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How long should a sump pump run continuously?

A sump pump is a device that protects your home from rising waters that can seep into your basement from underground. Without a sump pump, you risk having a flooded basement which is one of a homeowner’s worst nightmares. A sump pump has a stipulated time for operation as it works to extract water beneath your basement. Whether it is your first time installing a sump pump or you have been using it for some time now, you need to ensure it is functioning correctly. In this article, we will be discussing how long a sump pump should run continuously and the signs of malfunction.

The length of time a sump pump should operate

A sump pump can run continuously for a period of 6 to 24 hours based on the amount of water it is pumping as well as the quality of the device. A sump pump that runs for more than 24 hours could indicate a sign of a malfunctioning float switch or a clogged sump pump discharge pipe. Another reason could be there is too much water underground so the sump pump will run continuously to keep up with the water level. The only time it stops is when the sensor detects a decrease in the water level from what is considered a threat or poses a potential risk.

Reasons why a sump pump is running endlessly

  • Heavy rain or snow
sump pump

Reasons for sump pump running

The ground becomes more saturated at a time when there is heavy rain and snow. This can cause water to seep into your home from underneath the basement. Once the sump pump detects the rise in water level, it will run continuously for several days or more until the water level goes back to normal.

  • Clogged drain line

A drain line that carries water away from your sump pump can get clogged for various reasons. When this happens, it will prevent water from the basement from draining properly, which causes your sump pump to run continuously. The reason for doing so is that the sensor detects the same water level and engages the pump endlessly to extract water from your home.

  • High groundwater levels

A sump pump may need to run more frequently than it is required to if you live in an area with high groundwater levels. In most cases, there is nothing much you can do about it as it works continuously to keep your basement dry. Until the ground around your home is clear of underground water that poses a threat to your basement, the device won’t stop running unless it breaks down.

  • Improper installation

A sump pump that isn’t installed properly may fail to operate efficiently. There is a higher chance that the components of the device lack coordination or were poorly installed and will continue to run endlessly until the issue is solved. Not only can this cause damage to the sump pump but it may also cause flooding in the basement if the device isn’t working correctly.

  • Faulty sump pump

If your sump pump runs continuously without any reason, it is important to consider its age or lifespan. An old or faulty sump pump may lack the efficiency of newer models because the parts wear over time and might need a replacement. An old sump pump may have a difficult time extracting water from your basement as quickly as before, causing it to run continuously.

How to maintain your sump pump

It is always a good idea to test your sump pump regularly to ensure it is working correctly. You can do this by pouring more water into the sump pit to see if the pump turns on once it reaches the critical level. It is also essential to check that the sump pump float switch is working correctly as it is the device that turns the system on and off. Other areas to inspect are the sump pump inlet screen, which prevents debris from blocking the pump and the discharge pipe that extracts water out of the house. Since sometimes you may not have the time to do everything yourself, you can consider having the sump pump system assessed and serviced by a professional to ensure it is working in good condition.

It is very important to ensure your sump pump is working correctly to prevent basement flooding, unnecessary expenses, and higher utility bills. The best way to ensure you don’t spend a lot of money on unexpected situations is to ensure your sump pump is properly serviced and well-maintained at all times. If you can’t figure out why your pump is running continuously, it is always a good idea to call in a professional.

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