My Sump Pump Alarm Is Going Off – What To Do

It would be frustrating to hear your sump pump alarm going off in the middle of a heavy rainy night. But it warns you against possible flooding that can ruin your basement or crawl space. So it is important to find out the reasons behind the alarm going off and what you should do about it. Let’s start by finding the purpose of a sump pump alarm system.

sump pump alarm going off

What is the Purpose of a Sump Pump Alarm?

Sump pump chambers are submerged, which makes it difficult to identify any issues even if the water is about to overflow from the chamber. So, an alarm monitors the water levels inside the sump pump and notifies if there is any problem. The alarm goes off to alert the user about high water levels. Then you should contact a professional to solve the problem with the sump pump. 

Benefits of a Sump Pump Alarm

Having a sump pump alarm assures you that you will be informed right away if something is not working correctly. So, you don’t have to worry about your basement flooding due to a faulty sump pump. It saves both your time and money as you can call an engineer to deal with the situation immediately.

What Causes Sump Pump Alarm to Go Off?

Although the sump pump alarm tells you that there is a problem with the water level, you cannot determine the exact cause simply with that. It is necessary to find the problem to restore the function of your sump pump. Various reasons cause the sump pump alarm to go off. Check out the following possibilities if your alarm rings.

High Water Level

The sump pump alarm will go off if the water level in the basement exceeds a certain level. This is usually 6 inches below the lid. A sensor will detect the water level and trigger the alarm in time to inform you of the situation. You need to take necessary action to prevent your basement or crawl space from flooding. This is the situation that can cause the most water damage to your premises. So, the first thing that you should do if you hear your sump pump beeping is to check the water level in your basement.

Power Failure

About 90% of the issues related to sump pumps not working are caused by a lack of power to the pump. Sump pumps will stop working once it loses electrical connectivity. A sudden power outage could be the reason that your sump pump sounds the alarm. This usually happens during adverse weather conditions such as storms during which the power lines break down. So check whether there is electricity in your house and whether the sump pump gets power. Reset the breaker if the outlets do not have power. If the breaker trips continuously as you turn on the sump pump, there could be a problem with the electrical system. Since there could be electrical failures inside the machine, it will be best solved by a technician.


A sump pump cannot remove the water properly if it is clogged. Dirt and debris present in the water could clog the pump over time. It will increase the basin water level of the sump pump. Make sure that the sump pump chamber is covered properly so that nothing can fall in. Clean the sump pump regularly during maintenance to keep the chamber clean and improve its useful lifespan.

Overworking of Sump Pump

Sump pumps like most other machines are not designed to run continuously. So, if you overuse the sump pump for extended periods, the components will wear out soon. Once the sump pump breaks down, you will have to replace various parts. So the best way to avoid such costly repairs is by using the sump pump at regular intervals. If you have a higher load of water to get rid of, you can use 2 or 3 pumps to reduce the workload.

Old and Worn Out Pump

If your pump is old and worn out, it cannot deal with the water load. It will not pump out the water effectively due to the inefficiency of the moving components. There could also be leaks through seals and gaskets that contribute to this. If your sump pump has trouble keeping up with draining water, it’s time to go for a new one. You can also try some other water discharge methods to aid your sump pump in the task to avoid flooding.

Is Your Sump Pump Alarm Working?

It is important to have a sump pump alarm as it informs you if something is wrong in the system. So you should make sure that the sump pump alarm is working properly. Conduct regular maintenance involving the alarm. If not, there is a risk that the alarm may not go off when required. Get a professional technician to inspect the sump pump alarm. Usually, they will check this as a part of the service during regular maintenance.

What to Do When Sump Pump Alarm Goes Off?

If your alarm goes off too often, it will be an indicator that the sump pump is not powerful enough to handle the amount of water in your basement. You will have to upgrade to a larger sump pump. If you hear your sump pump beeping, it indicates that the pump is about to activate. But odd beeping noises indicate that there is something wrong with the sump pump. High-end sump pumps can also send text messages to the user’s phone during a flooding or power outage as it sounds the alarm.

Use a Backup Sump Pump

If your sump pump cannot handle the water load, you can run a backup sump pump to relieve the workload of removing water. It is advantageous to have a battery backup sump pump to face a power outage. You can buy one if power outages or seasonal storms are common in your region. Choose a backup that can run for at least 4 hours, which will prevent your basement from flooding.

How to Turn Off Sump Pump Battery Alarm?

After checking the sump pump and if you are sure that there is nothing wrong in the system, you can turn it off and reset the alarm. There is a reset switch in most sump pumps and the interface allows to re-enable separate alarms. You can check the user manual to find the correct steps in resetting the alarm. Make sure not to disable the alarm permanently as it puts you at risk of flooding.

sump pump alarm going off

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Reset My Sump Pump?

  1. Locate the reset button on the motor and press it to reset your sump pump easily.
  2. If there is no reset button, find the On/ Off switch and turn it off. You can also unplug the pump directly from the power outlet. 
  3. Check the sump pump to make sure that it is clean since the debris is one of the main reasons for the sump pump failure.
  4. Plug the sump pump again and turn on the switch.
  5. If everything is in order, your sump pump should turn on and it will be reset.
  6. If the pump doesn’t start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure that they haven’t tripped.

How Long Should a Sump Pump Battery Last?

If there is a battery backup system for the sump pump, it will continue to function even during a blackout. Generally, most new fully-charged batteries will last for about 5 – 7 hours of continuous pumping during a power outage. Depending on the frequency of usage, it can also last up to 1 – 3 days of non-continuous pumping. When the pump runs longer, the power it has will continue to reduce.

How Do I Stop My Sump Pump From Beeping?

If your sump pump was running and there was a sudden power outage, this alarm may go off temporarily. Sump pump battery backup beeping will recover once the power restores as the battery will recharge. Some battery backup systems have a button that can reset the alarm for 24 hours.

How Do I Know if My Sump Pump is Working?

  1. Fill the sump pit with water and see whether the pump activates. If not, check the power to the outlet. There is no issue with the electrical connections, there should be a problem with the sump pump.
  2. If the pump turns on, watch the pump drain water from its basin and confirm that there are no leaks in the discharge pipe. Make sure that water reaches the final termination point where it should be discharged.
  3. You can also test the shut-off feature by observing it until the pump turns off. If the sump pump does not shut down properly, it will overheat and stall. If the pump does not shut off automatically, you should consult a technician about repairing it.


Now you know how to deal with your sump pump alarm going off. Knowing what the problem is will save your time and money and even protect your property from potential water damage. If you find that the sump pump has trouble removing water, you should immediately check its functionality. If you cannot deal with this issue, you should contact your local technician to assist you in restoring your sump pump. 

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