump is too small to handle the amount of water entering the pump pit, the sump pump will be forced to run continuously. This can result in a premature pump failure.  A more powerful sump pump will be capable of controlling this amount of water and at the same time, help reduce noise and increase efficiency. However, upgrading your sump pump is considered an option when, in fact, the current sump pump is accurately installed as per manufacture’s manual and the sump pump is still continuously running. This assumes the correct sump pit size was installed.

If the sump pump is sufficient, but the sump pit is too small, it can cause the sump pump to “short-cycle”. This means that the sump pump will start and stop frequently because  it is discharging the water faster than the sump pit can fill. This can result in a premature pump failure. Ultimately, you want to avoid having a sump pump continuously running or run in short cycles.  


Continual Flooding in Sump Pit

Although in most cases a continuously running sump pump is due to one of the above situations, there are times that a sump pump will run continuously due to the continual flooding in the sump pit. A house that is built too close to the water table line, a sump pit installed too deep or a broken sewer pipe under your foundation are a few reasons continual flooding occurs in a sump pit.

At rare times, a house is built just above the water table line. In this situation, the risk for a flooded sump pit during heavy rainstorms and snow thaw is very high; thus, resulting in a continuously running sump pump. Alternatively, the house can be built in the right spot but the sump pit is not. If a sump pit is too large and too deep, the water table line may be too close to the bottom of the pit in which it can result in continual flooding during the heavy rainstorms. Any continuous water flow under your foundation from a broken sewer pipe or likewise that is too close to the floor level will lead to a continual flooding sump pit and as a result, the sump pump will run nonstop.

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