What is the Most Common Reason for Sump Pump Failure?

Reason for Sump Pump Failure
Since sump pumps are machines, they can fail to function sometimes. What is the most common reason for sump pump failure? Well, one might think that it is due to a pump being old or perhaps poorly maintained. In reality, there are multiple reasons to sump pump failure and all of them are equally common.

In this article, we pull a list of different reasons why a sump pump may fail and what you can do to prevent or fix them.

Common Reasons for Sump Pump Failure

Here are some of the most common reasons why sump pumps can malfunction:

Poor Maintenance

People having poorly-maintained pieces of machinery is not news. With us being busy with our lives, it is hard to properly tend to every one of our belongings regularly. The same is true for sump pumps. Sometimes, people can be negligent resulting in sump pump failure.

Here are maintenance tips you can do regularly:
• Do a test run every couple of months. You want to make sure that everything is working properly in case of emergencies. Check the pump itself and then the discharge area.

• Clean the machine. For simple cleaning, you can simply wipe the machine with a cloth. For a more thorough one, you can use vinegar and some cleaning agents to completely remove any and all gunk, dirt, or residue. You can focus on the holes and vents to make sure any airflow and water flow are not restricted.

• Check for any loose or malfunctioning parts. If a part is loose or improperly installed, it may malfunction in the middle of use.

• Check for any noise. If there are any unusual noise, you may want to check it out since it may worsen over time.

Read more: How can I make my sump pump quieter?

Problems with the Model

The source of the problems can come from the product themselves. Sometimes, low-quality products can last for a short time, and thus will malfunction after a few uses. Obviously, the solution is to simply buy a high-quality sump pump in the first place. You can obtain a great sump pump model for a budget price and it will last a long time.

Learn more: How many years does a sump pump last?

Other times, it’s the particular product that has a defect and not the model itself. In which case, you should just contact customer service and replace the defective product with a new functioning one.

Power Outage

Sump pumps need power. Therefore, if there is no electricity, sump pumps will not function. This is why it is important to buy a model that has emergency power in it. In cases where the sump pump is needed but there is a power outage, the emergency power will kick in and the sump pump will still do its job.

Inappropriate Size

Size is actually important when it comes to choosing the best sump pump. If the sump pump is too big, it will require more power and effort to function. This, in turn, causes the burden of the materials used in the machine to increase. If the material burden is too much, the machine will wear down quickly and will not last long.

On the flip side, if the sump pump is too small, it will also affect its performance. A small sump pump may not discharge as much water as desired. Therefore, the best sump pumps to use are the ones with appropriate sizes. They should not be too big and not too small either.

Mechanical Problems

The most common mechanical problem in sump pumps has something to do with the float switch. If the float switch does not turn the machine on at the appropriate time, then it should be fixed.

First, you should try positioning the float switch differently. Perhaps it is only positioned inappropriately resulting in a malfunction. If you have tried doing so and it still does not work, you may want to contact a professional for repairs.

Not Installed Correctly

Make sure you properly follow the installation instructions that come with the product. Even if the product model is high-quality, if it is not installed properly, then the machine will obviously not work no matter what. If you are not familiar with machines, trying to ask for professional help is not something to be ashamed about. It will cost you money though.


What is the most common reason for sump pump failure? The answer seems to be negligence. If you are negligent in choosing the sump pump model, you may accidentally buy one that is low-quality and short-lasting. If you are negligent in installing and maintaining your sump pump, it may malfunction quickly despite the quality.

However, if the problem is not solvable from your side, you should not hesitate in asking for professional help. After all, you definitely want your sump pump to work.

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