Sump Pump Repair 101

I wrote this sump pump repair page to help you if you’re having trouble with your sump pump. I’ll go over the best troubleshooting tips to help you diagnose your problem and do your own sump pump repair.

And you can check out my #1 sump pump recommendation: the Zoeller M53 Mighty Mate on Amazon. It has a 1/3 HP motor, makes little to no noise & has a cast iron casing. And with a max of 2,580 GPH it's a workhorse.

Check Amazon's price on the Zoeller M53 Mighty Mate.

Let’s get right to my sump pump repair troubleshooting tips……..

Sump Pump Repair and Troubleshooting Tips

Sump pump stopped working? One of the most common reasons a sump pump won’t work is because there’s a problem with the automatic switch. Your sump pump can slightly shift its position, inside the sump basin, as it pumps, and your float arm won’t have room to fall and rise. So your automatic switch won't turn on.

You can see my top universal float switch recommendation: the Flotec Universal Float Switch on Amazon.

The float arm can get stuck in the off (lower) position. And when the float arm is stuck, it won’t activate the automatic turn-on switch.  And water will collect in the pit but you'll see that your sump pump stopped working and you'll need sump pump repair. 

sump pump repair on the float switch

Fortunately, it’s easy for homeowners to take on sump pump float switch repair!  One of the most common sump pump repairs is float switch repair or replacement to keep your basement more waterproof.

First, disconnect your sump pump power cord before you do anything else. Your power cord must be unplugged before you do any type of sump pump repair.

Then remove your pump and take a good look at your float arm and automatic float switch. Make sure your float arm can move up and down, freely.  And you may have to readjust your floats or weights, before you put your sump pump back in.

I highly recommend this Flotec Float Switch on Amazon because it's a universal tethered design that fits almost all submersible pumps- and it can be used as a vertical switch too! I love the versatility and quality, and its easy for homeowners to install.

Check Amazons price on the Flotec Universal Float Switch. 

Manuals and Parts for the Flotec Universal Float Switch:

If you're like me, you like to check out manuals and parts list for any appliance in your home. And if you need to do sump pump repair on your Flotec Float Switch, you might want to view or download these manuals and parts lists:

Parts List - Flotec Universal Float Switch

Warranty for all Flotec Products

Installing a Flotec Sump Pump Manual - with Flotec Float Switch

Manufacturers Specs  - Flotec Universal Float Switch

If your float arm or float switch is damaged or broken, and your sump pump stopped working, the good news that the replacement cost for a sump pump float switch repair is very reasonable!

Video: Sump Plump Float Switch Repair 

I wanted to include this sump pump float switch repair video in case you wanted to see this sump pump repair being done.

And you can see my top recommended sump pump: the Zoeller M53 Mighty Mate on Amazon.

My Sump Pump Stopped Working?

Electrical problems can cause a sump pump to stop working................ so check the electricity and power cord first!

Ok, you’ve checked your float arm switch and float to see if you need to do sump pump float switch repair. And you can see that they’re both working just fine. And you’ve reconnected the power supply to your pump. Sump pump not working – still?

Now you want to take a look to see if your sump pump is really getting the electricity it needs to work. You’d be really surprised to know how many times a sump pump stopped working simply because the pump power cord is making poor contact with the power receptacle. And this is an easy sump pump repair to do yourself:

sump pump stopped working

Unplug your pump power cord and take a good, close look at the cord prongs. Are the prongs tight? Are the prongs corroded? If you feel looseness in the cord prongs, take my advice and just replace your power cord. Replacing your cord might be all you need to fix it when your sump pump stopped working.

I highly recommend this Coleman power cord on Amazon,  for sump pumps. Why? It's has a heavy layer of vinyl to resist the damaging moisture in basements and it's UL Listed. And it also has heavy-duty molded plugs and connectors to help make sure your sump pump has all the power it needs to keep your basement dry.

And you can check Amazon's price on the Coleman power cord.

Or do you see rust or corrosion on the prongs? Then clean up your prongs with abrasive paper or light gauge sandpaper, so you can re-establish a good electrical connection for your sump pump.

You may not need sump pump repair - just a good power cord.

