Any homeowner that owns a house with a problem of water seeping into the basement knows the value of an operational sump pump. Should a pump failure occur, how does the homeowner proceed with sump pump troubleshooting?

If the sump pump fails to remove the water, the first and most obvious place to look is the electrical connection.

The homeowner should make sure the pump is securely plugged into an outlet. The next electrical item to check is the circuit breaker. If the breaker is in the off position, it will need to be reset.

Having ruled out electrical problems, the homeowner should inspect the float. The float should be intact and attached to metal rod leading to the motor.

The float and its attachment to the sump pump will take slightly different forms, but the principle will be the same with each pump. A check of this apparatus is to assure that the float is attached and its movement up and down is not blocked.

Next in the troubleshooting procedure, it time to check the motor of the sump pump. The pump is activated by pouring water into the pit making the float rise to the point of switching on the motor.

The homeowner can feel the pump and determine if the motor is running. If the motor is operating, the homeowner will feel a vibration.

The troubleshooting to this point indicates that everything is operating properly, but the water is still not being removed from the pit. A check should be made of the opening where the water enters the pump.

The screen covering the opening may be blocked with debris from the water. The water could be blocked from leaving the sump pump by a blockage in the pipe leading to the outside. Any blockage in or out of the pump will need to be removed for proper operation.

Lastly, the sump pump must operate with enough pumping force to move the water. In some locations, a pump must move the water both up and out through the pipe.

If the maximum power output of the pump is less than required or something has worn out internally, the sump pump may not be able to supply enough pumping force to move the water. If this is the case, a new and stronger pump will have to be purchased.

The sump pump is a relatively simple machine, but should it malfunction the results could be devastating.

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