Urgent! Sump pump not working?

House Repair Talk

Help Support House Repair Talk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Flyover

Trying not to screw things up worse
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
2,159
Reaction score
2,301
Location
Oh Hah
We had a few days of rain/storms here and today I discovered water in my basement, both pooled up in a few areas and dampness along every little crack in the floor, and along some of the walls.

The sump pump has water right up to the top of the hole under the lid. I don't hear it working, but a light plugged into the same outlet is on so I know it's getting power. I'm guessing the pump has failed and is not removing water from underneath the foundation.

Any idea what's going on? Are my guesses on target? How do I troubleshoot/fix?
 
I reached in and found the float on my sump pump. I'm not sure where it's supposed to be, but it seems to ride on a thin vertical pole, and it's at the top of that pole.
 
I had one crap out last year and maybe it could have been fixed, but wasn’t willing to figure it out. Mine I had rigged to a tether float so I just went to tractor supply and bought a new pump connected the flex hose, plugged it in and tossed it in the hole. It was about 250 bucks and the old one is still sitting to see if I can make it go when I get time.
 
My issue is resolved. I just went and bought a new pump. A neighbor helped: we plopped it down the hole, reconnected it (had to dig a little to get it sitting right) and plugged it in, works like a charm. Yup, old one was definitely broken.
 
If one expects water intrusion on sump pump failure, it's best to have a a spare sump pump set up. Pump, float, ABS discharge pipe cut to correct length.
Then if you have a failure, just disconnect it at check valve and swap out the whole thing - 5 minutes.

They make sump pump level monitors, that will sound an alarm if the water level in the pit gets too high.
 
@Steve123, where would I put the spare pump? There doesn't seem to be enough room in there for two of them.

Or did you just mean sitting on the floor nearby?
 
If the pump is of critical need and is in an area where you may not be personally monitoring it the addition of a second pump could be a good thing. setting the turn on point higher would let the main pump do all the work. The second pump along with being backup could also turn on some kind of alert device, even perhaps a phone dialer to send you a message. Otherwise having a backup sitting on a shelf could be an option if you live in an area where getting one is hard. Likewise having a few furnace parts on hand isn’t a bad idea.
 
So far popping out to Home Depot and picking up a new one has proven easy enough.
 
You said you had to dig to get the new one in. If you have gravel and debris in the sump could be you sucked a stone into the impeller and jambed it. Check that before you toss it. If the old pump is still operable keep it as an emergency back up. If it didn't trip the breaker it probably doesn't have water in it. Also if your basement is finished I would get a high water alarm. They range from cheap little siren alarms that sound like a smoke alarm up to fancy things that will call a number or send a message if you're not home. The basement in my last house flooded 4 times while I lived there. It was fully finished and cost be a lot each time. Eventually the insurance company would not insure it any more. You might also consider replacing the check valve now if it's old. I've had those fail a couple times and cause flooding too. Once was at this house in the crawl. Less hassle than a basement but still a problem. In the crawl here the flapper broke free and would jamb in the pipe and restrict the flow to almost nothing. Happened on Easter Sunday a few years ago when I had a big dinner planned and a house full of people coming over.
They don't last forever. If you have a lot to loose in a basement I would replace the pump every 5 years or so just for the piece of mind. Worst flood we had at the old place was about 4-5" of water but that was a city backup problem. Still cost me a bundle. The other times it was just enough to soak up every piece of carpet a D the bottom of the furniture.
 
You said you had to dig to get the new one in. If you have gravel and debris in the sump could be you sucked a stone into the impeller and jambed it. Check that before you toss it. If the old pump is still operable keep it as an emergency back up. If it didn't trip the breaker it probably doesn't have water in it.
Great idea, @68bucks! Thanks!

My basement isn't finished, just a few rugs here and there, and only one of them got wet. I learned this time around that nothing too important is touching the floor where the water came through (got lucky!). A high water alarm is on my list but not urgent.

The check valve seemed to be working okay so I returned the new one I bought. Maybe I shoulda replaced it anyway...
 
@68bucks I visually inspected the old pump and couldn't see any pebbles or anything stuck in it. It's possible there is one in there but I'd have to disassemble it to really know. I think I'll leave it in my garage and maybe one day when I'm bored I'll hose it off and take it apart.
 
Back
Top