Sump Pump Stopped Working During a Power Outage?

sump pump repair

And don’t forget, you’ll see that your sump pump stopped working if you have a power outage. A big storm, accident or wind can easily knock out your utility power. And since your sump pump won’t work, you’re vulnerable to damaging flooding in your basement. That’s why I always recommend having a sump pump battery backup.

If you have a black out, a battery backup sump pump will protect you until your utility power comes back on. With a battery backup, you'll never sit by helplessly while you watch your basement flood during your primary sump pump failure. And you’ll never come home to sitting water in your basement, which is my worst-case scenario.

I can strongly recommend the Basement Watchdog BWE Emergency Back-up Sump pump on Amazon.

When your primary sump pump fails, is overwhelmed, clogs or wears out, the Basement Watchdog BWE  automatically starts up to pump up to 1,000 gallons per hour (GPH) at 10 ft lift and 2,000 GPH at 0 feet lift! It stands watch over your basement to make sure it doesn’t become a swimming pool.

What I REALLY love about the Basement Watchdog is that it has a unique LED control panel that actually tells you what’s wrong with your primary sump pump – and what to do to fix it! Genius.

And you can check Amazon’s price on the Basement Watchdog.

Important manuals and parts for the Basement Watchdog

I wanted to include some handy manuals and installation videos for the Basement Watchdog:

View or download the BWE Manual

Warranty - Basement Watchdog

Video: Basement Watchdog Installation Video

And if you'd like to see this Basement Watchdog being installed, here's the manufacturers video for you:

I think every homeowner needs a battery backup for existing sump pump. I like to think of buying a sump pump backup system like buying extra flood insurance. It may cost you a few extra bucks, but you're getting important protection than can save you thousands of dollars when your primary sump pump stopped working.

If you thinking about adding a sump pump alarm to let you know that you need to check your sump pump or do sump pump repair, you can read more at my sump pump alarm page.

Links to Popular Repair Answers on this page:

Sump Pump Stopped Working

Sump Pump Failure During a Power Outage

Sump Pump Keeps Running & Won't Shut Off!

Is excessive water flow the reason my sump pump keeps running?

Will an undersized sump pump discharge hose keep my sump pump running constantly?

How long do sump pumps last?

What's a sump pump replacement cost?

Suddenly Your Sump Pump Stopped Working?

Was your sump pump working just fine? Then, suddenly, your sump pump stopped working? Then your sump pump overload or thermal protection switch might have been tripped.

Almost all newer sump pump motors have a thermal protection switch built in. The overload or thermal protection switch keeps the motor from becoming too hot – by shutting itself down – so the motor doesn’t burn up.

The most common reason for your motor becoming overheated, and your sump pump stopped working, is due to your outlet pipe or inlet becoming clogged.

For this basic sump pump repair, you’ll want to unplug your pump first. Remove your pump and let it cool for 15-30 minutes.

While your pump is cooling, make sure the outlet pipe (discharge pipe) and sump pump inlet isn’t clogged! Unclogging the outlet pipe and inlet is an easy sump pump repair to do yourself.

sump pump repair

Your discharge pipe can easily get closed by dirt, stones, twigs, leaves, etc. And any clogs will you’re your sump pump stopped working. Remove anything that’s plugging up your discharge pipe outlet.

Then inspect your sump pump inlet. Really, a flashlight makes it easy to check it out. Remove any debris that’s blocking the inlet. And here’s my tip: take your flashlight and look at the walls of your sump basin. If you see any dirt, mud, etc stuck to the walls of the sump basin, clean it out now.

Now put your sump pump back into position and plug it back in. If your sump pump is working again, your sump pump repair is probably done – but just keep an eye on it for the next hour.

Ok, you’ve established that your float arm and switch are working properly and you have a good electrical connection for you sump pump. And you’ve checked to see that your inlet and discharge pipe are clear. Sump pump not working - still?

Then you need to check out your circuit breakers. Look at your breaker box and check to see if your breaker needs to be reset. Or if you need to replace the fuse. A blown fuse is a common reason for a sump pump not working.

