Your sump pump is vital to your plumbing system, especially in areas prone to flooding or excess moisture. It works tirelessly, especially during the rainy spring months in Cincinnati, to keep basements dry and prevent water damage.  

However, like any mechanical device, sump pumps can encounter issues from time to time. Before reaching for the phone to call a plumber, it’s worth taking a moment to troubleshoot the problem yourself. 

Here’s a handy guide to help you troubleshoot your broken sump pump before calling for repair.

Check the power supply
The first step in troubleshooting your sump pump is to ensure it receives power. Check if the pump is plugged in correctly and the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Sometimes, a simple power interruption can cause the pump to stop working.

Inspect the float switch
The float switch activates the sump pump when the water level rises. Make sure the float switch moves freely and isn’t obstructed by debris. If the float switch is stuck in the “off” position, it won’t trigger the pump to turn on.

Ask Allied Reddi-Rooter: Why is my toilet always running?

Clear debris
Over time, debris such as dirt, gravel, or small stones can accumulate in the sump pit and obstruct the pump’s intake. Check the pit for any debris and remove it carefully. Ensure the pump’s intake screen is clean and free from blockages.

Test the check valve
The check valve prevents water from flowing back into the sump pit once the pump has been activated. Test the check valve to ensure it’s functioning correctly. You can do this by pouring water into the pit and observing if it flows back or if the valve holds it in place.

Inspect the discharge pipe
Check the discharge pipe connected to the sump pump for clogs or obstructions. Sometimes, debris can accumulate in the pipe, preventing proper water flow. Use a plumber’s snake or a garden hose to clear any blockages.

Check the float switch
Manually lift the float switch to simulate a high water level and observe if the pump turns on. Listen for unusual noises or vibrations, which could indicate a problem with the pump motor or impeller. The pump may require professional repair if it doesn’t activate or exhibits abnormal behavior.

Do I really need a master plumber?

Consult your user manual
If you’re unsure about any aspect of your sump pump’s operation or troubleshooting steps, refer to the manufacturer’s user manual. It contains valuable information on maintenance procedures, troubleshooting tips, and safety precautions.

If you have persistent problems with your sump pump or are unsure about performing any repairs yourself, don’t hesitate to call the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter. Timely maintenance and repairs are essential for ensuring your sump pump continues to protect your home from water damage. We’re here to help.

Your home’s sump pump plays an important role in keeping your basement dry. And here in Cincinnati, where hills abound, it’s especially important that your sump pump stays working the way it should. Otherwise, rainwater is apt to pool in the basement. That, in turn, can compromise many areas of your home. 

When your sump pump works properly, it removes water from the basement by moving it through the sump pit before pushing it out from the property through pipes. Should the sump pump become too dirty or clogged, however, it’s apt not to work effectively and leave water to pool on the floor.  

This is why it’s important to clean your sump pump annually. But you don’t need to hire a professional to do it. Just follow these easy steps to do it yourself. Pro tip: Choose a sunny, dry day for this task. You’ll need to keep the sump pump working on rainy days! 

What you’ll need: 

Steps to cleaning a sump pump

Step #1: Choose an area outdoors near the hose, where you can clean the sump pump. This is a messy job so it’s best to do it outside. 

Step #2: Unplug the sump pump. This is a very important step. Attempting to clean the pump while it is still connected to the power source can be dangerous. 

Step #3. Use a tarp or large sheet of plastic to wrap the bottom of the sump pump. 

Step #4: Spray all sides of the sump pump. Loosen any residue with the hose. Then, use the sponge or a rag to wipe off any remaining residue. Afterwards, dry the pump with a towel. 

Step #5: Drain the check valve, catching any water in the bucket. 

Step #6: Dry the sump pump with a towel. You can also use a shop vac to remove any remaining water from the sump pit. 

Step #7: Remove the tarp or plastic sheet. Then, reconnect the sump pump and turn the power back on. 

It should take less than an hour to clean your sump pump, but once you’re finished, you can sit back and relax, knowing that you just helped your basement stay dry after those heavy Cincinnati downpours. 

Need more plumbing advice? You’ll find more helpful tips on our blog or call or contact the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. We’re here to help you with your sump pump needs, and more.