Are you still not ascertain whether your pump can protect the basement from flooding or not? That is not a strange query. Sump pump operation may be incomprehensible to so many people. If you have a basement in your house, you must afraid of basement flooding. The basic work of a sump pump is to remove the excess water from the sump pit to keep the basement floor dry and stable.
A common question that always embarrasses our mind, “How long should a sump pump run?” In this article, we have tried to simplify this question with some important issues of a sump pump. So, let’s begin,
How does a sump pump work?
Though a sump pump operation seems to a very technical, it works very clearly. There is a hole-like point into the ground of the basement that is called a sump pit. When the soil around the house contains too much water, the groundwater level starts to transfer the water to the lowest point. That is how a sump pit refills with water.
When the water of the sump pit rises at a certain point, the float activator automatically turns on the pump. And it starts to remove the water through the discharge pipes. There is a motor with a fan-like device that forces the water to the discharge pipe.
The discharge pipes release the groundwater in a pointed area that the homeowner points. Be confirm you are expelling the water far away from your house that the water can’t return. Besides, there is a check valve that is a one-way valve that prevents the water from returning through the pipe.
There are two types of sump pumps. One is a Submersible sump pump and another one is a Pedestal sump pump. Their operating system is almost the same except for structure. Submersible sump pumps are created to be submerged into water. On the other hand, pedestal sump pumps are created to be placed far away from water. It may damage if it comes in touch with water.
A sump pump works by electricity, but a battery backup sump pump can remove the water when a power outage happens.
How long should a sump pump run?
Usually, sump pumps remain running until the volume of water reduces below a certain point. What if there is a heavy flow of water all day long? Can a sump pump keep the basement free from flooding all day long? How much time can a sump pump run to remove excess water? It depends on the quality. A high-quality sump pump should run for almost 20-24 hours constantly. If your sump pump is not quality-based, then the pump should run about 5-8 hours constantly. So, here you can see the difference in quality.
Do you know sump pumps may run even without bad weather of heavy rainfall or snowfall? We all know that sump pumps activate their float switch according to the groundwater level. If there is no rainfall or snowfall, then why the sump pump is running continuously? There is plenty of reason that a sump pump may run for a long time. Here we have elucidated four Important reasons with some other reason that you must notice.
- Water from drain tile
If your house has a drain tile system, the basement sump basin may collect the water of the drain tile’s water. Also, you may have a broken sewer pipe or faulty drainage system near your basement. You don’t need a drain tile system and a sump pump at the same time. They both do the same work of removing water. But unfortunately, you have both set-ups, you should make your basement waterproof by waterproof paint.
- Return of the water
Make sure you have pointed to a safe area for water discharge through the sump pump. The place must be far away from your house. Otherwise, the water may come back to the house through the discharge water pipe. The soil will absorb the water, and as a result, the water will go back to the sump pit. So, always make sure the water is not returning to the house.
- Broken underground water line
There is plenty of underground water line around every house. The line may break for a different reason. If the water line breaks, the soil will absorb the water, which emerges because of the broken water line. That may cause the increasing water level of the sump pump. You can test it by shutting off the water line for some time or examining the presence of chlorine. If so, then immediately fix the problem with the help of a plumber.
- Your home is near a water movement area
If your house is near a massive pond or a lake, your basement is below the water level. That will cause the excess supply of water into the sump pit, and the sump pump is supposed to run all the time. In that case, we prefer not to build a basement. Besides, there may be a flow of water underground of your house for a certain season or for all the time.
- Other reasons for sump pump running constantly
If a sump pump runs for a long time to remove excess water in the rainy season or while the sump pit accumulates water for different reasons, it is all right. But if a sump pump is constantly running without having enough water to remove, there must be a problem with the sump pump. The problem must be taken on action, or else the pump may burn out or damage. Some common reasons are why a sump pump may run even the water level is low,
- If you do not install a sump pump according to your sump pit size, the pump may not work properly. A sump pump that is too small according to the size of the sump pit, may not clear the excess water quickly. So, it remains turned on to remove the excess water. The solution is you can reduce the sump basin depth as if it contains less water or you can exchange the size of the sump pump.
- There is a check valve into the discharge pipe that ensures not to return the water through the discharge pipe. If The check valve is broken, the discharged water may return through the discharge pipe.
- A clogged discharge line may be the reason for running the sump pump for a long time. A clogged pipe will obstruct the water that the sump pump pushes. If water cannot discharge, the pump will run constantly to remove the water.
- The pump float switch may be stuck for some reason to turn on position. That is a reason a sump pump may run all the time even the sump pit has not enough water. This is a sign of sump pump failure.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should a sump pump run per cycle?
A sump pump may have to run for 2-3 days continuously without rest. It entirely depends on the water level of the sump pit. If your sump pump is constantly running for a long time due to heavy rainfall, this is normal. And you can be worry-free that continuous running will not affect the stability of the sump pump. (Obviously, that must be for removing water.)
Is it normal for a sump pump to run every minute?
If your sump pump is running in every minute for removing the accumulated water, then it is normal. But if the water level of the sump pump is not high even so the pump turns on every one minute, then there must be a problem with your sump pump.
Is it OK for my sump pit to be dry?
If a sump pit remains dry for a long time, the sump pump may face a problem. The seals may dry out and cracked. To prevent this situation, pour some water into the sump pit during the dry season. It will keep the sump pump workable. (Only if the sump pit is dry for many days.)
Why Does My Sump Pump Run Constantly In Heavy Rain?
In heavy rain, the sump pit refills with water. When the water level rises at a certain point, the sump pump activates automatically and runs until the water level falls below a certain point. So, a good quality sump pump will constantly run in heavy rain to keep the basement dry.
How often should you clean your sump pump pit?
To extend the lifetime of a sump pump, you must maintain your pump. One of the most important maintenance is to keep the sump pit clean. A sump pit should clean every 3-4 months. Sometimes, it may need to clean frequently if the sump pump pit gets dirty.
How often should the sump pump run during rain?
The sump pump doesn’t turn on immediately during rain starts. Because the sump pit refills, when the soil around your house can’t hold the excess water. The soil takes a little time to absorb the rainwater. Usually, a sump pump runs in every 8 minutes during heavy rain, and it doesn’t turn off immediately after the rain stops. Because the supply of water into the sump pit doesn’t stop instantly after the rain stops.
Why does the sump pump run when it’s not raining?
There are many reasons why sump pumps run when it is not raining. The most common reason is increasing the groundwater level. In this article, we have explained the most important reasons for increasing groundwater. On the other hand, there might have some issues with your sump pump. Sometimes, sump pumps run constantly even into the dry-sump basin for having technical problems.
A sump may have run for a longer period due to removing the excess water level from the sump pit. How much time it will run depends on the water level. As the sump pump is an automatic device, you don’t have to worry about when it should turn on and when it should turn off. It will run according to need. But always be careful whether your sump pump is running to remove water or without the presence of excess water. A proper inspection and maintenance will keep your sump pump more workable.