As sump pump installation and repair experts, we frequently get this call about sump pumps: is there supposed to be water in the pit?
If you’ve just had a sump pump installed, or if you’ve just moved into a home with a sump pump, owning this equipment may be a completely new experience for you. But have no fear. Below we’ll explain what you need to know about your sump pump pit and how to know if your sump pump is having trouble.
My sump pump pit always has water in it. Is that bad?
Your sump pump is made up of two parts: the pump itself, and the pit it operates in. It’s perfectly normal for a sump pump pit to always have some water in it. This water can be the result of rain, snowmelt, or seepage from the ground.
That being said, when the water rises to a certain level, this should trigger your sump pump’s float switch. This will cause the pump to turn on and start working.
My sump pump pit frequently goes dry. Is that bad?
Yes and no. You do not want your sump pump pit to be dry on a regular basis. A dry sump pump pit can cause the pump’s plastic and rubber components to wear out prematurely. This means that you’ll need to repair or replace the sump pump much sooner than you otherwise would.
On a positive note, it could mean that you don’t have the flooding problem that you thought you did. The seepage might be coming from a piping or drainage issue that a plumber can investigate and correct for you.
What if my sump pump pit is always full of water?
Just as you don’t want a constantly dry sump pump pit, you also don’t want the pit to be constantly full of water. This could indicate that the water table where the pump is installed is too high. There could also be a problem with the sump pump itself such as a clogged or frozen discharge line that’s preventing water from leaving.
Issues with your home’s plumbing can also cause a sump pump pit to be constantly full of water. For example, a broken sewer line, water line, or sprinkler system can contribute to the water seeping into the ground around your home’s foundation.