For anyone with a basement, a sump pump is a vital part of your home.
It keeps your basement dry and saves you from flood damage-- - until it stops
working. When your sump pump stops functioning, you'll need to repair or replace
Diagnosing the Problem
Before you do anything to your pump,
you'll need to inspect it. Since your basement might be wet, you'll need to take
some precautions when handling an electrical appliance. Wearing rubber boots
will keep you safe from a possible electric shock when inspecting your sump
If your sump pump stops working, you'll need to figure out the
cause of its malfunction. Most of the time, a sump pump won't work because of
one of the following reasons:
- There is a problem with the check valve, which keeps water from flowing back
into the pump.
- There is a clog in the screen or the impeller.
TIP: While those are the two most
common reasons, a sump pump that has stopped working might be the result of a
dead outlet. Before taking the pump apart, try plugging the cord into another
outlet to see if it works there.
Replacing the Check Valve
If the check valve isn't working
properly, you'll need to replace it. Alternately, the valve may have been put in
backwards. Either way, you'll need to remove the valve and replace it with a new
one or put it in correctly.
- If the valve is held in place by a metal coupling or adapter, you can loosen
this with a screwdriver until it can be removed.
- If the valve is glued or welded in, you'll need to cut the pipe itself and
then add new piping in addition to the valve.
- After putting in the new valve, or putting it incorrectly, you can secure it
to the pipes the same way as before. Just make sure that the directional arrow
on the valve is facing away from the pump.
Cleaning the Screen
If your sump pump isn't working due to a
clog, you'll need to clean it out.
- Separate the discharge pipe from the pump, and remove the pump from the
- Carefully remove the filter housing from the rest of the pump by unsnapping
it, or, if it is attached with a bolt, by using a wrench.
- Once removed, you can rinse the screen with water to flush out the blockage.
Additionally, inspect the impeller (the part that works to draw water in) for
any blockages and remove them.
Put the pump back together and place it
into its container.
If after replacing the valve, cleaning the screen,
and making sure the outlet works, your sump pump is still dead, you will
probably need to buy a new one. Though doing so might be an inconvenience,
having a dry basement is well worth the trouble!