8 Helpful Reasons Why Your Sump Pump Isn’t Working

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

Is your sump pump not working at the moment? Given Ohio’s weather conditions, it’s not an unusual issue to occur. With the combination of snow melting and constant rain during the winter season, sump pump malfunctions are quite prevalent. If you have currently found yourself in such a predicament, it is crucial that you address this issue promptly and do not delay resolving it. We understand the potential consequences – flooded basements and water damage, and we don’t wish that on any of our valued customers – especially if it can be helped. 

Sump pumps are specifically designed to remove excess water through the discharge pipe, effectively diverting excess water away from the foundation of your home. Consequently, the sudden malfunctioning of a sump pump can result in rapid basement flooding, leading to a cascade of other potential disasters. Fortunately, at Huber Heights Plumbing & Drain, our team of professionals is dedicated to helping you troubleshoot and find the reason behind your pump problems. Allow us to assist you in troubleshooting! Moreover, even if you aren’t currently experiencing a sump pump catastrophe, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the eight most common reasons your sump pump may act up. 


  1. The Power Supply: Power outages are a leading cause of sump pump malfunctions. Whether triggered by severe storms or tripped circuit breakers, if your sump pump stops working, the first 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 issue. Additionally, you can attempt to restart the pump by unplugging and plugging it back in. However, please note that this may only provide a temporary solution. 
  1. The Pump Motor: Try to listen for any unusual noises coming from the pump motor. If the motor isn’t running, check the circuit breaker and reset it as necessary.     
  1. The Pump Basin: After inspecting the lid, it is important to also examine the side to determine the situation. Take a closer look at the sump pump basin for any debris, dirt, or ice accumulation. If any such obstructions are found, it is crucial to remove them to prevent any hindrance to the pump’s impeller. 
  1. The Float Switch: Now, proceed to inspect the float switch for smooth operation. Make sure that there is no debris obstructing the switch and verify its movement remains unrestricted. A jammed or frozen float will certainly impede the pump’s intended activation.  
  1. The Check (or Overflow) Valve: You’ll also want to confirm that the check valve is properly installed and free from any blockages. Additionally, it is important to check if the pipe located above the check valve is clear and has no clogs. When functioning correctly, the check valve will effectively prevent water from flowing back into the sump pit.     
  1. The Discharge Pipe: If your basement is flooded and the water is not being properly discharged away from your home, it is highly probable that the discharge pipe is clogged. For this reason, if you have not yet figured out the exact issue, you should try redirecting your attention toward locating and inspecting the discharge pipe. 
  1. The Weeping Hole: It is also important to inspect the weeping hole. Sump pumps are equipped with a small opening on the discharge pipe, which serves to release air and ensure proper operation. When this weeping hole becomes obstructed, the pump’s functionality is compromised. If a blockage is present, it must be cleared in order to restore proper operation.     
  1. The Right-Sized Pump: One last thing to consider is that if a sump pump is inadequately sized for your space, it will be unable to handle the large volumes of water it faces. So, if this particular issue has occurred repeatedly, now may be the perfect time to consider a proper upgrade to prevent recurring incidents. 

With determination and focused DIY troubleshooting, you can successfully identify the source of your sump pump problem. Dealing with sump pump issues in cold weather can be challenging, but prioritizing safety is crucial. Take your time, proceed carefully, and follow each troubleshooting step diligently as you assess and address the situation. 


If you’re still struggling to find the culprit of the problem, rest assured that we’re here to help. If, despite following these troubleshooting steps, the issue persists, we highly recommend reaching out to us for a professional diagnosis and restoration of your sump pump. It is crucial to have a licensed plumber inspect your sump pump and identify any underlying problems. 

Helpful Sump Pump Tips:  

Before concluding, here are a few valuable tips to assist you in maintaining your sump pump going forward: 

  • Did you know that it is possible to acquire a backup battery for your sump pump? If you were not previously aware of this valuable piece of information, it might be worthwhile to explore further. Being prepared for any situation can be of great benefit. However, if you already do have a backup battery, it is advisable to periodically test its charge to ensure its readiness. Having a fully charged backup battery readily available can help prevent undesirable outcomes such as basement flooding and water damage in the event of unforeseen circumstances. 
  • Loose debris often leads to sump pump malfunctions. Accumulated debris and particles can clog the pump up, impacting its functionality. So, ensuring a secure and properly sealed sump pump pit lid is crucial. A well-sealed lid will help prevent debris from entering the pit and potentially interfering with the pump in the future. 

Your plumbing system is crucial to the functionality of your home, and there are numerous potential issues that can arise. Therefore, you should always only entrust your home to a licensed professional. At Huber Heights Plumbing & Drain, we are committed to being that trusted partner. Our customers are our utmost priority, and we value your safety, comfort, and satisfaction. Moreover, we prioritize our customers and strive to provide service that meets a 100% satisfaction guarantee! 

You can rely on Huber Heights Plumbing & Drain for all your plumbing needs. Call us today at (937) 764-3381, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!