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How do I know if my Sump Pump is Broken?

This blog discusses the key signs of a malfunctioning or broken sump pump.

If you have a leaking basement that gets wet when it rains, chances are you have a sump pump issue. A sump pump is a tool used to push the water out of your home in order to reduce mould and mildew.


A sump pump isn’t something that many people think about on a daily basis. It is a tool you expect to start working when it’s needed, and you are satisfied as long as it keeps your basement dry.


Unfortunately, like every other system in your home, your sump pump will need maintenance and will eventually need to be replaced. In this blog we will share some key signs of a failing sump pump, so you aren’t caught off guard with a flooded basement.


Unfortunately, Toronto homes are affected by our unpredictable weather and a high-water table, making basement leaks more common than we desire. For many homeowners, the main system keeping their basement from becoming wet and mouldy is their sump pump. Therefore, making the sump pump a critical piece of equipment that should be ready to work at all times.


We highly recommend having a backup sump pump installed!

Signs Your Sump Pump May Be Ready to Fail

Cycling on and off:

If you hear your sump pump constantly kicking on and off, it’s a sign that it requires maintenance or needs to be replaced. This issue can be an indicator that your sump pump basin is too small for the amount of water that it is holding. The faster the water fills up, the more frequently your sump pump needs to run. If you hear your pump constantly turning on and off, it means your system is struggling to keep up with the water depth which, can result in a motor burn out. It is important to keep this in mind as majority of the time a motor burn out results in the need of a new system.

Long Run Time:

When your sump pump kicks on and stays running for longer than normal it is an indicator of two issues:


1. The amount of water in the system

2. The distance that is required to move the water.

Either way, you are going to want to make some changes. A motor that is having to work too hard can result in a failed sump pump and possibly a flooded basement.

A Noisy Sump Pump

Your sump pump should make a low hum sound, anything more than that is a warning sign of an issue. If your sump pump is loud, making a grinding or clanking noises, there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

A noisy sump pump can mean a broken bearing or jammed impeller (that’s the fan that is used to suck the water up into the pump), both of these mean you are on your way to a new sump pump.

Not Turning on When Needed:

This is one of the easier symptoms to diagnose. If your sump pump is not turning on when needed, you know you have a problem. However, don’t freak out and buy a new pump, it may just need some maintenance.

The first step if your sump pump isn’t turning on should be to check the float switch. Many times, a stuck float switch is the cause of a malfunctioning sump pump. If you check and find this is not the cause of the problem, you need to quickly start considering a new sump pump.

Pedal Style Pump:

These pumps are typically made of plastic, and even though they were commonly used in the past, they do not offer the same quality as new pumps. Pedal-style pumps are louder and tend to be more unstable then-current options. It is best to replace a petal-style pump and upgrade to a submerged pump. While these were once the go-to pump, we have come a long way over the years and there are more efficient options for your home needs.

Damage from a Failed Sump Pump


A failed sump pump can lead to not only a flooded basement but mould, mildew and damage to your property. The best way to avoid a potential problem is to make sure you are not neglecting your sump pump. Occasionally check on your system and don’t brush off the noises and changes you notice. The best time to replace your sump pump is before the old one quits.

If you think that you might be in need of a new sump pump, or have questions about your existing pump, contact Nusite.

About Nusite

Nusite Contractors Ltd. has been proudly serving GTA homeowners for over 30 years! We are a family business and take pride in customer service and professional work. You can contact us here to schedule a free consultation and written estimate! We would be happy to help!

#NusiteContractors Ltd. #Waterproofing #GTAWaterproofing #InteriorWaterproofing #SumpPump #LeakPrevention

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