My Sump Pump Overflowed! What Now?

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Spring brings warmer weather and budding flowers, but it also brings snowmelt and heavy rain. Is your home ready to handle the excess moisture?

What to Do When Your Sump Pump Overflows

A sump pump is responsible for moving rain and groundwater from the foundation of your home to a storm drain or other designated area. If your sump pump fails, your basement could flood, which is why it’s important to inspect your sump pump to ensure everything is working properly.

But sometimes, no matter what steps you take, your sump pump can overflow anyway. If this happens, it’s important to act quickly to prevent flooding and water damage.

  1. Check the power. Your sump pump runs on electricity, so if you lose power in a storm or other extreme weather event, this could be the cause of your problems.
  2. Reset the pump. If you haven’t lost power, the first thing you should do is reset your sump pump. Do this by unplugging the pump and letting it rest for a few seconds before plugging it back in. The pump should work on its own after resetting.
  3. Check for clogs. If steps one and two aren’t causing the problem, unplug the pump and check the basin for debris.

One of these steps should get your sump pump up and running again. In the event that your pump fails entirely, contact a technician for professional advice and repairs.

Common Causes of Sump Pump Overflows

Sump pumps work through a lot of water to keep your home dry. Because of this, there are many possible issues:

  • Power outages are the most common cause of sump pump failures.
  • Built-up residue and debris can block the pump and prevent it from pumping water out of the basin.
  • Outdoor debris can block the drainage pipe, which prevents water from flowing freely.

How to Prevent Sump Pump Overflow

You should catch sump pump malfunctions as soon as possible because they can cause a sump pump overflow, flooding your basement. Regular maintenance checks are important to ensure that the sump pump is working properly and preventing overflows. Before attempting to fix any problems, unplug the sump pump. You can resolve the following common issues that lead to overflows by following the sump pump maintenance tips below:

  • Make sure the weep hole is clean - There is a weep hole between the check valve and the sump pump if your pump has one. Make sure that you use a toothpick or something similar to clean the weep hole and that it does not break off in the hole.
  • Check the check valve - As the check valve prevents pumped-out water from returning to the sump pump, it is an important feature. Occasionally, the check valve is not installed properly, which could cause a problem. A properly installed check valve will have an arrow pointing away from the sump pump.
  • Impellers should be cleaned - Water in the pump is filtered through the impeller, which acts as a filter. A clogged filter will cause the sump pump to stop running or make a strange noise. For your sump pump to run smoothly, be sure to check and clean this filter.
  • Check the basin for debris - Debris and objects may fall into the sump pump's basin and damage its float mechanism, which indicates when the pump should drain. The sump pump can be tested by filling the basin with water and seeing if it starts and drains. In addition, the float mechanism can malfunction on its own.

The plumbing pros at Pine State Services know how to get (and keep) your sump pump running smoothly. Contact our team for repairs or maintenance at (207) 747-1210 today!

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