5 Causes For The Continuous Running Of A Sump Pump – Detailed Guide

A sump pump plays a significant role in protecting your basement from flooding. Are you wondering what are the causes of the sump pump constantly running? The following guide contains the causes and solutions for the continuous running of the water pumping equipment.

Although it is an essential tool everyone should keep in their houses, it might keep running continuously, which can result in its wreckage. Continuous running of the equipment affects the lifespan of its motor, consumes more energy, and overheats, increasing the danger of burning down the equipment. Let’s find the causes and solutions to stop your pumping tool from continuously running.

Continuous Running Of A Sump Pump

5 Causes For The Continuous Running Of A Sump Pump

5 Causes For The Continuous Running Of A Sump Pump

1. Malfunctioning Float Switch

The most common problem resulting in the continuous running of a sump pump is the malfunctioning of a float switch. A float switch detects the flooding inside the machine. When the water in a pump reaches a high level, the float switch detects this rise and initiates the pumping process. After pumping out the water, the water level decreases, so the float switch turns off the pump.

A malfunctioning float switch can be one of the reasons behind the wreckage of the water pumping equipment. Although a float switch works fine, it might not stop the pumping process. As a result, the tool keeps running and gets overheated. In some cases, the motor of a pumping machine usually burns because of the rapid cycling of the equipment.

2. Faulty Check Valve

A check valve on the sump pump prevents the backflow of water in the machine after stopping the pumping process. Some sump pumps do not come with a check valve. Because of this, the water flows back into the tool after pumping. If your equipment has a check valve but is still cycling rapidly, there is a high chance that the check valve is damaged.

If the check valve on your tool is damaged, the water will flow back into the pump, and as a result, the equipment will keep running to pump that water out. In such a case, you should repair or replace it with a new check valve. If your tool does not have a check valve, I suggest you install it on your machine.

3. Clogged Discharge Pipe

The pump drains out the water through a passage called a discharge pipe. The discharge pipe is an essential part of the sump pump. Sometimes, the dirt and snow particles can clog this pipe. Because of this, the machine keeps running to pump the water out but fails to do so.

In case all the other parts of your tool are not malfunctioning, check your discharge pipe. If something has clogged the discharge pipe, the electric equipment fails to pump the water out of the basement. In such a case, open the blockage of this pipe with a metal wire but do not put highly reactive cleaning chemicals in your machine because they can break it.

4. Underground Leakage

In some cases, the discharge pipe leaks resulting in the rising water level in the pump. If the machine does not pump out water from the leaked passage, it will flow back into the machine. As a result, the equipment will keep running to pump the water out. Moreover, because of the continuous running, it can burn down its motor and will increase energy consumption. In case of leakage of the discharge pipe, repair the leakage by filling up the hole so that the water does not flow back.

5. Undersized Sump Pump

The small-sized tool takes more time to pump out the water through the discharge pipe and consumes more time and energy, so the sump pump constantly running for a long time. To solve this issue, buy large-sized water pumping equipment that performs tasks faster and consumes less energy.

Related Article: How Long Can A Sump Pump Run Continuously

3 Solutions To Stop The Rapid Cycling of Sump Pump

3 Solutions To Stop The Rapid Cycling of Sump Pump

1. Cleaning Of The Drainage Pipes

To prevent the rapid running of your tool, clean its drainage pipe. Cleaning the passage will remove any dirt and snow particles that can clog the drainage pipe. Therefore, the basement water will drain without the danger of backing up into the house.

2. Sanitizing Your Equipment

Cleaning and sanitizing your equipment will make it long-lasting and lessen the chances of malfunctioning. Moreover, proper care can make your tool more durable and increase the lifespan of its motor, float switch, and check valve.

3. Inspection

You can check the performance of various parts of your equipment with the help of inspection. To examine the performance of a check valve, inspect the flow of water in it. For the float switch, keep a check on the pumping process. You can detect clogging in the discharge pipe if the water flows

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do I Do If My Sump Pump keeps Running?

You should check the float switch, check valve, and the discharge pipe of your equipment. These are the causes for the continuous running of a water pumping machine.

Should I Be Concerned If My Sump Pump keeps Running?

Yes, because the constantly running equipment consumes more energy and can also result in the wreckage.

How Do You Unclog A Pumping Discharge Pipe?

You can either call a plumber or unclog it with the help of a metal string. After opening the blockage in the pipe, water will pump out of the basement effortlessly.

What Does A Sump Pump Float Switch Do?

A float switch detects the flooding inside the sump pump, and after the water reaches a certain level, it starts to pump the water out.


The above guide explains the five possible causes for the continuous running of your pumping equipment. These factors can damage your machine. Therefore, keep your sump pump clean, sanitized, and unclogged. If you take proper precautions, your tool will last longer without malfunctioning. The top three common causes for the rapid cycling of your machine are the following.

  • A malfunctioning float switch does not stop the pumping process.
  • A faulty check valve does not stop the backflow of water.
  • A clogged discharge pipe results in the backflow of water into the pump.

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