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Why Is My Sump Pump Running Constantly?


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Harts Plumbers, Electricians, & HVAC Technicians

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When you install a sump pump, you expect it to keep your basement dry. Fortunately, these devices are known for being incredibly dependable — even during severe storms. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t experience the occasional problem. If your sump pump constantly runs despite there being no rain, it’s understandable that you’re concerned.

What causes a sump pump to run continuously? Believe it or not, there can be more than one reason for this issue. Some problems can be easily fixed, while others might require a more comprehensive solution. Let’s discuss the potential reasons why your sump pump is running constantly below.

High Water Table

If you want to know why your sump pump is running without rain, you might want to first consider the water table under your house. 

It’s possible that your sump pump was installed too close to the water table line. However, another possibility is that the water level has risen recently due to heavy rains. When the water table rises, your sump pump will have to constantly run in order to remove that excess underground water.

There are two potential solutions if you think this is why your sump pump is running constantly. You can relocate your sump pump pit to a part of your basement that’s higher above the water table, or you can install a second, supplementary pump to help with the excess water.

Faulty Float Switch

When discussing what causes a sump pump to run continuously, it’s important to highlight the possibility of regular wear and tear. The parts in your pump can break or malfunction over time, causing unexpected issues. One potential problem is a faulty float switch.

The float switch rises and falls with the water level inside the sump pump. When the water reaches a certain level, this switch will signal the pump to turn on and remove the water. Once the water has gone back down, the float switch has completed its job, and the pump turns off. 

You will most likely want to schedule a Seattle sump pump repair, but a full system replacement could be beneficial if your pump is getting old.

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Broken Check Valve

Your sump pump has many working parts — which means many parts can cause your pump to run constantly. Another that’s worth mentioning is the check valve. This valve has one main job: to keep water from flowing back into your pump once it has been removed.

If you have a faulty check valve, the water the pump is trying to expel will simply fall back down into it. Since no water can leave the pump, it will keep running and running without stopping. It’s a never-ending cycle.

Do you think a faulty check valve is why your sump pump is constantly running? You’ll either need to have a professional repair or replace this component.

Clogged Discharge Pipe

When your sump pump turns on, the water in the pit is sent to a discharge pipe. This discharge pipe will then ensure that the water is successfully removed. However, if sediment, dirt, or debris clogs this discharge line, the water has nowhere to go and will back up into the sump pit. As you can imagine, this problem can be what causes a sump pump to run continuously.

Poorly-Sized Sump Pump

Sump pump systems are available in different sizes. It’s crucial that you install a unit that can accommodate your home’s specific needs. If you don’t, installing an undersized system could be what causes a sump pump to run continuously.

A sump pump that’s too small for your home will have to run continuously to remove all the water flowing into the basement. This problem can also potentially lead to unwanted flooding — which is what you were trying to avoid in the first place.

How Long Can a Sump Pump Run Non-Stop?

Storms can be unpredictable. If torrential rains recently swept through the area, your sump pump will need to work hard in order to keep water from flooding your basement. High-quality sump pumps will be able to run up to 24 hours without needing to stop.

All sump pumps will need a break. If they don’t, they run the risk of experiencing excessive wear and tear. Now that you know why your sump pump is running constantly, you should promptly take the proper steps to remedy the issue. The very last thing you want is for your pump to burn out.

Avoid a Sump Pump Disaster With Harts Services

Sump pumps provide much-needed peace of mind during a storm. These devices can be the difference between a comfortable home and a flooded basement. If you’re still unsure why your sump pump is running constantly, don’t hesitate to contact Harts Services.

Our experts offer a broad range of plumbing services and perform every job with a high standard of excellence. If you need a sump pump repair in Seattle, WA, contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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Harts Plumbers, Electricians, & HVAC Technicians

We’re a local company proudly providing affordable sewer and pipe repairs, installations, and maintenance to help make our community a more comfortable place for all.


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