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Sump Pump runs continuously, doesn't pump

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  • Sump Pump runs continuously, doesn't pump

    Last evening I noticed my sump pump was running continuously but not
    pumping any water. Tere is water in the tank. I then noticed the outside
    drain hose was frozen. I poured hot water in the drain hose and melted the
    ice. The hose is now clear but the pump still runs continuously and does not
    pump out any water.


  • #2
    Re: Sump Pump runs continuously, doesn't pump

    Did the plumber that put the pump in leave any info/booklets behind?

    Or do you happen to know who makes the pump or how old it is?

    Sum pumps are fairly inexpensive and it'd probably be worth it to go ahead and buy a new one.
    Proud To Be Union!!


    • #3
      Re: Sump Pump runs continuously, doesn't pump


      You might still have an ice blockage but my guess is that you have an air pocket issue. If you have a shop vac try taking it to where the hose or pipe discharges and suck on it while the pump is running. If that doesn't work try unplugging the pump and removing the discharge hose. Then use your shop vac and blow into the discharge hose. You'll soon know if there's a blockage in it.

      When done please let us know what happened. Good luck

      Aaron is correct that a simple replacement (depending on brand and model) isn't all that expensive but if you can fix it, that's even nicer for you.
      Last edited by Woussko; 11-23-2007, 03:07 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Sump Pump runs continuously, doesn't pump

        Thank you very much...

        I will try the shop vac and let you know.
        I'm pretty sure there is no blockage as
        I was able to pour water into the
        discharge hose and it went all the way


        • #5
          Re: Sump Pump runs continuously, doesn't pump

          I took your advice and turned on the pump and at the same time I connected
          my shop vac. I filled up my 6 gal shop vac 4 times...finally my pump shut off.

          So, I'm not sure if it works or not?

          However, before this proceedure the
          pump would not shut off at all.

          Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this.

          Thank you for all your help!

          Michael Ward


          • #6
            Re: Sump Pump runs continuously, doesn't pump

            a) Unplug sump pump or if hard wired open circuit breaker for it.

            B) Remove pump from sump and check that inlet holes aren't plugged up with sludge. If they are they must be cleaned.

            C) Use shop vac and clean out sump. If full of sludge-glop or dirt that needs to be removed to keep the pump from plugging up fast. Once done then please try step D.

            D) With the above done and the pump put back in place and power restored to it, try filling up the sump with clean water and see if the pump starts up and pumps it out. The discharge line should be nice and clear so it should work. Did it work? If yes, great and if not then please try E.

            E) You might try the shop vac but use it at the discharge only to get water flowing. Then see if the pump can pump out the sump. While this might happen it's rare and that would be for the impeller to come free from the motor shaft. A sump pump is pretty simple. You may have a sticky check valve and that's where the shop vac would help force it open.

            F) As a final check (Get ready for water to blast all over the place!!!) try removing the discharge hose-pipe, fill the sump with clean water (Might be good to really clean sump using shop vac first.) and then using care plug in the pump. If the pump blasts out water then the pump is working.

            In a good many cases the sump gets full of glop which blocks the inlet area. This needs to be cleaned. I hope you have a toilet in your basement near the sump pump where you can empty out your shop vac. If not maybe take it outside.

            If all fails then I would call in a good plumber to install everything brand new unless you are pretty handy yourself. The check valve needs a 3/16" air bleeder hole drilled in the base of it (No drilling your pump please) to prevent air logging problems. If you can get the pump working by using the shop vac but then it won't work afterward try the little hole in the base (inlet end) of the check valve.

            Please try some of the above and report back.

            Special note: Do not let a sump pump just run and not pump water. If it won't pump something is wrong. Unplug it or shut off power.
            Last edited by Woussko; 11-23-2007, 05:27 PM.