How to fix a sump pump that keeps running

Why is your sump pump constantly running?

A sump pump that keeps running can be a pain. It’s noisy, and it uses up a lot of energy. You might even worry that your basement is flooding… but don’t worry just yet! There are some common causes for this problem, and a fix for each one. Here’s everything you need to know about sump pumps that run constantly, what causes them to run constantly, and how to fix them.

how to fix a sump pump that keeps running

How to fix your sump pump that keeps running:

#1. Make sure the pump is plugged in

Before you begin to troubleshoot your sump pump, make sure it is plugged in. If the pump is plugged in but still won’t work, check the breaker. If the breaker is on and your sump pump still doesn’t work, you may need to replace it.

#2. Check the float switch

To fix the sump pump, you first need to determine if it is actually working. To do this, you can simply disconnect the wire that connects the float switch to the circuit breaker box. Once disconnected, check whether water continues to rise in your sump pit. If so, then it means that your pump is working properly and you should look for another problem with your float switch instead of replacing it entirely or purchasing a new one.

If no water flows out of the pit after disconnecting from power supply and checking for leaks at connections between pipes above ground level (as well as below ground level). Then your problem likely lies with a faulty component within either one or both pumps themselves. Consult our sump pump professionals if you need more help.

Not sure what you’re doing? Hire a sump pump professional to replace your broken pump

If you’re not confident in your ability to perform this DIY project, it’s best to hire a professional. A licensed and insured sump pump expert can help you determine the best sump pump for your home and set up the system correctly so that it will last. You’ll also want to make sure that the person who is doing the work is experienced in their field and has good reviews from previous customers.

#3. Check the pump impeller for obstruction

The impeller is a small, flat piece of plastic or metal that spins inside the pump. It’s responsible for pushing water upward through your pipes and into your sump basin. If it becomes obstructed, the water won’t be able to rise up as it should, and as a result, you’ll have an overflowing problem on your hands. How can you tell if this has happened?

As we’ve covered in previous sections of this guide, there are two things you can do: firstly, check your pump to see if there are any obstructions; secondly, make sure that nothing is blocking the flow of water into or out of your home by using some basic tools like a hose or bucket (or even just looking around).

#4. Check the voltage of your pump

If your sump pump is running but doesn’t seem to be working, there are a few things you can check. First, check the voltage of your pump. Most pumps are designed to run on 120 volts of power, which means that it will not work if the voltage drops below about 100 volts or rises above about 125 volts. If your sump pump is running but doesn’t appear to be pumping any water out of your basement, then it’s possible that the voltage from your electrical panel has dropped too low. To fix this problem:

  • Make sure all breakers in your house are turned off and unplugged (unless they’re connected to something else). If necessary, turn off breakers until only one remains on—this should be marked “main,” since it will provide power for most outlets in the house besides lights and appliances that operate independently of each other using their own individual circuits (like microwaves).
  • Check whether there’s any water leaking behind walls near where pipes enter houses’ basements; if so make sure no leaks are present before turning anything back on again!

#5. Make sure your check valve is working properly

Check valves are one-way valves that allow water to flow out of your sump pit, but not back in. If your check valve is broken, water will flow back into your pit and the pump may keep running. You can test your check valve by placing a bucket under it before turning on the power to see if water comes out of it when you turn on power for the pump.

#6. Make sure there’s no obstruction in your discharge line

You’ll want to check your discharge line for obstructions. If you find one, remove it and continue troubleshooting.

If there’s no obstruction, then you’ll have to check the pump impeller for an obstruction.

There are some common causes for a sump pump that keeps running, and some simple solutions to those problems

  • Make sure the pump is plugged in. The first thing you should do when your sump pump keeps running is to check that it’s actually getting power. If the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped, there’s a good chance that either:
  • The float switch isn’t working properly and needs to be replaced, or
  • There’s something wrong with the wire between the switch and pump (this may be caused by a rodent chewing on it).
  • Check your voltage. If all else fails, try testing the voltage coming out of your wall socket with a multimeter or digital voltmeter (many home improvement stores sell these devices for around $50). If you find that there’s less than 120 volts flowing through your wires, call an electrician immediately—you may have tripped something in your wiring system that could cause serious damage if not repaired.


If you’re lucky, one of the solutions above will have helped you solve your problem. If not, then it’s time to call in a professional. In particular, if your sump pump is old and showing signs of wear-and-tear, it could be time for an upgrade—and a newer model will improve efficiency as well as reducing the risk of more serious problems down the road. At that point, you may even want to consider hiring an expert who can thoroughly assess your current pump setup and replace any parts that are causing issues with new ones.

Keeping your sump pump functional is very important to keeping your basement safe from water damage.