How to Stop Sump Pump From Overflowing

How to Stop Sump Pump From Overflowing: 13 Steps [Easy DIY]

Last Updated on May 16, 2023

Your sump pump is your trusty guardian against basement flooding chaos. But, even it may experience issues that could lead to hazardous overflow and dangerous water damage.

It’s always wise to take precautions against sump pump overflow. Test the capacity of your current unit, clean out its pit regularly, add a check valve if needed, or adjust the float switch for improved flow control. For extra peace of mind, invest in an additional backup system. It’ll be worth its weight in gold.

Don’t forget about plumbing repairs, either. Any leaks should get fixed immediately, and the sloping ground around the house helps keep excess water at bay too.

Discover what you need to do if your sump pump starts overflowing and be proactive in safeguarding your home from costly water damage.

How to Stop Sump Pump From Overflowing: 13 Steps

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Stay one step ahead of basement flooding with these tips for controlling your sump pump. Overflowing could mean major water damage and even some safety hazards, so knowing what can cause a sump pump overload is important.

Take the measures necessary today to protect your home from potential disaster tomorrow. Here are the top ways to keep your system in check.

1. Check the Sump Pump’s Capacity

For your sump pump to stop overflowing, it’s essential to ensure that it has a capacity that matches your needs.

If the pump is too small, it will not be able to keep up with the inflow of water and may overflow. To determine the right size for your sump pump, you should calculate the amount of water that typically comes into the sump pit during heavy rain storms or flooding.

With this information, you can select a sump pump with a corresponding capacity that will efficiently pump out the water and prevent overflow.

2. Clean the Sump Pit

One of the most common reasons for a sump pump to overflow is the accumulation of debris and dirt in the sump pit. Over time, these materials can clog the intake of the sump pump, hindering its ability to pump out water.

Regular cleaning of the sump pit is necessary to prevent this from happening. It is essential to remove any debris, dirt, or other materials that have been collected in the pit regularly.

3. Check the Discharge Line

A clogged discharge line is another common cause of sump pump overflow. If the discharge line has blockages or is not clear, water will not flow out of the sump pump as it should, leading to an overflow.

Therefore, it’s essential to check the discharge line regularly and ensure it’s free from any obstructions. You can achieve this by visually inspecting the line or running water from a hose.

If you notice any blockages or issues, you should immediately clean or repair the discharge line.

4. Install a Check Valve

sump pump repairs

Installing a check valve effectively prevents water from flowing back into the sump pit once it has been pumped out. Without a check valve, the sump pump may overwork and subsequently overflow.

A check valve acts as a one-way valve that ensures water flows out of the pump into the discharge line, not back in.

5. Test the Check Valve (If Already Installed)

To make sure your sump pump doesn’t overflow, it is important to check the check valve, especially if it is already installed.

A damaged or stuck-open check valve will allow water to overflow, rendering your pump ineffective and causing potential damage to your basement.

To test the check valve, simply pour water down the pump discharge pipe and observe any water flow back into the sump pit. If you notice water flowing back, it’s time to replace the check valve.

6. Clean the Impeller

To keep your sump pump working properly, you need to keep its filter clean. The impeller is a critical component that filters debris from the water that enters the pump.

When the filter is clogged, it can make strange noises and cause the pump to stop working. To avoid this, make sure you check the impeller filter on a regular basis and clean it properly.

You can do so by running water over the filter and gently scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush.

7. Install a High-Water Alarm

Another essential step in preventing an overflow situation is installing a high-water alarm. By sounding an early warning when the water level in the sump pit is getting too high, the high-water alarm provides valuable time to prevent an overflow.

Properly installing the alarm involves locating the appropriate spot in your sump pit, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and testing the alarm to ensure proper operation.

With a high-water alarm installed, you can rest easy knowing that even in the worst-case scenario, you’ll have the warning you need to take appropriate action.

8. Check the Float Switch

Check the Float Switch

Another thing you should check is the float switch to keep your sump pump from overflowing. This switch is responsible for turning the sump pump on and off. If it’s not functioning properly, it might not work when it needs to, causing the sump pump pit to overflow.

To check the float switch, make sure it is not obstructed by any debris or dirt that may have accumulated inside the sump pit. If it is, clean it gently with a soft cloth.

