Sump Pump Guide 101: Is Your Pump Clogged?

February 15, 2022

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An important question most homeowners ask is; is my sump pump clogged or damaged? In this article, you will be guided towards knowing when a sump pump gets clogged or you need a new sump pump installation.

Firstly, you need to know a sump pump—a device located in an open sump inside a hole. Water leaks through porous soil enclosing a foundation, and the sump pump detects and expels the liquid from the building using connecting pipes. It's always ready, and its action begins when the pump is filled with excess water. 

The water is seeped into a confined pond or dry well. This process protects your basement floor from groundwater. Homeowners get alert in many sump systems, which indicates a sump pump failing In its task. There are even smart pumps that work with your smartphone. Getting alerts from your phone, isn't that amazing?

According to HomeGuide, installing a sump pump for most homeowners ranges from $490 to $1,170. 

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How Do I Know If My Sump Pump Is Clogged?

Is my sump pump clogged? A frequent question asked by homeowners, When a sump pump is clogged, the outcome is usually sudden flooding or mechanical issues. Preventive maintenance is the right thing to do which incorporates periodic inspection on the drain chains. 

When a sump pump is clogged, debris or other objects will obstruct the progression of water in the sump pump if a sump is clogged, and also at the outlet hoes, there's a chance that your sump pump is clogged.

You will know if your sump pump is clogged when:

  • The sump pump is bombarded with waste.
  • The working part, which is the mechanical part, is blocked with filth.
  • The float switch has jammed or tangled with dirt.

How Do You Clear A Clogged Sump Pump?

Is my sump pump clogged? And how do I clear a clogged sump pump? It's now clear your sump pump is clogged because your basement water is not leaving the sump tank. How to make it work is now the issue. Firstly, Inspect both the outlet pipe and the inlet pipe of the sump pump. The sump pump won't work efficiently if either inlets or the outlet is clogged.  

A well-functioning sump pump role in home maintenance is essential. Therefore, when it gets clogged, you must detect its fault to not suffer from its consequences. 

Materials you'll need to unclog are:

  • Impervious gloves
  • You need a Headlamp
  • You need a Damp rag
  • You need Buckets
  • Tarp

Why Won't My Sump Pump Drain?

Homeowners need to know why their sump pump doesn't drain. If you have a basement in your home, there is a chance of you having a sump pump fault. 

Here are some reasons your sump pump isn't draining property:

  • Break in Power Supply  

Your sump pump is an electrical appliance, so it can't run when electricity fails. Power failure during thunderstorms or other situations disrupts sump pump functions and can spur a rise in water level, causing a flood in your home.

  • Clasped Or Jammed Float Switches

The main explanation for jammed float switches is floating elements knotted with debris in the hole. Constant entanglement of garbage between the pump and the basin walls will not enable a desired peak or fall. Luckily, the fault can be corrected but may be costly.

  • Life Expectancy Of The Sump Pump

Nothing lasts forever, likewise your sump pump. Even with adequate maintenance, it has a lifespan and cannot do more than a life span. Also, life expectancy differs from one sump pump to the other depending on the usage and maker. A sump pump can serve effectively for 10years and if you realize it's rusty and tired, replace it.

  • Clogged Draining Pipe

Pipes that discharge water out of your sump pit are clogged, resulting from a coalition of debris over time. There will be an overflow of water to your basement unless there's a backup discharge chain in place. 

  • Battered Discharge Chain

Your discharge chain might have been compromised or crushed. Be sure to check the lines because water cannot be drained properly if this happens. Big mature tree roots might extend towards where the pipe is buried. The root might burst the pipe if they cross their path.

sump pump replacement

How Do I Find Out Where My Sump Pump Is Draining?

Most sump pumps drain out far away from your foundation. Follow the outlet pipe, which comes vertically out of the hole, to know where it ends or drains. Please take a note mentally as you crawl to the point where it could be outside the basement.

Afterward, come outside to trace the noted spot and see where it ends. Get a plumber to check in situations where sump pumps drain directly to the city's sewer system.

According to Wikipedia, municipalities urge homeowners to reroute their sump pump to release far from sanitary sewers. It can overwhelm municipalities' sewage treatment systems. Fines are imposed, so contact a plumber if such is the case.

How Often Should You Clean Your Sump Pump?

Maintaining your sump pump bestows you the confidence to bank on its functionality, and during thunderstorms or heavy rain, you are sure your sump pump will Swift into action. 

It's okay to clean your sump pump once a year and should take place before winter comes. Carefully clean the device because it might not function as expected if you don't.

How Do You Clean A Sump?

Sump holes will smell depending on the liquid materials that enter your stump. So it would help if you were prepared by wearing a mask and keeping ventilation in your basement. 

after repairing the sump pump

In addition, going with a headlamp would enable you to see debris that you want to clear. Take note, avoid using chemicals inside the sump pit. Washing with water is enough to get the job done.

These are steps to clean the sump:

  1. Firstly, switch off the breaker.
  2. Remove the mesh at the end of the outlet pipe. Clean and remove any blockages.
  3. Wipe out water from the sump pump hole using a vacuum or small bowl.
  4. Raise the sump pump but don't pull up the float switch.
  5. To drain the pipe and lose the clamps that hold the pipe and the sump pump.
  6. Push out any blockage through the pipe using a metal hanger wire or plumber snake.
  7. Flush the pipe with a high-pressure cleaner to bathe its interior walls
  8. Use your headlamp to spot debris remnants. Repeat the last two efforts if needed.
  9. Fix the drainpipe to a sump pump. Lay back the sump pump into its cavity and switch on its power.
  10. Reconfirm whether the outer drainpipe releases water at least 10 feet off the foundation.

Does Homeowners Insurance Covers Sump Pump Failure?

Homeowners need to understand that the answer to this question varies, but standard policies don't cover sump pump disappointment that leads to house damages.

However, with Sump pump insurance, destructions prompted by congested sewage lines, faulty sump pumps and backup drains are covered.


The Homeowner's question is__is my sump pump clogged? Because they are aware that a sump pump secures the underground part of your home against the risk of water damage. 

Heavy rain and rinsing water from spring melted snow could lead to a flooded basement. A flooded basement also could cause structural damage, which adds to the cost of repairs. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of repairing is $511.

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