Sump Pump Is Running But Not Draining? 6 Possible Reason

Your sump pump is running but not draining? Don’t be concerned since you’re not alone! Fortunately, if your sump pump is running but not draining, you can easily identify the causes and take action appropriately. 

To sort things out clearly, we’ve listed a few causes you can address. Let’s divine in quickly!


1. What happens when a sump pump keeps running?

When a sump pump continues to run, it is generally due to a clog or obstruction in the sump pit. As a result, the water level may rise, and the float switch may continue to trigger, causing the pump to operate continually. This can damage your basement.

2. Should the sump pump drain all water?

Sump pumps are intended to gather any groundwater that enters the basement of your home and then pump it out and away from the building. The basement can soon fill with water without a sump pump, causing damage and other issues.

3. How often should a sump pump empty?

The frequency of sump pump emptying is determined by various parameters, including the size and capacity of the sump pit, the quantity of precipitation, the water content of the soil surrounding the home, and so on. Generally, one should empty the sump pump two to three times daily.

4. Is it normal for a sump pump to run every day?

It is usual for a sump pump to run regularly, but not every day. Because a sump pump is intended to protect your property from water incursion, it is usually activated when groundwater levels reach a specified level.

Sump pump running but not draining: 6 reasons

A homeowner will greatly benefit from knowing the reasons as they may take preventive action and manage the problem effectively. Thus, here we’ll discuss a few causes of sump pumps running but not draining:


Clogged discharge pipe

If you notice the sump pump is running but not draining, you need not worry since you can address it well.

Inspect the discharge pipes to ensure they are not blocked if your sump pump is running but not draining. Examine the pipe for any evident clogs or silt accumulation. If no apparent obstructions are found, use a plumbing snake to ensure that the whole line is clean.


Check the sump pump for debris and silt that may have accumulated inside the pump. If the discharge pipes are blocked, use a plumbing snake or other suitable equipment to clear them. 

If the debris and silt are too big to be removed using a plumbing snake, a wet-dry vacuum may be required to clear the obstruction.


Defective float switch

The float switch is an important component of the sump pump. The gadget activates the sump pump when detecting excessively high water levels. A defective float switch might be the cause of the issue sump pump is running but not draining. 

If the float switch is broken or malfunctioning, it may be unable to detect the water level and, as a result, will not start the sump pump, thus ensuring that it must be replaced.


Impeller damage


Since the impeller is the most important part of your sump pump, as it is the component responsible for pumping out water, if it is damaged or worn out, it can cause various issues- the sump pump is running but not draining can be one of them. 

If so, you should check the impeller for any damage or wear. If it is damaged, replace it to keep your sump pump running.


Motor failure

The motor may not work properly if your sump pump is running but not draining. This may be very annoying, especially if much rain or snow melts. It is critical to identify the source of the problem and resolve it as quickly as possible.


Before commencing, ensure that your sump pump is plugged in and getting electricity. If so, the next step is to inspect the motor. If the motor is running but not draining, the motor may be worn out or failing. 

A worn-out motor might lead- your sump pump is running but not draining issue correctly, if you have an outdated sump pump, it may be time to replace it.


Poor maintenance

If your sump pump is running but not draining, it can typically indicate that they aren’t being properly maintained. The sump pump may be too old, or the impeller or motor may be broken. The sump pump will often need to be replaced.

Unmaintained sump pumps have the potential to harm a house seriously.

It might cause water to collect and flood the crawl space or basement. Serious water damage, mold, mildew, and structural damage to the house might result.

The easiest way to avoid this damage is to frequently have the sump pump inspected and maintained by a qualified expert. They may ensure the impeller and motor are in excellent working order and check for any blockages in the sump pump. 


Water pressure too low

Your sump pump is running but not draining? The low water pressure might be the cause. Ensuring your sump pump has sufficient pressure to remove the water from your basement is crucial.

Check the water pressure first if your sump pump is functioning but not emptying. The pump won’t be able to move the water and drain correctly if the water pressure is too low.

To boost the pressure, you might need to change the pressure valve. A new one must be installed if the pressure valve cannot be adjusted.

You might also add a booster pump to improve the water pressure and enable your sump pump to drain correctly. No matter your choice, it’s critical to ensure your sump pump has enough water pressure to drain the water from your basement.

Hence, these are a few reasons you should look for if your sump pump is running but not draining; and address the issue immediately to avoid future problems. Furthermore, maintenance works a treat, so take excellent care of your sump pump.

Similar tutorial

How To Properly Extend The Sump Pump Discharge Pipe?

If you want an effective solution to extend the sump pump discharge pipe, don’t miss this guide! We’ll provide everything you need to know about how to extend the sump pump discharge pipe here now!

How Many Sump Pumps Do I Need To Prevent Flooding?

Is your basement prone to flooding, and you’re seeking the answer to ‘how many sump pumps do I need’?  Don’t worry! Today we’ll help you answer the ‘how many sump pumps do I need’ to prevent water damage with this informative guide.

How Long Sump Pumps Last? 5 Tips To Make Them Last Longer

Are you curious about how long sump pumps last and what to do to make yours last longer? Find out all the answers – how long sump pumps last in this guide!

Wrapping up

It may be distressing when the sump pump is running but not draining. A system blockage, a broken float switch, a subpar sump pump, or a damaged impeller are a few possible causes.

It’s critical to determine the root of the problem and take the appropriate action to fix it, such as cleaning the sump pump and replacing the float switch, sump pump, or impeller.

Leave your feedback in the comments box below, and please share this post with the one who needs to address issues and simplify their lives.

Read more:

Backflow Preventer For Sprinkler Systems: What You Must Know 2023

Raising Basement Ceiling Height: What You Need to Know 2023

Can I Unplug Sump Pump? 4 Easy Tips You Can Try

Plumbing Fixture Calculator: How To Measure Correctly?

Sump Pump Replacement Cost: How To Get The Best Price?

Michael Bowen

Michael Bowen

Michael Bowen is an ambitious entrepreneur who has been in the business of building homes since he was 19. Michael's commitment to honesty, integrity, and high-quality workmanship has earned him a reputation as one of the best in the business.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Build Better House