Since the main role of a sump pump is to trap the water and channel it into a suitable area, constantly having water in the sump pit can indicate a bigger issue. Not only can this be an issue with the sump pump itself, but it can create a problem in your home.
To be able to find a permanent, effective solution, it is necessary to detect the core issue first. Why is it that you have a sump pump full of water, and what can be done to prevent this problem in the long run? Keep on reading to find the best solutions.
How does water get into the sump pit?
In order to detect and understand a sump pump issue or malfunction, it is necessary to understand and fully grasp the idea of the sump pump. We already know what is its main role and what it should do, but how does a sump pump work?
A sump pump is usually a small pump, located in the lowest portion of the house or a building – either crawlspace or basement. Its primary role is to prevent any flooding that may happen as a consequence of heavy rainfall, or during storms.
The sump pump should only be activated once the water reaches a certain level in the sump pit that is considered dangerous for the house or the building.
If this happens, the sump pump will turn on automatically to protect the foundation of the house against water damage. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about turning on or managing the activity of your pump manually – as long there isn’t an issue.
In order to get the terms straight, it is important to point out that the term sump pit refers to the actual pit where the sump pump, which is the pump pumping the water out of the pit, is located.
Important parts of a sump pump include a check valve which determines the direction of the water flow and directs the water outside. Also, there is the sump pump discharge pipe through which the water is distributed outside of the sump pit.
The mechanism which controls the water flow and distributes it outside is motor-powered with electricity. However, there are also some manual pumps that can remove the excess moisture from your crawlspace or basement.
Even though the motor of the sump pump is powered with electricity, in case of a power outage, there are also backup batteries that you can use, especially in the event of big storms.
In case you have constant water flow into the sump pit, it is possible that the sump isn’t working properly, or there is another issue blocking it. Here are some of the possible problems and the best ways to fix them.
1. Float sensor issue
Most of the sump pumps include a float sensor, which will detect a dangerous water level and start working automatically. One of the potential reasons for standing water in a sump pit is a faulty float sensor.
In case the sensor isn’t working properly, the sump pump won’t get the necessary trigger, and you’re at risk of a water leak. You will first need to determine whether your sump pump comes with a float sensor or not.
In case your pump has a float sensor, what you can do if it doesn’t work is turn the pump on manually. This is particularly important in the event of big storms and heavy rain. Once the storm calms down, you should contact a professional to replace or repair the sensor.
2. Water table is too high
This factor depends on the positioning of your house. In case your house is located near a spring or another source of underground water, it is necessary to have a highly effective, quality sump pump.
Unfortunately, with a high-water table, you cannot change anything about the root issue – which is the positioning of your house. What you can do, on the other hand, is position the sump pit a bit higher so that it isn’t as close to the source of the water itself.
However, if this is not an option, you may want to purchase another sump pump to upgrade your system, especially if you live in a rainy area or an area that gets a lot of snow.
While this is a bigger investment and your electricity bill will be higher, the two-pump system will protect you against dangerous flooding and water damage that could ruin your basement or even the foundation of your house, causing even deeper issues.
However, keep in mind that, if a sump pump runs constantly, it is more prone to different issues and malfunctions, and it can even overheat, so you should definitely have a plan B, such as a manual water pump.
3. Faulty valve
The role of one of the most important components of a sump pump, the discharge pipe, is to dispose of the water inside the sump pit, leaving the foundation of your home dry and safe. However, if you notice constant water flow into the sump pit, the check valve may be broken.
If the problem isn’t in the discharge pipe itself, or the motor mechanism, the water will leave the pit and start running through the pipe. However, if the check valve isn’t functioning properly, it won’t direct the water outside, and it may return back to the sump pit.
A faulty check valve is one of the most common reasons behind water constantly running into the sump pump. In case this happens, the check valve will have to be replaced or repaired, and you can’t count on the pump working properly until you complete this step.
4. Underlying plumbing issues
Even if the sump pump and the entire sump pit mechanism are functioning perfectly, if there is a big underlying plumbing issue, such as a leaky drain line, the sump pump will not be able to work properly.
For instance, a major underground leak will fill up the sump pit, making it impossible for the sump pump to drain it completely. This may happen if one of the underground pipes break, or in the event of a big storm and heavy rainfall.
In this case, you should act quickly and contact a plumber as soon as possible. As for the water leak, try using a manual water pump to get rid of the excess water. Also, you should try to stop water leakage to protect the foundation of your home.
5. Faulty motor
As with any other mechanism, the most important element in a sump pit mechanism is the motor. In case it doesn’t work properly, the sump pump is too old, overworked, or overheats, the pump may stop working completely.
This is one of the biggest problems when it comes to a sump pump and probably one of the biggest investments when it comes to repairing your sump pump. It also requires professional assistance.
However, if the motor is too old or the defect is too big, the damage may be irreversible, and you may have to invest in a brand-new sump pump. Considering how important it is for your home, you shouldn’t think twice about investing in one.
6. Blocked discharge lines
The discharge lines, which are basically the pathways through which the water is expelled out of the sump pit, can sometimes be partially or completely clogged. In this case, the water won’t be able to leave the sump pit, returning back to your basement or crawlspace.
Blockages can often occur during winter months, when the water in the pipes freezes, stopping the water flow in the sump pit mechanism. In this case, it is necessary to use hot water to melt the ice blocking the discharge lines.
In case of other types of clogs, make sure to remove the material and leave the discharge lines clean. Also, it is necessary to check these lines on a monthly basis to prevent bigger clogs that could cause a water leak or damage to the discharge lines.
Can you stop the constant water flow into the sump pit?
Yes, in the majority of cases it is possible to repair your sump pit mechanism and prevent bigger issues in your basement or crawlspace. Whatever the issue may be, it is necessary to act quickly and find a solution before a bigger leak occurs.
Water damage is a serious issue, especially considering the fact that it could occur at the very foundation of your home. Having a highly efficient sump pump is particularly important in areas that get heavy rainfall and a lot of snow that melts and creates flooding.
If there is a faulty component, such as a faulty valve, float sensor, or discharge line, these can be repaired or replaced relatively easily. Also, discharge line blockages are usually easily dealt with, especially if they’re partial.
On the other hand, a high-water table, faulty motor, or an underlying plumbing issue are much bigger problems that may require a new sump pump or a bigger repair project in your home. Either way, professional assistance is required in these cases.