Sump Pump Won’t Shut Off: How Do I Fix It Like a Pro?

So, you have a pump and it does a great work by draining the pit within a short period. Then, boom! The sump pump won’t shut off. It continues running even after draining the sump basin.

As you know, when the sump pump fails to shut off, it will overheat and produce some smoke. This is the primary reason as to why you should inspect the sump pump regularly just like you do to the water heater system. Otherwise, don’t wait until you see signs your water heater is going to explode or when the sump pump stops working!

Again, sometimes the overheating can damage the pump shortening its lifespan. Also, you can expect to spend more on electric bills and repair services. Before you think of replacing your sump pump, here are some ways of fixing the issues:

1. Sump Pump Won’t Shut Off: Fix the Float Switch Issues

A sump pump float switch uses a mechanical operation to turn on and off. When the water fills the sump basin, it tilts the float switch upwards and turns on the pump. The pump starts draining water out. When the basin runs empty, it tilts the float switch downward hence turning the sump pump off.

At a time, the float switch may get pinned or tangled on the pump’s liner edges. This aspect makes the switch to get stuck on the ‘on’ position, meaning that the sump pump won’t shut off. Also, the switch may break off.

To fix any of these float switch issues, you need to open your sump pump. If a tangled or pinned switch is the issue, untangle it from the liner edges. If this is not the case, you need to check whether the switch is rising and falling with changes in the water levels.

When there seems to be no issue on the up and down movements, probably, your pump has a broken float switch. So, consider replacing it.

2. Sump Pump Won’t Shut Off: Check Valves

Sometimes, your float switch may not be the reason why your sump pump is not shutting off. The problem may be due to some defects on the check valve. A defective valve may fail in its work. That is, refraining backward movements of the water. When this happens, the water runs back to the sump basin, meaning your pump will never stop as no draining is taking place.

So, after confirming that your float switch has no issue, you need to check whether there are some defects on the valve. All you need is to remove it and clean the materials clogging it. Alternatively, you can consult a qualified plumber to do the job for you.

3. Fixing Discharge Pipe Leakages

Now, you’ve checked your float switch and the check valves. None of the two has an issue. You even decided to replace the two elements. Yet, the sump pump won’t shut off. You’re wondering what might be the problem. But have you checked whether there are some leakages in your discharge pipes?

Well, like other materials, discharge pipes wear out after some time. The wearing out results in leaking of the discharge pipe, meaning water will be returning to the sump basin. Since the amount of water remains the same, your sump pump will continue running.

Checking the discharge or sewer line used to drain the water and fixing the leaking pipes is the perfect way to deal with this issue. You can do it yourself if you have some plumbing knowledge. Otherwise, you need to hire a qualified plumber to fix this problem for you.

4. Clogged Discharge Pipes

In some cases, your discharge pipes may not be having a leakage issue. Probably, you installed or maintained them a few months ago. If this is your situation, you need to check whether there is a clog on your pipe. Clogs or debris hinder water from getting out through the discharge channel. Due to this, your sump pump will keep running until it overheats or burns out.

The best way to fix this issue is by cleaning the debris on the pipe. You can do this using a hose. So, switch off the pump and clean the pipe.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, if your sump pump won’t shut off, you have many ways of fixing the issue. Some of these approaches are easy to do by yourself, while others need professional intervention.

Considering the cost of purchasing a new sump pump; it is advisable to fix the non-stop running issue before it is too late. Otherwise, failure to deal with them at an early stage will require you to spend more on your electricity bills and replacements.

Plus, it might as well cause emergency situations in your home!


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