Skip to Main Content

Ohio Basement Systems is now Ohio Basement Authority.  Learn more here.

Sump pump close up

Have a Basement Sump Pump? Take Good Care of It

Schedule Free Inspection

The onset of spring and summer in Cleveland, OH, and surrounding areas means heavy downpours, which can cause flash floods. During such times, a sump pump comes in handy. By pumping out excess water from your basement, the sump pump prevents flooding and water damage while maintaining the strength of your home’s foundation. If you have a sump pump but haven’t given it much attention, now is the time to do so. Check the pump from time to time and even test it once in a while. You don’t want surprises when floods sweep across your neighborhood, do you?

In this post, we shall look at signs of sump pump failure and what you can do to keep your pump functional. We’ll finish off by looking at why you should take good care of your sump pump.

4 Signs of a Defective Sump Pump

A faulty sump pump will always show signs that something is wrong. Those signs should prompt you to perform repairs so it can operate smoothly. If your sump pump displays any of these signs, call your plumber or local basement waterproofing professionals immediately

The Pump Can Start Off but Cannot Eject Water

When you turn on the pump, you expect it to start removing water. If that doesn’t happen then it is an indication that the pump is defective. Water cannot get out if the inlet screen of the pump is clogged by dirt. Your local plumber or contractor can fix such a problem by detaching the pump and cleaning off mud and other dirt that’s clogging the inlet screen. This way, water starts flowing from the pump to the outside.

The Pump Can’t Actuate, Even When the Basin Is Full

Remember, the sump pump turns on when water gets to a certain level in the basin. Like most pumps, yours may require at least five gallons to start. When the basin is full, but the pump doesn’t come on, it’s a sign there’s a problem. The cause can be anything from a defective motor to a binding float or even loss of power.

The Basin Gets Refilled, And the Pump is Actuated Again

After shutting off the sump pump, a valve generally connected to the discharge line ensures that water doesn’t flow back into the basin. Whenever the valve is defective, water flows back to the basin, starting the pump again. This causes the pump to turn on and off continually until the valve is fixed.

Pump Keeps Running, Even When the Basin Is Empty

After emptying the basin, your pump should automatically shut off. If it keeps running, that is a sign that the float switch has a problem. Ask your technician to come and fix the defective float switch before it can damage the sump pump.

Handy Tips for Maintaining the Sump Pump

Just because the sump pump sees little action doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Here are a couple of things you can do to ensure it remains operational all year round:

  • Keep the sump pump upright. Vibrations can cause the sump pump to tilt or fall, and this can jam the arm. Keep the pump plugged into a ground circuit. The circuit cord and interrupters should be functional.
  • Ensure the ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) that protects your sump pump doesn’t trip.
  • Remove the submersible sump pump from the pit and clean up the pump’s bottom.
  • Ensure that the outlet pipes are joined and extend at least 20 feet away from your home’s perimeter.
  • Occasionally, put water in the sump pit and check if the pump starts. If water doesn’t activate the pump, there could be a problem.
  • Get a battery backup, as most storms instigate blackouts.
  • Keep the vent hole on the discharge line clear.
  • Make sure the sump basin is covered by a secure lid.

Why You Should Take Care of the Sump Pump

A functional sump pump prevents flooding and water damage, which is common in many flooded homes. Servicing your sump pump also prevents simple cleanups/repairs from turning into expansive replacements. By maintaining your pump, you also prevent wetness, a leading cause of basement mold. In the event of a flood, a sump pump can reduce the risk of your claim being rejected, as it proves you took the right steps to mitigate flooding risks. So, it really pays to install a basement sump pump and keep it in good shape.

Do you suspect your sump pump is defective? Not sure what ails it? Request a free sump pump inspection and repair quote in Cleveland, OH, and find out what’s wrong. We also encourage you to register for an annual maintenance plan.

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Ohio Basement Systems Service Map

Our Locations


1 Marion Ave, Suite 309
Mansfield, OH 44903
(567) 275-8588


7950 Bavaria Rd.
Twinsburg, OH 44087
(330) 235-1229


159 Crocker Park Blvd, 4th floor
Westlake, OH 44145
(330) 235-1229


35475 Vine St, Suite 216,
Willowick, OH 44095
(440) 332-4339


8531 Market St.
Youngstown, OH 44512
(330) 400-3783