8 Helpful Troubleshooting Steps If Your Sump Pump Isn’t Working  

Winter, Basement, Clog, Discharge Pipe, Float Switch, Flooded, Frozen, Ice, Maintenance, Pump Motor, Snow, Sump Pump, Sump Pump Pit, Troubleshooting, Valve

Has your sump pump been acting up recently? Given the recent weather, this is a common occurrence for individuals residing in our region. We are all acquainted with the fact that Ohio weather has a knack for causing its fair share of plumbing issues. With the combination of snow melt and constant rain during the winter season, sump pump problems are, shall we say, quite prevalent. And when your sump pump malfunctions, we strongly advise against delaying its repair.  

Sump pumps are specifically designed to effectively remove water through the discharge pipe, ensuring the foundation of your home remains safe from excess water. So, a sudden malfunction of the sump pump can quickly result in basement flooding and a cascade of other potential disasters. Fortunately, our team of experts at Upper Arlington Plumbing & Drain is well-prepared to help you address this issue. And bear in mind that even if you are not currently dealing with sump pump issues, familiarizing yourself with the following troubleshooting tips is still beneficial for future reference. 


Step One – Power Supply Check 

Power outages often contribute to sump pump malfunctions. Whether caused by severe weather or a tripped circuit breaker, if your sump pump has stopped working, the initial step is to verify that it is plugged in and receiving power. If not, test the outlet with another device to determine if it is the source of the problem. Additionally, you can attempt to restart the pump by unplugging it and plugging it back in. However, it is important to note that this may only provide a temporary solution. 

Step Two – Pump Motor Check 

Be attentive to any abnormal sounds emanating from the pump motor. If the motor is not operating, inspect the circuit breaker and reset it if needed. 

Step Three – Pump Pit Check 

Next, it is also important to examine the inside of the pump basin to determine the issue at hand. Thoroughly inspect the sump pump basin for any debris, dirt, or ice accumulation. If any obstructions are found, it is crucial to remove them to prevent any interference with the pump’s impeller. 

Step Four – Float Switch Check 

Proceed to examine the float switch for smooth movement. Make sure there is no debris obstructing its operation, and verify that the float switch is able to move freely. A float that is stuck or frozen will impede the proper activation of the pump. 

Step Five – Overflow Valve Check 

Inspect the check valve. You’ll want to confirm there is no blockage caused by debris. On top of that, occasionally, the pipe above it may become obstructed, hindering the check valve’s functionality. When the check valve operates as intended, it effectively prevents water from flowing back into the sump pit. 

Step Six – Discharge Pipe Check 

In the event of a flooded basement with water not being properly discharged away from your home, it is highly probable that the discharge pipe is obstructed. Therefore, you should direct your attention towards locating and examining the discharge pipe. 

Step Seven – Weeping Hole Check 

Another important aspect to examine is the weeping hole. Sump pumps typically feature a small hole in the discharge pipe, which serves the purpose of releasing air and guaranteeing optimal performance. If this weeping hole becomes obstructed, the pump will not operate effectively. If you find this to be the case with yours, go ahead and clear any blockages present in the weeping hole. 

Step Eight – Sump Pump Size Check

Taking into account an Overwhelmed Pump: If the sump pump is inadequately sized for your space, it will be unable to handle the large amounts of water it receives. If this is a recurring problem, it might be worth considering an upgrade to prevent this from happening repeatedly. 

With determination and a little focused DIY troubleshooting, you can identify the source of your sump pump problem. Dealing with sump pump issues in cold weather can be challenging, but safety should always be prioritized. So, please take your time, proceed cautiously, and carefully assess your situation as you progress through each troubleshooting step. 


If you’re still a tad confused with the situation at hand, we get it. Rest assured that we’re here to assist you. In the event that these troubleshooting steps haven’t successfully resolved the issue, we kindly recommend reaching out to us for a professional diagnosis and restoration of your sump pump. It is crucial to engage a licensed plumber to inspect your sump pump and identify any underlying issues. So, take a bet on us and trust that we will get your sump pump back up and running again in no time! 


Before concluding, here are a couple of valuable tips to assist in maintaining your sump pump for the future: 

To ensure the uninterrupted operation of your sump pump, try to develop a habit of periodically inspecting it. It doesn’t have to be too often, but checking that everything is running smoothly every now and then will help to make sure that smaller issues do not turn into larger ones. In addition, if you hear unusual noises emanating from the pump, that is something you may want to have addressed by a professional as soon as possible. 

Maintaining a clutter-free and debris-free area around the sump pump is equally vital. Loose debris significantly contributes to various sump pump issues, potentially causing clogs and hindering pump functionality. So, you’ll want to make sure your sump pump lid is tightly sealed and properly placed on the sump’s basin to prevent unwanted particles from entering. A secure lid acts as a protective barrier, safeguarding the pump and preventing debris interference. 

Your plumbing system is the core of your home, and various issues can arise sometimes. That’s why it’s crucial to entrust your home to reliable professionals. At Upper Arlington Plumbing & Drain, we are dedicated to being just that. Our customers are our utmost priority, and we prioritize your safety, comfort, and satisfaction. Additionally, we are committed to serving you with a 100% satisfaction guarantee! 

You can count on Upper Arlington Plumbing & Drain as your dependable solution for all your plumbing needs. Call us today at (614) 363-1924, or schedule an appointment by clicking here