And don’t forget to test your receptacle with a light bulb. If you’re not getting juice from a defective or faulty circuit, or receptacle, you’ll need to call in an electrician for this sump pump repair. Yes, if you have bad electrical lines or bad circuits, this is a sump pump repair situation for a professional electrician.

Sump Pump Keeps Running – Troubleshooting Tips

It could be your sump pump impeller if your sump pump keeps running ......

Sump pump keeps running? Does it run continuously, even when your sump water is evacuated, without turning itself off?  Here are a few things you need to check:

Your pump impeller might be loose on its shaft and its the reason why your sump pump keeps running. You’ll want to disconnect your sump pump power, first. Then take your pump out of the basin and check out the impeller. Is the sump pump impeller free to move? Does the shaft rotate? Then you’ll want to tighten the fasteners and replace the key.

If you have a clogged or damaged impeller, it can keep your sump pump running continuously. If your impeller is clogged just remove the screen and clear any blockages. A quick fix. But, unfortunately, if your impeller is damaged, you’ll have to take your sump pump to an authorized service center.

Hear a loud sump pump noise? It's probably your sump pump impeller.....

If your sump pump is running, but it makes a a strange & loud noise, you're probably wondering what sump pump repair you should do to cut the noise.......

Well, if you hear a continuous, strange noise while the pump is running, I'll bet you a 6 pack that you've got a jammed sump pump impeller. Yep, a jammed impeller lets out a weird noise while your sump pump is working.

You'll just need to clean out the sump pump impeller to get rid of any grit or debris that's causing the jam - just make sure your sump pump is unplugged first. That's an easy sump pump repair to make.

Sump Pump Keeps Running – Check Excessive Water Flow

Does your sump pump keep running - and won't shut off?

And, yes, if you have too much water flow for your pump to handle, your sump pump will keep running on and on. It will be overwhelmed by demand and it won’t shut off. You may not need sump pump repair – but sump pump replacement.

Take a look at your sump pump and observe the water level and how fast the water rushes in. If your sump pump keeps running – and the water level doesn’t decrease – you don’t have enough horsepower in your sump pump to handle the demand. Quite simply, you have an improperly sized pump and you need a larger pump -asap -  to avoid flooding.

And you can see my top recommended 1/2 horse power submersible sump pump: the Wayne CDU800 sump pump on Amazon.

Sump Pump Running Constantly? Check for an Undersized Sump Pump Discharge Hose

sump pump running constantly

If your sump pumps running constantly, you need to check to see if you have an undersized sump pump discharge hose.

If your sump pump discharge hose is too small, it will force your pump to run longer each time it kicks on. And trust me, that will cut down the life of your pump. Making sure your have the right sized discharge hose is an important sump pump repair to do.

You should check to see if your discharge hose is 1 ¼” or 1 ½” in diameter. These are the two correct sizes.  If you current hose is smaller than 1 ¼”, you’ll need to move up to a larger size and this is an easy sump pump repair to do.

You can get inexpensive PVC or ABS tubing at your local hardware or home improvement store. And it’s inexpensive too. Once you get the proper size hose installed, it will keep your sump from running constantly and you'll be glad you did this sump pump repair.

How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?

I’m often asked how long do sump pumps last? Well, it depends on the style of your sump pump – and how often/long they usually run.

If you’ve got an older style pedestal pump, you can expect it to last about 20-25 years, with average rainfall, snowfall and water table level. That's a long time for a sump pump to last!

Yes, pedestal sump pump are very loud, but they do have a long work life – as long as they’re properly installed and maintained.

I can recommend the Flotec FPPM3600D 1/3 HP Pedestal Sump Pump on Amazon.

This pedestal style sump pump will pump up to 3,480 gallons per hour (GPH), is designed with a non-clogging impeller and has a top screen inlet with 1.25” discharge. The Flotec FPPM3600D has both thermoplastic and cast iron construction with an 6 foot, 3 prong cord/plug.

And you can check Amazon’s price on the Flotec FPPM3600D Pedestal Sump Pump.

Do you have a submersible sump pump and wondering how long do sump pumps last? A submersible pump will generally last 5-10 years, with 7 years being the average, as long as it got good sump pump repair, maintenance and installation.

