3 Reasons Why Your Sump Pump is Running Too Much
We all look forward to going outside and enjoying the warm, sunny spring weather. But inside your home, it’s your sump pump’s time to shine.
Whether you have a finished or unfinished basement in Massachusetts, it’s important to keep your sump pump running smoothly – especially now.
How does a sump pump work?
A sump pump is used to remove groundwater before it finds its way into the basement of your home. It is installed in a basin below the basement floor level. Gravity or a drain tile system will carry the water to this low point. Attached to the sump pump is a float that rises as the basin fills. Once the float reaches a certain level, it triggers the pump to push the water up through a discharge pipe and away from the home.
In the spring, we can have significant precipitation and it’s not hot enough for the water to evaporate quickly. If your lawn tends to get soggy, you can understand why your sump pump may be working extra hard this time of year.
However, one problem you should look out for is the sump pump rapid cycling, which means running continuously or more often than usual. Ignoring this issue can result in water damage and your sump pump breaking down.
What is rapid cycling?
There are many reasons why a sump pump is running too frequently. Here are the first three areas to resolve or rule out.
Problem with float switch – As we mentioned earlier, the sump pump is designed to kick on when the float reaches a certain level. This action is controlled by the float switch. But if this part has an issue like getting tangled in the electrical cord or blocked by the basin wall or other obstruction, then the pump cycle will get thrown off. In some cases, it may be possible to replace the float switch, but it may also be more cost-effective to replace the entire sump pump.
Faulty check valve – When water is pumped up through the drainpipe, it passes through a check valve. This valve only allows water to flow in one direction, which prevents any water from draining down the pipe and back into the sump pump basin. However, if this part wears out and isn’t working properly, the same water may be going up and down the pipe – resulting in a rapid pump cycle.
Clogged or damaged drain pipe – If the float switch and check valve are working properly, it’s time to look further down the pipe. The water is either discharged onto the ground (ideally six feet or more away from the foundation) or to the storm sewer system. If at any point the pipe is damaged or clogged, the water will eventually have nowhere to go. Since the basin will be full, the sump pump will likely rapid cycle.
Sump pump service and installation
Now is the time to make sure your sump pump is ready for a busy spring. For sump pump maintenance or installation in Lynn, MA and the surrounding areas, the name to call is Waldman Plumbing and Heating, Inc. Call us today at (781) 780-3184 to schedule a consultation.