Sump Pump Failure: Troubleshooting Tips

Why is my basement flooded?

Your Windham CT basement could be be flooded for a few different reasons. Your water heater may have burst, or you might have a clogged main drain. If there was a heavy Spring rain storm, your basement is probably flooded because your sump pump failed. You usually don’t know that it failed until you walk into shin-deep water. Many Windham CT homeowners have a sump pump due to the heavy spring thaws and rains we receive.

What is a sump pump?

This equipment sits in a basin, otherwise known as a “sump.” The sump pump sits inside the basin. Excess water is collected in the basin. Once the water level reaches a certain point, the sump pump will begin to run. It will work to pump the excess water up and out of your Windham CT home to a storm drain or dry well. It can prevent costly repairs due to water damage. A sump pump is a fairly simple piece of equipment and requires minimal maintenance. However, we all know that things aren’t made to last forever. A sump pump can fail for a few different reasons.

Common causes of sump pump failure

  • Age of the unit. The typical lifespan of a unit is 5-7 years. To get the most out of your sump pump, have it serviced each year and practice maintenance on it.
  • The float switch is stuck. Take a look at the diagram below and find the float switch. This is what senses the water level and ‘tells’ the pump to start running. Sometimes, it can get caught up in a piece of debris that accidentally fell into the basin.


  • Power outage. If your power went out, and you don’t have a whole-house standby generator, your sump pump may fail. A battery back-up sump pump should be considered if you live in a flood-prone area. This will protect your basement from flooding, even if the power goes out.
  • Wrong horsepower. Too much power and too little water…the pump will burn itself out. Too much water and too little power…the pump will burn itself out. It’s important to know the exact balance you need when purchasing a sump pump for your Eastern Connecticut home.
  • Improper installation. Plumbing and electrical knowledge is necessary to properly install a sump pump. You need to understand which kind of pump you need, as well as how all the systems work together, how to install the discharge line, and where the sump pump itself should be installed. A local professional plumber and electrician will be able to provide those things.

Your local Windham CT plumber

windham-ct-plumber-licensed-plumbing-repairsRapid Service has been providing sump pump installations to homeowners in Windham CT for almost 30 years. We have professional, licensed plumbers and electricians that provide the best solutions for your home. We take the time to answer your questions and learn about your family, so that we can provide you with the best options. Please join our Facebook and Google+ communities so we can continue to share helpful tips and coupons!