Below are signs that your sump pump may need replacing. Contact a professional if you are unsure.


If you hear unusual noises from your sump pump, there may be cause for concern. Unusual noises could mean an assortment of issues, many of which we will cover below.

It's best to monitor the sump pump to ensure it is working correctly if you do hear noises.

Too Much Water

Sometimes, even a working sump pump may not be able to handle heavy water flow in your basement.

This could be a sign that your current sump pump needs to be upgraded, or that you need to install a new drain tile or baseboard system to assist.

Constantly Running

A constantly running sump pump is going to wear the machine down a lot quicker than normal.

If you just had heavy rains or a long, snowy winter, it may make sense for the sump pump to run without stopping for a period of time.

However, if that short period of time turns to a long period of time, or there hasn't been an unusual amount of water fall, then there's a good chance the sump pump is not working correctly.

Over 10 Years Old

How long do sump pumps last?

Sump pumps do not last forever. Like all other home tools and appliances, sump pumps have a shelf life.

Sump pumps typically last 8 to 10 years. Even when they are maintained well, they probably won't last much longer, but this can be fixed with a replacement.

Not Installed Correctly

Sometimes sump pumps are not installed correctly from the get-go.

In fact, it may have been installed incorrectly, and you may not even know it for some time.

When heavy rains strike your basement, the sump pump isn't able to handle the water and shows signs that it was not installed correctly.

Doesn't Run Even When Level Rises

Sump pumps come with a float that tells the system when to turn on and flush water out.

When that system is broken, the sump pump won't turn on.

Your sump pump not turning on could also mean an assortment of others issues, such as a power or electrical issue.

Repairing Often

If you need to repair or replace parts on your sump pump constantly, it may give you a better return on your investment to simply replace the entire system.

It will also give you some peace of mind not having to worry about it every spring of in heavy rains!

Frozen Discharge Channels

Sump pumps that are not surrounded by good insulation can become frozen and build up an ice dam.

When that happens, the water flowing out has no place to go except back into the sump bucket (and possibly into the basement!).

Frequent Tripping

If you sump pump is turning on and off frequently, it is best to monitor the situation.

It could simply be an electrical or float issue. It could also mean that there is too much water for the sump system to handle.

In that case, a new basement waterproofing system may be in order.

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Water is Flooding Your Basement

If too much water is piling up in your sump pump (or is even overflowing out), then it is probably time to replace the sump pump.

There could be another problem, such as a blockage or power problem, which we will discuss later in this article, but it could also mean the sump pump is ready to be replaced.

Float Switch Issues

As mentioned earlier, the float switch can prevent the pump from functioning correctly.

There can also be pressure problems that lead to the pump not turning on or off as intended.

Rusty Sump Pump

Rust on or near your sump pump is not usual, but it can happen.

The constant running of water can lead to rust and even holes in your system.


When sump pumps are overused, they can overheat and wear down.

Replacing the system may be an option, but in reality, the new system may end up overheating as well.

We recommend fixing the problem at its source rather than just the symptoms of the problem. Overheating may simply be a symptom.

Contact a professional to identify the source of your basement water problems.

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Mold Growth

Mold and basements are common pairings. With lots of water flowing through sump pumps, and being that they are located in basements, mold can accumulate.

If you see mold around your sump pump, it may mean that the system is not draining water as it should, and it needs replacing.

Water Leaks

Water leaks are not good, especially in sump pumps.

If your sump pump leaks water, the channels need to be replaced or the sump pump itself.

Not Powering

If you sump pump is not powering, the system itself may be dead.

It could also mean that there is an electrical issue.

Backup System Not Working

Sump pumps can come with backup power.

If your backup system is not working, the trigger may be broken, or the backup power unit may be dead as well.

Clogged Sump Pump

If you sump pump constantly clogs, a replacement may be in order.

It does depend if the clog is in the channel pipes or in the sump pump itself.

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Written by:
Basement Water Controlled Staff
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