Skip to Main Content

Sump Pump Issues

While sump pumps are vital to basement and home health and safety, they can sustain damage and lead to other issues in your home. 

Schedule Free Inspection

A functioning sump pump is essential for keeping your basement dry and healthy. But, like all appliances, your sump pump can suffer from various problems including clogs and loss of power. These can then lead to additional issues like basement flooding and mold growth. Read on to learn more about sump pump issues.

Common Causes of Sump Pump Issues

Your sump pump system could be having problems for a variety of reasons. Below are some of the most common causes of sump pump problems. 

  • Power Failure: Most sump pumps run off electrical power. The system will not work if there is a problem with the fuses and circuits, if it is unplugged, or if there is any kind of power outage. Having a backup battery is essential in keeping your sump pump running when you need it the most. 
  • Clogs and Debris: Your sump pump and its discharge pipes can potentially become clogged with dirt, sediment, and other debris that can prevent it from properly functioning and removing water from your basement. If the system lacks a lid, larger objects can also fall into the sump pit and clog or damage the system. 
  • Internal Equipment Malfunction: The internal workings of your sump pump system are delicate and can sometimes get stuck, wear out, and fail. Some common problems include a worn-out or faulty float switch or clogged. If the float switch becomes stuck, the pump will continuously run and eventually burn out. Likewise, if the switch fails to activate, the sump pit will fill with water and overflow into your basement. 
  • Leaks or Misaligned Drainage System: If you see leaks around your sump pump, the issue is most likely with your drainage system. This system’s pipes could be misaligned, causing continual leaks and water damage. 
  • Old or Poorly Designed System: Some sump pump systems may simply break down due to their age and lack of proper maintenance over time. Other systems may be cheap, made with lesser quality, and be more prone to failure. 

The Risks of Sump Pump Issues

A faulty pump might cause a slew of water issues that can be a pain to clean up and cause serious damage to your home and foundation. 

Flooded Basement

Basement Flooding

Leaks, puddles, and larger-scale flooding in your basement are the most obvious symptoms indicating that your sump pump is malfunctioning. The sump pump is designed to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place. If your sump pump cannot keep up, burns out, lacks power, and fails to remove enough water from your basement in a timely manner, the area is likely to flood. 

water on basement floor

Other Water Damage

Any possessions you store in your basement – from appliances to furniture and holiday decorations to family heirlooms – can be severely damaged by a flooded basement. If the water is left to sit for too long, it may also cause damage to the foundation and any structural supports in the basement. The foundation may begin to slide out of alignment or crack, causing even more problems. 

mold and water in the basement

Mold Growth

Not only can your basement and any stored belongings get wet, but mold can start to grow the longer water is left to saturate the area. Mold needs water, a damp environment, and organic material to grow. Sometimes, all it takes is 24 to 48 hours after a significant flood or leak for mold to sprout. Not only is this damaging to your possessions, but it can also weaken structural supports and lead to or worsen health issues like allergies and asthma. 


It’s normal for at least some water to be in your sump pit. The way a complete interior drainage system works is the interior drains collect leaking water and direct it to the sump pump. The water drains into the sump pit, and once it reaches a certain level, it triggers a float switch that kicks the pump on. The pump will then move the water out through discharge pipes. If the float switch fails to activate, the sump pit can fill, overflow, and lead to basement flooding. 

Most sump pumps last about 10 years. If they are cheaper, poor-quality systems, they may not last that long. But with a high-quality sump pump system, it could last beyond 10 years with regular inspections and upkeep. At Mount Valley Foundation Services, we pride ourselves on our variety of durable, long-lasting cast iron sump pumps and optional backup battery pumps that will keep your basement dry and home healthy for years to come. 

It’s important to have your sump pump inspected and maintained on a regular basis. The inner workings of your sump pump can be quite delicate, which is why we do not recommend that you try fix your sump pump on your own. Basement waterproofing professionals like our team at Mount Valley Foundation Services have the expertise and tools to handle your sump pump problems. When you choose us as your basement waterproofing provider, you also can take advantage of our annual maintenance program

Don’t Suffer from Sump Pump Issues Any Longer. Mount Valley Can Help!

If your sump pump is failing to pump water out of your basement, you risk flooding, water damage, structural problems, and health issues. It’s important to have the best sump pump system protecting your basement, home, and everything in it. 

If your basement is suffering from sump pump issues, contact our team at Mount Valley Foundation Services today! We have experience with all types of basement problems, and we can provide the right sump pump system for your Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, or Savannah home. Thousands of area homeowners like you trust us with their basement waterproofing solutions, and we have the reviews to prove it! Start protecting your home today and reach out for a free inspection and repair estimate! 

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Mount Valley Service Map

Our Service Area


1850 Ashley River Rd
Charleston, SC 29407


2110 Commerce Drive
Cayce, SC 29033


300 South Ave
Spartanburg, SC 29306