There is no denying the fact that sump pumps are the best thing that can happen to your house. Without a sump pump, your house wouldn’t keep standing for too long. Water accumulation underneath the basements can weaken the foundation of your house and within a day, the entire building will come crumbling down your head. But a sump pump comes with baggage of its own. In fact, one of the most common questions I get asked relating to a sump pump is: Why is sump pump running without water?
The answer to this short question is not as short because there are infinite reasons why that might be happening to your sump pump. Some of the reasons are good but some can have a deteriorating effect on your sump pump if not fixed on time. In any case, I have taken it upon myself to provide you with a detailed analysis of why it might happen. So, if you are interested to know more, then keep on reading to find out more.
Why Is Sump Pump Running Without Rain
1. Watertable In Your Area May Have Risen
One of the most common reasons why your sump pump may be running continuously even when there is no rainfall is the rise of the water table in your area. All that underground water may accumulate in your basement thus making the automatic sump pump keep running. However, another possible reason may be that one or several of your drainage pipes have broken down and thus, leaking into your basement. So, you must investigate the problem first before you settle on a solution.
2. Snow melting during Summers
People who live in hilly areas prone to snowfall usually complain about their sump pumps working overtime. It happens when during the day sunlight melts the snow on the mountains and the water seeps through the soil under your house. This flooding of water under your basement triggers your sump pump to start pumping the water away from your basement. So, if you live in an area prone to heavy snowfall then it is a good thing that your sump pump is pumping all the water out efficiently and continuously. Otherwise, you will have to face the consequences.
3. Faulty Sump Pump Switches
If none of the above two problems fit your situation then it is likely that there is a problem with your sump pump switch which may be triggering your sump pump to keep running continuously. And it can have the most devastating effect on your sump pump motor. And you must immediately get it fixed otherwise your motor may burn down. If that happens, you will have to spend hundreds of dollars to get it replaced. You can check your sump pump switches yourself. However, if you think you can not do it, then you may call in professional help.
Should you unplug your sump pump in the winter?
Why would you want to unplug your sump pump in a season that needs it the most? You must not do any such thing. Winter rainfalls can have a devastating effect on the foundations of your house if it is allowed to accumulate. A sump pump will help take away all that unnecessary water away from your house into a proper drainage system. So, never unplug your sump pump in any season especially if you live in an area with heavy snowfall or where the water table is high.
What is the average life expectancy of a sump pump?
Sump pump manufacturers guarantee a total life expectancy of their products up to a decade. However, in my personal experience, a sump pump can last for more than fifteen years if it is maintained regularly. You will have to take good care of your sump pump and call in professional help every few months to keep it running at its optimal. But that doesn’t eliminate the fact that sump pumps are extremely prone to wear and tear and if you are not careful, they will easily deteriorate to the worst. So, getting it properly maintained by a professional is a necessity.
How do you fix a sump pump that keeps running?
There are a number of ways you can fix your sump pump if it keeps running dry. First of all, unplug your sump pump and check out its switch. It is possible that it may have gotten stuck somewhere or might have gone faulty. If that is so, then you will have to replace it. However, if the problem still persists, then you can try cleaning up your sump pit or try to reposition your sump pump. If, after doing all that, the problem still persists, then you should call in professional help. Because it could be something more serious than you could have thought.
Summing it all up, it is safe to say that there may be many reasons why your sump pump is running without rain. However, you will have to locate the problem before you even think about a solution. In any case, a sump pump running without rain can mean a lot of things including, flooding of the basement due to melting snow, a leak in your drainage system, a high water table in your area, or heavy rainfall. However, you shouldn’t ignore it because most of the time, it happens due to a faulty sump pump switch which can permanently damage your sump pump.
Adam Wilson is the plumbing products Editor for Mechanics Gear, covering everything related to plumbing. He have 15 years of experience as a plumber and written about plumbing gear for over two years and plans to continue writing for a long while to come. Since he started sharing his plumbing knowledge on Mechanics Gear, he loves nothing more than relaxing in his home and and writing his plumbing experiences. Adam Wilson likes finding new plumbing products and dive into, from manuals, forums and different plumbing groups.