When the system in your home starts to run continuously, it becomes one of the more frequent causes of a sump pump failure.

Continuous operation can cause a sump pump system to overheat and malfunction. This is particularly true if your sump pump is operating when the pit is dry because the water will help your system cool off while it is operating.

If the problem is addressed quickly, the majority of problems with continuously operating sump pump systems have straightforward causes and straightforward fixes.

Sump pumps typically operate intermittently, as required. However, occasionally they operate continuously, which raises electricity costs, causes them to age much more quickly than they should, and may even burn out the motor.

Why a Sump Pump Is Necessary

A sump pump’s job is to pump water out of a basement. Naturally, there isn’t water in the basement normally. Unless a flood occurs. Or, in some instances, a lot of rain combined with a poor slope that allows water to flow into your cellar.

The sump pump is there to remove the water in case of a flood or a severe downpour even if you don’t have a finished basement because items can still get damaged with water in the cellar or crawlspace.

However, the sump pump is normally off and shouldn’t be running unless there is a high level of water.

What a Sump Pump Usually Does

The majority of typical sump pumps are submersibles, installed in liners within sump pits with gravel bases dug into basement or crawl space corners.

Any water that may leak in is drained into the sump pit. However, if water is coming in too quickly and the pit can’t drain, water rises inside the liner and fills the pump to the point where the float valve on the pump is activated. When that occurs, the sump pump activates to force extra water into a discharge pipe that exits the home foundation and travels to an area outside. The discharge pipe is tilted upward because it is built below grade, which would ordinarily allow gravity to allow the water to flow back in. A check valve stops any water in the pipe from going back into the pit and potentially into your basement in order to avoid this.


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What Causes a Sump Pump to Cycle On and Off?

 Here are a few causes for a sump pump to continue operating:

  • The “on” position of the float switch becomes stuck.
  • The float switch becomes stuck to the side of the liner and is unable to function.
  • The check valve on the sump pump could be malfunctioning or broken. The water that the check valve typically empties into the outlet pipe washes back into the sump pit if it is broken, reactivating the float valve and the pump. Your sump pump will continue to operate as a result.
  • The size of your liner or sump pump is incorrect. If the pump is either tiny or too weak, it must run nonstop to remove water that accumulates in the liner. The pump has to run more frequently if the liner is too tiny since it fills up with water more rapidly.
  • The sump pit is filthy and overflowing with trash. The garbage is sucked up by the sump pump, which causes the mechanical components to get clogged and unclean and stop functioning correctly.
  • There may occasionally be a high water table or an underground spring that supplies the sump pit with water regularly.

Possible Solutions If Your Sump Pump Is Constantly Running

The float switch should be the first place you check if your sump pump won’t turn off. Take these actions:

  • Start the sump pump.
  • Make sure the float switch is not fastened to the liner.
  • Untangle it if it is pinned so that it can readily move with the water level.
  • It probably has to be changed if you discover that it is not tangled and can move freely. One can be bought online or at a hardware shop.
  • Remove the old switch by unplugging it. Put the new switch in its place.
  • To secure the new switch to the sump pump, use a plastic tie. It will be able to float up and down with the water level thanks to this.


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Well, if the sump pump is older than 7 to 10 years, you should probably replace it. Its usable life has likely come to an end, especially if you notice corrosion around the base.

If the sump pit is filled with a lot of debris, clear it out. Shut off the sump pump and do your best to remove any debris. If the sump pump isn’t turning on and off all the time, turn it back and see if that helps.

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