What to Do When Your Sump Pump Fails - Shambaugh Cleaning & Water Restoration

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What to Do When Your Sump Pump Fails

What to Do When Your Sump Pump Fails
July 31, 2020

Rain can be a refreshing sight until it turns into a storm that affects your sump pump downstairs. Your sump pump is easy to forget about until it fails to operate.  Worry sets in quickly and your first goal is to get that pump up and running again so your furnishings and home structure don't experience lasting damage.

Ideally, your basement will have a back-up sump pump to cover for any failures in the main unit. But sometimes even the backup fails. A sump pump failure is a cause for concern, but you can take action to lessen the damage. 

Stay Safe

It will be tempting to run downstairs and check your basement, especially if you were out of the house during a storm and don’t know what to expect. Walking on a wet surface can put you at risk for electric shock. Always make sure electricity is shut off. Even if the power is already out from the storm, you don’t know when it might switch back on. 

Check the Pump Itself

First, check to see if the pump is mechanically sound. If you feel the pump vibrating, you know it’s at least getting power. Is the plug defective? Is the float switch stuck to the side of the pump? Here are some tips for adjusting a tethered float switch that is failing to activate the pump. 

Check Drain Pipes

If the pump seems to be getting power, and the float switch is properly adjusted, the problem may lie in the drainage. Inspect the drain pipes and remove any debris. The following instructions give a step-by-step plan for unclogging the sump pump outlet pipe or inlet.

One way to prevent future clogs is to install a sump pump lid, which will help slow down the build-up of dirt and debris. 

Call in the Experts

Even with your best efforts, you may still be faced with flood damage. That does not mean the end of your basement! Experienced professionals like Shambaugh Cleaning & Restoration specialize in cleaning up those overwhelming messes, helping you salvage your home and personal items. 


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