These are good working averages to keep in mind when you're wondering "how long do sump pumps last?"

What’s a sump pump replacement cost?

"What is my sump pump replacement cost?" is a very common question from my readers!

sump pump replacement cost

Wondering what’s a sump pump replacement cost? Well, Angies List, their members report spending an average of $780.53 on sump pump replacement. That includes the cost of the replacement pump plus professional installation.

And if you’re like me, and like doing DIY projects, you can get a sump pump replacement, install it yourself, and save on the professional installation costs. That’s assuming that your sump pump pit, basin and drains are already in place and working properly.

The average sump pump replacement cost, for the pump alone, will typically run you about $100 to $325, depending on the horsepower you need.

I highly recommend the Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump with 1/3HP, on Amazon, as the best submersible sump pump value for homeowners.  

Here’s why: the 1/3HP motor size is the right power size for the average sized home & it makes little to no noise when it’s running. And this Zoeller M53 sump pump has a high quality cast iron switch case, motor and pump housing. 

The Zoeller M53 will pump a maximum of 2,580 gallons per hour. It’s a workhorse!

Check Amazon’s price on the Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate.

If you're handy, or you have a friend to help, the less expensive sump pump replacement cost of doing it yourself, is much more attractive than hiring a pro.

If you'd like more tips on how to install a new sump pump, check out this great How to Install a Sump Pump article on Wikipedia.

What's a sump pump float switch?

A sump pump float switch is a key part of your sump pump. And homeowners know that damaged float switch is a common sump pump repair issue to tackle.

sump pump float switch

If a float switch is damaged, or stuck, your sump pump may not turn on when you really need it. Or it can become stuck in the on position - and burn your sump pump out. Either scenario leaves you vulnerable to flooding - and the expense of cleaning it up.

Float switches are designed to rise when the water level in your sump pit gets higher and it turns on your pump motor. When the water level in your sump basin lowers the float switch will turn your pump motor off again.

There are several types of float switches: a tethered float switch, a vertical float switch and there are also electronic float switches.

And you can see my top universal float switch that can be used as a tethered or a vertical switch on most pump brands: the Flotec Universal Float Switch on Amazon.

Click here if you'd like to read more details on my sump pump float switch page.

Sump Pump Repair Resources:

If you need to tackle sump pump repair, I wanted to list some handy links to sump pump repair tips and manuals by the major manufacturers:

Zoeller Sump Pump Repair and Service FAQ's

Zoller Sump Pump Service Locator

Flotec Sump Pump Troubleshooting and Repair Guide

Liberty Sump Pump Repair and Service Guide

Popular Articles on this Page:

Sump Pump Impeller Repair

Sump Pump Repair for Float Switch

Sump Pump Repair Resources

Troubleshooting tips for Sump Pump Repair

Sump Pump Impeller Noise

Sump Pump Keeps Running

What's a Sump Pump Float Switch

Sump Pump Float Switch Repair

Sooner or later, many homeowners are eventually faced with sump pump float switch repair. Float switch problems are a fairly common reason for sump pump repair.

I want to say, right upfront, that sump pump float switch repair is not the easiest sump pump repair to undertake. If you're not really mechanical or handy, I truly recommend that you call in a plumber to do this type of sump pump repair.

But, if you think you're ready to DIY, here are my sump pump float switch repair tips:

Get together some waterproof glue, a screwdriver, some concrete sealing and a new replacement sump pump switch.

sump pump float switch repair

Carefully disconnect the power to your pump and remove your sump pump from the sump pit. At this point, it's helpful to re-read your owners manual to find out where the float switch is located on your sump pump.

Then remove the float switch from your pump and open the switch housing. Take your screwdriver and unscrew the connections. Then, at this point in your sump pump repair, you should be able to see the electric switch itself.

Remove the old, broken switch. Then, using your waterproof glue, install your new switch. Follow the manufacturers instructions on allowing the glue to dry - before you put the float switch together & re-install it in your pump.

And double-check to make sure the sump pump is sealed!

Then you'll want to reinstall your sump pump & test.

Then you'll be sure that your sump pump repair of your float switch was successful.

I hope I've been able to help you with my sump pump repair advice.