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Troubleshooting Common Sump Pump Problems

2 min read • January 10th, 2017

Heil Plumbing

If you own a home that’s vulnerable to flooding or excessive moisture in the basement or crawlspace, having a sump pump is crucial to prevent mold growth and damage to your property. A sump pump removes water from the lowest point in your home so that it can’t produce the negative effects associated with flooding. Unfortunately, these pumps can malfunction from time to time. However, you can deal with most problems quickly and effectively by knowing how to troubleshoot the most common issues.

Keep reading to learn about common sump pump issues!

Your Sump Pump Has No Power

Storms that cause flooding are often associated with widespread power outages, leaving your pump useless in an emergency situation. You can restore power to your unit by hooking it up to a backup generator or by placing a backup pump with battery power in the flooded area.

You can prevent this problem from happening altogether by installing a backup battery that automatically switches on when power is lost.

Your Float Switch Is Stuck or Your Pump is Clogged

Dirt and debris sometimes can easily flow into your sump pump system and clog up one of the pump components. The most common way for sump pumps to turn on is through a float switch. Sometimes these switches can get stuck, but it’s relatively easy to get them working again if you can determine what’s causing the switch to stick. Removing debris or making a few physical adjustments can solve the problem most of the time.

Your Pump Can’t Keep Up with Demand

If a storm or plumbing issue is causing your basement or crawlspace to flood really quickly, there’s a chance your pump won’t be able to keep up with all the water. Any home that’s vulnerable to flooding should have a pump that can remove at least 25 gallons of water per minute. If your pump isn’t capable of that kind of volume, or you need even more power than that, you’ll need to make an upgrade.

If your home is already flooding and you need more capacity, an emergency plumber may be able to help. Otherwise, you should make sure you have enough sump pump power ahead of time.

Your Discharge Pipe Is Frozen

Freezing temperatures are common during Maryland winters, and a frozen discharge pipe has the potential to cause permanent damage. You can prevent freezing from being a problem by making sure your pipe is completely drained. That means having a working check valve and placing the discharge pipe in a location where water doesn’t accumulate.

Freezing temperatures are often followed by melting snow and ice, so have an expert plumber replace or fix your frozen pipe as quickly as possible.

Sump Pump Repair in the Ellicott City and Columbia, MD Area

If you need a sump pump installation, replacement, or repair in the Ellicott City or Columbia, Maryland area, Heil Plumbing is ready to help. We’re proud to offer service throughout Howard County to help those who need reliable plumbing services.

Why Choose Heil

  • Years In Business
  • Customers Helped
  • Service

The Heil Difference

We’re dedicated to offering the highest quality residential and commercial plumbing services for every customer. Our plumbers are available to respond to your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our residential and commercial plumbers in Columbia and Ellicott City cover every need, from simple fixture repairs to complex drain and sewer problems.

While we are based in Jessup, Maryland, our plumbing contractors also service Catonsville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Odenton, Clarksville, Elkridge, Fulton, Laurel, and Severn.


Heil Plumbing Team

8177 Mission Rd Jessup, MD, 20794, United States

(410) 799-7727

Schedule Service


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