What causes a sump pump to go bad?

A sump pump is an essential appliance for preventing and controlling basement flooding. From the sump pump installation to maintenance, the sump pump must be in great working condition to function effectively and keep the basement protected from being overflown during a heavy downpour.

However, there are instances when a sump pump fails to drain floodwater from the basement. Despite ensuring professional sump pump installation, what can cause a sump pump to go bad or fail? Read more.

What causes a sump pump to go bad?

The following are some of the reasons why a sump pump goes bad:

1. A Stuck Switch

A sump pump can go bad and non-functional due to a stuck switch. The main causes of a switch getting stuck include the sump pump shifting in the basin against the side of the pump and debris jamming the float rendering it useless to trigger the sump pump to start when necessary. A stuck switch will prevent the sump pump from turning on when needed, causing the basement to be flooded.

2. Excessive Water Influx

Another reason why a sump pump can go bad is when there is a massive influx of water into the sump pit more than the capacity of the sump pump. The pump will easily become overwhelmed and become damaged soon. To avoid this problem, the right capacity or horsepower should be estimated and installed to avoid reduced lifespan.

3. Lack of Maintenance

Sump pump installation is indeed crucial to the functionality and longevity of a sump pump. Meanwhile, proper and regular maintenance is another crucial factor that should not be ignored to prevent the sump pump from going bad. As a result, the lack of maintenance is another reason why a sump pump goes bad.

4. Improper Installation

Another cause of a sump pump going bad is poor or bad installation. Sump pump installation plays a crucial role in its efficiency and durability. However, the failure of most sump pumps comes from the installation. If a sump pump is installed incorrectly, it will go bad very soon.

Usually, during sump pump installation, a check valve should be installed on the discharge line. Besides, an air relief hole should be drilled in the discharge line to prevent air pressure buildup in the discharge line, which will force the pump to work harder and get damaged.

5. Old Age

All electrical appliances experience a decline in performance due to old age. The same goes for a sump pump after it has reached 7 to 10 years of service. Over time, not only will its efficiency decline, but it can also go bad after 10 years of use. As a result, you should plan to replace your sump pump after 7 years.


The above are some of what causes a sump pump to go bad. Take note and review them regarding your sump pump. However, ensure proper sump pump installation when replacing your sump pump for efficiency.

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