Why is My Sump Pump Not Working?


January 22, 2020

A common question that is often asked by our customers is “Why is my sump pump not working?” The sump pump unit is perhaps the most important part of the basement waterproofing system.

The sump pump ensures that water is pumped away from the sump to an area away from the property where the water can then be drained away from the foundation.

If the basement sump and pump stops working then this can be a real problem. There are several reasons why the waterproofing system may have stopped working.

Sump Pump Power Outage
Sump Pump System is Frozen or Clogged
Lack of Maintenance
Float Switch is Not Working
Corrosion of the Sump Pump
Blocked Impeller
The Valve Has Stopped Working

Sump Pump Power Outage

One of the reasons why the basement sump pump may not be working is that there could be an issue with power reaching the sump pump. The sump pump can lose power as a result of:

  • Extreme bad storm weather
  • A fuse can be blown in the circuit for where the sump pump has been plugged in
  • If you are using a low energy battery back up this can lose power
  • The plug socket was used for something else and the sump pump was not plugged back in.

One simple solution to this is contacting our team at the Basement Sump and Pump Company for a long-lasting battery backup sump pump system.

Sump Pump System is Frozen or Clogged

The perimeter drainage channel is a key part of the waterproofing system and when it is functioning correctly it will take the water from the perimeter of the basement and channel it to the sump and pump for safe removal from the basement. If the pipe on the sump pump unit has become blocked for whatever reason, the unit cannot pump any water from your property which could potentially lead to flooding.


Sump pumps can also stop working if the pipe becomes frozen. Also, if any debris in the pipework is too much for the sump pump system to handle, then this could potentially be another reason why it will not work properly.

Lack of Routine Maintenance

Like most things, it can be subject to wear and tear through constant use and could become defective over a long period of time if not maintained. The best solution to this is to have an annual sump pump service, this will make sure that everything is working properly with your waterproofing system and ensures optimum performance.


Our technicians are highly skilled pump engineers, and we can install and provide maintenance for different types of sump pump systems. The manufacturers we are currently working with are Zoeller Pumps, Delta Membranes and John Newtons.

Float Switch Not Working

The float switch functions based on the level of the water that is in the sump pump pit. When the water rises to a certain level then the sump pump will automatically switch on and start the process of pumping the water out of the basement.


When the water level in the sump pump pit drops to a certain level the float switch will turn off. If the water in the pit is full of debris such as paper, wet wipes and hair then the water may struggle to move freely and the float switch may not operate as it should.

Corrosion of the Sump Pump Unit

Even the most corrosion resistant sump pump unit will start to rust at some point in its lifetime and if this happens the float switch may once again struggle to function properly.

The best course of action is to contact a specialist who can either clean the sump pump or install replacement parts as necessary.

Blocked Impeller

The impeller is one of the main functions for how the sump pump system works properly and this can malfunction for several reasons. One main sign that there is an issue with the impeller will be strange noises coming from the sump pump.

The impeller can become clogged due to the build up of dirt or debris. This can be sorted by having the impeller cleaned or in severe cases even replaced.

The Valve Has Stopped Working

The valve stops the water that is pumped from flowing back into the sump pump pit. Clogging is the main issue for why the valve will have stopped working. Debris, tiny stones or mud can start to build if not regularly maintained.


The valve can also wear out after a long period of time so if this happens then this will need to be replaced to ensure that the sump pump system is working in order again.

What Do I Need To Do To Fix My Sump Pump System?

We have now outlined the reasons why the sump pump system may stop working, so what can you do? The main fix to sorting out the issue is to have regular maintenance of the sump pump system.

In a majority of cases, this means having an annual basement sump pump servicing. All issues discussed for the sump pump to stop working can be sorted by contacting our team at the Basement Sump and Pump Company.

Having regular maintenance carried out at your property is a small price to pay to know that your basement waterproofing system will be running smoothly during times of heavy periods of rainfall.

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