Prevent Basement Flooding by Avoiding These Mistakes With Your Sump Pump

Published On: April 26, 20230 Comments on Prevent Basement Flooding by Avoiding These Mistakes With Your Sump PumpTags: Last Updated: January 29, 20244 min read

For a basement that is prone to dampness and regular flooding, a sump pump serves the purpose of pumping and sending water away from the house and into either a storm drain, a dry well, or any other place where the water won’t cause problems. Hard-wired directly into a property’s electrical system, a sump pump may remove water by either funneling it into the pump through designated perimeter drains in the basement’s waterproofing system or by gravity due to rainfall and groundwater (this is usually the case for basements below the water table level). A sump pump may also come with a backup battery system, and if a home has a pressurized water system, it can also power the pump, thus eliminating the need for electricity. With this simple guide we’ll show you how to prevent basement flooding.

dampness in basement

If your basement has a sump pump, below are some of the common sump pump mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Sump Pump Basin Overflowing

The basin of your sump pump can overflow if it is not pumped constantly and properly. For this reason, it is crucial that you put a backup system in place to power the pump in situations (such as severe storms) where your home’s electricity is cut off for an extended period of time.

Letting Debris get into the Pump

During installation, ensure that your sump pump doesn’t sit on small-sized gravel, loose silt, or any form of debris that can easily be sucked up into the pump. Debris can clog up your lines and ruin the motor of your sump pump. To avoid this problem, opt for large rocks and gravel (at least the size of a dime) instead.

Errors With the Check Valve

The function of a sump pump’s check valve is to create a barrier that prevents water from flowing backwards into the pump. This check valve usually has an arrow indicating which direction the pump should face. Always make sure that the arrow is pointing away and not towards the sump pump.

Not Testing Your Sump Pump System

Your sump pump may function in different scenarios. The first is when your sump pump is constantly running, even with little to no rainfall. The second scenario, which is the most ideal, is when your sump pump only runs when the need arises (storm or heavy rain) and then shuts off. The third and final scenario is when your sump pump never runs. Regardless of the scenario, your sump pump system needs to be tested regularly. You can do this by pouring water (about a 5 gallon bucket) in slowly until the float activates your pump. Monitor the sump pump as the water level slowly drops till it shuts off. The pump should shut off once the float has dropped back below its shut-off level. If your sump pump system doesn’t work this way, then you will need to get repairs.

sump pump in the basement

Broken Discharge Pipe

A broken discharge pipe can potentially flood your basement if not addressed immediately. What’s worse is that the damage may even happen underground, so you won’t know about it until it’s too late. Avoid this problem by constantly inspecting your discharge pipes (both the visible and underground systems).

Failure to Check for Loose Wiring in Your System

One thing that should be included in your sump pump maintenance checklist is an inspection for loose or faulty wires. A clear indication of loose or faulty wiring is when your pump suddenly stops working. You can check your sump pump’s wiring by first turning off the power (at the source) before disconnecting the pump. Once disconnected, check the pump for loose wires and replace any ones you find. After this, you can install the pump and turn the power back on to see if the sump pump starts working again.

Not Getting Help From the Professionals

While some pump issues can be resolved with quick fixes that you handle yourself, there are situations where a professional needs to step in and carry out necessary repairs or even replacements. If, after you’ve inspected all the minor details of your sump pump, you find that troubleshooting the issues doesn’t help, calling a professional for repairs should be your next step.


Having a sump pump installed can effectively prevent damp and flooding in your basement. Sump pump issues are unfortunately quite common, and when not addressed immediately, they can lead to basement flooding. Above are some of the common mistakes people make with their sump pumps and what you can do to avoid them. The best solution to prevent basement flooding is to get a reliable company by searching for something like ‘damp specialists London’.

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