When heavy rains fall your sump pump helps keep your basement from flooding and incurring water damage. Since your pump only turns on when it’s needed, it could be inactive for weeks at a time. But when it does turn on, be aware of these indicators that it needs maintenance.

It Makes Strange Sounds

Sump pumps shouldn’t make a lot of noise, so anything above a low hum when your sump pump is on means there is very likely a problem. One possibility is that the motor could have a failed bearing, or there could be a jammed impeller. Worn or damaged parts may be addressed with a simple fix, or require an entire unit replacement.

It Cycles On and Off Frequently

If your sump pump is frequently turning on and off it could mean that its basin is too small for the volume of water it’s processing. This can overwork the motor, and regularly stressing the motor could make it burn-out and cause you to have to replace your sump pump every few years. To avoid that, consider installing a larger sump pump basin. Opt for one that’s 20 to 30 gallons in size if yours is smaller.

It Runs for a Long Time 

A sump pump that runs for several minutes at a time means that it’s underpowered for the amount of water it handles, or for the distance it must pump the water. If either the water volume or distance exceeds the abilities of the sump pump it will constantly run. To avoid a future breakdown, think about upgrading your pump to a bigger model that has a higher GPH, or gallons of water per hour, which will augment its efficiency.

It Doesn’t Turn On When It Should 

During heavy rains your sump pump should be hard at work. It should also spring into action if you’ve got water accumulation from leaking pipes inside your home. Since a sump pump’s primary job is to remove water from your basement, if you discover water pooling on your basement floor the sump pump may not be turning on when it should.