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Sump Pump Keeps Cycling and Won't Turn Off

My sump pump keeps cycling and won’t turn off. What should I do?

There are many possibilities as to why your sump pump will not shut off, which is why it’s difficult to fix without the help of a professional. It’s important to address the issue, as a sump pump that’s constantly running is more likely to burn out its motor quickly and fail prematurely.

It’s more than likely that the problem is with your sump pump float switch, which controls the power to your sump pump. If this is the case, you may have to call a professional. In the meantime, there are some simple steps you can take to try and fix it yourself.

Look at your sump pump and notice the float switch. It should be freely moving with the the water, not tangled in the electrical cord or caught against the side wall of the sump pit. If the float switch still can’t move with the water or just stops working, then it’s time to buy a new float switch. You can sometimes buy them at home improvement centers or from the manufacturer’s website. However, some switches are more complicated and expensive than others so it may not be cost effective to replace a float switch on a sump pump that is more than four years old.

Of course, replacing the switch might not solve your sump pump problems. Here is some more information on sump pumps.

You may have a defective check valve on your discharge pipe, or the valve might be missing altogether. A sewer leak near your unit might also be causing your pump to run continuously. You may even have a clog or break in the underground discharge pipe. The size and location of your sump pump could also have something to do with its performance. This infographic will provide you with a good basic understanding of how a sump pump works.

For sump pump repair or replacement, it’s best to call a professional. You may even have to upgrade your pump, but it’s better to check if it can be fixed before making a hasty purchase. Calling a professional plumber is far less expensive than buying a new sump system, or worse, having to deal with extensive flood damage in your home.