Additionally, ensure that the float arm moves smoothly and freely with no restrictions. This way, it will be easy to detect any malfunction, and the switch can be replaced promptly if necessary.

9. Adjust the Float Switch

If the float switch is too high, the sump pump may not turn on until the water level is too high. This could cause the sump pit to overflow, damaging your home’s water.

Adjust the float switch by lowering it closer to the water level to fix this issue. This will help ensure the pump turns on earlier and prevent overflowing.

 Before making any adjustments, ensure that the switch is not obstructed or damaged, then make the necessary changes in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

10. Use a Backup Sump Pump

Another solution to prevent sump pump overflow is to have a backup sump pump in place. A backup sump pump can take over the primary sump pump’s duty in case of failure or when the primary pump is unable to keep up with the water flow.

Backup sump pumps come in different types, including battery-powered, water-powered, and mechanical float switches. It is essential to choose the right type depending on your specific needs and situation.

11. Install a Battery Backup

A battery backup is another option for avoiding sump pump overflow. Using a battery backup can keep the sump pump operating during power outages or when the primary power source fails.

During heavy rain or flooding, power outages are uncommon; a battery backup ensures the sump pump can still handle excess water and prevent overflow.

Installing a battery backup is a wise investment that ensures the sump pump works uninterrupted, promoting peace of mind and safety.

12. Install a Larger Sump Pit

Install a Larger Sump Pit

If your sump pump is continuously overflowing, it may be time to consider installing a larger sump pit.

A larger sump pit accommodates a larger volume of water, allowing the sump pump to work at maximum efficiency without overflowing.

Before installing a larger sump pit, consult a professional plumber to assess your specific needs and the best way to complete the task safely and effectively.

13. Fix Any Plumbing Leaks

Fixing any plumbing leaks is also crucial to prevent your sump pump from overflowing. Plumbing leaks can contribute to the amount of water entering the sump pit, causing it to overflow.

Repairing any leaks can reduce the water flow and prevent overflow. Inspecting your plumbing regularly for leaks and having them repaired immediately if any are found is essential.

Common sources of plumbing leaks include faulty faucets, leaking pipes, and malfunctioning appliances.

How Do I Know If My Sump Pump is The Right Size to Prevent Overflow?

There are a few factors to consider to determine if your sump pump can handle the overflow. Do some quick calculations to make sure it’s up to the task. Start by estimating how much water could be headed toward your sump pit.

Count your roof’s surface area and factor in the average rainfall from where you live. Then check out the capacity of your pump: its gallon-per-hour rate should exceed what you estimated entering that pit. If not, time to look for something bigger so overflows can stay away.

How Often Should I Clean the Sump Pit to Prevent the Sump Pump from Overflowing?

To keep your sump pump running at peak performance and protect it from costly repairs, make sure to clean the sump pit regularly.

While cleaning frequency depends on various factors like the size of the pit or the type of debris that accumulates in it, experts suggest doing this once a year as standard procedure.

But if you’re living in an area with heavy rainfall/flooding situation or high water table, bear in mind these environmental conditions can cause more debris buildup resulting in clogging & overflow scenarios. So, cleaning the pit more often, like every three or four months might be necessary.

How Often Should a Sump Pump Run During Heavy Rain?

How Often Should a Sump Pump Run During Heavy Rain

The frequency at which your sump pump runs during heavy downpours can differ widely depending on where you live. If you’re in an area with a high water table, your sump pump might be working overtime during heavy rainfall.

On the other hand, if you live in an area with a lower water table, your sump pump may only need to kick into action once or twice during intense rain spells.

Knowing the variables in your climate condition can help you understand what to expect from your sump pump. Keeping track of it will ensure that your home and basement remain dry and damp-free all year round.

Keep Your Home Safe with Sump Pump Care

Sump pump overflow can lead to severe water damage and pose safety hazards if not prevented. Safeguarding your home involves taking practical measures.

Such as ensuring the sump pump’s capacity, cleaning the pit, installing a check valve, adjusting the float switch, and having a backup sump pump or battery backup.

Along with these steps, fixing plumbing leaks and grading the surrounding area to reduce water flow into the sump pit is crucial. With the right measures, you’ll know that your home is protected against sump pump overflow. Don’t wait for a disaster to strike. Act today and take preventive measures. Remember, preventing an issue is always preferable to dealing with the consequences later.

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