Spring in Vancouver, WA might as well be known as the rainy season, which means that your sump pump is probably working overtime to keep all the water away from your home. However, at the same time, if you haven’t had a plumbing service take a look at it in a while it may be time to think about scheduling its annual servicing. Like most pieces of machinery, a well-maintained sump pump works better than one that is not. In addition, believe it or not, you can actually have a sump pump that is working too hard which will cause it to die if not addressed.
While it may seem like your sump pump is running all of the time due to the rain, it really shouldn’t be.
Your sump pump should work when it is raining, but when the rain stops your sump pump should also stop. If your sump pump is still working when there is no water to move then you need to call for plumbing service right away. If left unaddressed the sump pump will eventually fail and you will have to pay to completely replace it. It is much better to pay for one plumbing service in Vancouver, VA than to pay for another sump pump.
Why Is It Bad If My Sump Pump Constantly Cycles?
It’s a great sign if your sump pump is effectively moving water away from your home foundation, but if it is working when there is no rain falling into the pit then something is off with your system. Your sump pump is designed to recognize when water is present in the pit, so if it is still running once the water stops something is malfunctioning. Constant cycling will eventually run out your motor which is why you should pay attention to its cycling pattern and seek out a plumbing service once you notice it never turns off.
Over time the constant cycling will result in your sump pump dying before its time. Sump pump installation is not a cheap process, so you want to do all you can to keep your current sump pump working as long as possible. If you suspect that your sump pump is continuously cycling there are three likely reasons. A qualified technician from a plumbing service will check out each area and fix the problem so you can go back to quiet lulls in its function.
Broken Check Valve
The first culprit is the check valve which is situated above the sump pump near the discharge pump. This one-way valve is responsible for ensuring that water does not come back up the piping and enter the pit. If the check valve is not creating a firm seal to prevent backflow then water could in theory be cycling up and down the discharge pipe over and over again. Every time the water enters the pit the sump pump will be triggered to turn on again until it is flushed out which could explain why the pump is cycling during dry weather.
The first thing a plumbing service tech will do is check to make sure that you have a check valve installed because on occasion a homeowner will attempt to install their own sump pump to cut corners and forget to even add this part. Even if the part was installed they do wear out over time. Sometimes simply replacing it is all that you need to do to get the sump pump back to regular function. To do this the tech will remove the ring clamp and replace the component with the properly sized check valve to make sure that it matches the discharge pipe.
Issues with the Float Switch
The float switch is the most likely reason why your sump pump is continuously running since its job is to tell the sump pump when to run. Named because of its function, the float switch is a small float that sits at the base of the pit. When the pit fills with water the pump switch naturally rises along with the water level. Once the arm rises past the set point the switch is triggered which will turn on the sump pump. In theory, the sump pump will then continue to run until the float falls back down with a decreasing water level
However, sometimes this doesn’t happen as the float can malfunction or get twisted or stuck in the wrong place. The plumbing service tech will look for the float switch to see if it is the problem. One common issue that occurs is the float switch arm gets tangled up in the electrical cord of the sump pump which tricks the machine into thinking there is a high water level.
Sometimes the float switch will be at the right level moving up and down, but the switch itself is faulty which is why your sump pump thinks there is water even when there is not. In this case, the plumbing service may suggest that you replace the part, but it can be hard to find an exact match. Depending on the cost of the float switch sometimes it makes more sense to just replace the sump pump. Of course, other factors come into play here too such as the age of your sump pump.
Clogged Discharge Pipe
Finally, if everything looks okay with the float switch and the check valve, the plumbing service technician will inspect the discharge pipe for a clog. Sediment can build up over time along the pipe causing a clog that traps water and creates a build-up. Clearing the clog should return your system to its natural state. If you suspect there may be a problem with your sump pump, give Pilot Plumbing a call and we will happily come out and inspect your Vancouver, WA sump pump.