3-Step Guide To Troubleshooting Your Sump Pump After Your Basement Floods

If you have a sump pump in your basement, you may have found out that your basement still flooded after a heavy downpour. If so, use the following three-step guide for troubleshooting the problem with the pump, as well as performing simple solutions to possible causes.

Step 1:  Make Sure The Pump's Motor Is Running

The first step is to make sure the pump's motor is running properly. If it does not work at all or is cutting off prematurely, it will not have the power to drain all of the water out of your basement.

After checking to see if the pump is plugged in and the breaker has not been flipped, lift the float switch completely up. This should trigger the motor to turn on. Listen carefully for the sounds of the motor. It should be a constant whirring noise, along with the sound of running water as it pumps the liquid through the system.

If you hear loud grating noises, the gears may be worn down. If this is the case, turn off the sump pump and call a professional in to look at it. The motor may need to be replaced. 

If you do not hear any sounds coming from the motor, or if you hear only a low-pitch buzzing noise, this could also indicate that the motor is broken and will need to be fixed.

However, if the motor is working properly and is pumping water, go on to the next step.

Step 2:  Check The Position Of The Float Switch

After ruling out the motor as the problem, the next step is checking the position of the float switch. If it is not laying on the water properly, it may not be triggering the pump to start working.

Unplug the sump pump, then let go of the float switch to see where it lands. If the water is over the pump's level, the motor should kick on and start pumping it out. However, if the float is submerged and pointing down toward the floor, there may not be enough cable to allow it to move freely.

Look for the bracket closest to the float. Unloosen the screws slightly, and carefully pull the float to bring more of the cable through the bracket. Stop when you see that the float is bobbing freely in the water. Tighten the screws, and plug the sump pump back on.

If the pump kicks on and is pumping water, the float was likely the cause. However, if the pump is running but no water is going through the system, go on to the next step.

Step 3:  Inspect The Drain For Signs Of Blockage

This next step involves checking the drainage well around the sump pump to make sure there is no dirt or debris blocking it. For this step, wear a pair of long-sleeved gloves to keep from cutting yourself in the murky water, which could lead to infection.

Turn off the pump, then feel around the bottom of the pump's pipe to see if you feel any clods of mud or leaves. Pull out any that you find. If you have a French drain under the pump's mechanism, you may also need to unblock the pipe.

After removing any blockages around the pump, turn the pump on. If you notice the water is pumping through, this was the likely culprit. However, if you still do not hear any water pumping, this could be a sign of something more serious that will need a professional's attention.

After going through the above guide, you may find that your pump is still not operating correctly. If so, you may want to contact a contractor to examine the pump and discuss your options with you, from repairing the pump to installing a new one. For more information, you can also visit sites like http://www.rite-waywaterproofing.com