St. Paul, Minnesota
1465 Selby Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104
(612) 827-4033

4 Common Sump Pump Problems June 18, 2020

St. Paul, Ramsey
4 Common Sump Pump Problems, St. Paul, Minnesota

A sump pump activates when an underground room starts to flood. However, just like any appliance, it can experience a variety of problems that affect its functionality. Review some of the most common issues here to understand how to keep your device working optimally.

What Issues Can Affect Your Sump Pump?

1. Power Outages

Pumps primarily rely on electricity, so a blackout can render the unit inoperable. If the power failure is due to a severe storm, there’s an increased risk of basement flooding.

Avoid this issue by purchasing a backup generator to keep the appliance working. You can also install a backup battery in the unit.

2. Stuck Switches

sump pumpIf the float shifts and gets stuck against the pump’s side, the switch that triggers the device won’t work. A stuck switch can also occur because of debris buildup due to lack of maintenance, or simply because the appliance is nearing the end of its life span. 

Clean the pump and check its position once a month to prevent switch issues. Replace the unit every seven to 10 years.

3. Overwhelming Load

Too much water from a flood can stress a sump pump, especially one that’s low-quality or not designed for the capacity of your area.

If you live in a county with a high water table, ensure your pump offers sufficient horsepower. Choose one that pumps 35 gallons of water a minute, or 60 gallons of water per minute if you live on a floodplain.

4. Frost

The discharge pipe that redirects water collecting in the pump basin can freeze during the winter.

To prevent this, have the pipe buried under the frost line or outfit it with insulation. You can also install a second discharge pipe that activates if the main one freezes.


Keep your sump pump in top shape with help from Norblom Plumbing. This plumbing company has served the Twin Cities since 1923. They take the time to educate homeowners on proper maintenance to prevent breakdowns and always respond to calls promptly. For your convenience, they’re licensed and bonded. Call (612) 827-4033 to make an appointment or learn more about their work with sump pumps online.

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