Sump pump running every minute: (Causes & Fixes)

Sump pump running every minute

Sump pumps are devices that pump water out from a sump pit to prevent flooding. A sump is a pit created on the basement’s floor to store water seeping through the loose earth.

This pumping machine has an arrangement of pipes through which the water is pumped away from the building. The water activates a float switch when the water seeps in and gets collected in the sump pit. The pump starts running once the trigger is engaged, pumping the water out of the basement through the pipes.

sump pump running every minute

However, there can be situations where the pumping machine malfunctions and run every minute of the day. When that happens, the sump pump will not last long, and you will incur extra expenses.

This article will help you understand the factors that cause the pumping device to run every minute and ways you can fix those issues.

My Sump Pump Runs Every Minute of The Day

If the pumping device is running every minute of the day, even when the level of water is low, you need to get it fixed. It starts running only when the rise in water level triggers the activation switch.

So, it is uncharacteristic of the pump to run continuously throughout the day. There are several factors that make a pump that runs every minute of the day. Let us look at some of them.


  • Sump pumps can operate longer than usual during the rainy or monsoon seasons.
  • Clogs or frozen pipelines may cause the water to rise from the waterbed, making the pump run continuously.
  • A sump pump running every minute can be due to heavy rainfall, which is only normal.
  • Smaller pumps run longer as they take more time to pump out water.
  • It can run for long periods if the valve is jammed, leading to its inability to receive signals to switch off.


  • In monsoon and rainy seasons, you can set the switch slightly higher than usual.
  • Clogs can happen due to tiny debris in the pipelines. Changing the pipes or cleaning them can do the trick.
  • You can upgrade the sump pump to a bigger one for a big property or land area. Smaller pumps tend to take more time to pump the water out.
  • Install a higher-grade pump, so the valve does not get jammed.

One should remember that the pump will function when the water rises from the waterbed. As the level goes down, it will also get switched off. 

Why Is My Sump Pump Running Nonstop?

It can break down due to overheating when it starts running nonstop. There are instances when a pump keeps running even without the presence of water.

It is essential for the pump to function when there is water, or else it will result in overheating and breaking down. However, you will find that these pump issues usually happen due to minute problems which you can easily fix.

The sump pump has a mechanism that involves a trigger button. It is lightweight, making it possible to float as water levels rise. As the switch floats, it activates a button that engages the pump.

Similarly, the pump is supposed to turn off automatically as the water goes back down. If your pump is running nonstop, the problem must lie with the floater. It sometimes doesn’t go back down with the water and remains switched on the whole time.

That can happen when the pump wanders into the sump pit. The pump vibrates when turned on, which can shift it from one place to another inside the circumference of the pit. In this process, the switch can permanently get stuck when it is on, making it operate continuously.

Another reason the pump functions constantly can be due to the switch getting entangled with the cord. When that happens, the trigger stays on and keeps running until it is fixed.

Other than the reasons mentioned above, there can be more complicated issues with the pump that might cause it to run continuously.

This pumping device functions in such a way that the water that is collected in the pit is pumped out through a pipeline. The water flows upwards and is released away from the building through the pipelines. When you turn off the pump, some remaining water from the pipe will fall back into the pit if there is no valve installed in the device.

Without a valve, the water will go back down into the pit, which will ignite the switch again. The process will keep on continuing if there is no valve. So, ensuring that your valve is in good condition is vital.

Various other reasons can be a poor home-drainage system or problems pertaining to broken pipelines in your home. Some people have their sump pit built too big and deep that it collects so much water that it will continue pumping water.

When you build a house, you must ensure that the basement is placed above the waterbed and not on the same level. During the rainy season, water will rise above your basement, resulting in groundwater seeping through the walls and filling your basement.

The most effective way to ensure that your basement doesn’t face all these problems is to install the best sump pump system available on the market. High-quality sump pumps will not cause any technical issues.

Why Your Sump Pump Runs Every 30 Seconds: Causes & Fixes

Using channels, the pumping device propels out the water collected in the lowest part of the basement, usually a sump pit.

Sometimes, the pump can face technical issues and run every 30 seconds, potentially breaking it down. Let us look at some of the factors causing this issue and what we can do to fix them.

The pipelines can sometimes freeze when too cold, forming a clog. That makes the pumping machine run continuously as it tries to pump the water out of the pit.You can use a heating cable to prevent your pipelines from freezing. The heating cable is connected to a socket, which must stop from coming in contact with water.
If your drainage system is not planned correctly, it will add to the flooding problems in your basement. No matter how much the sump pump removes water, water will seep back in if your drainage system tilts towards your home.You can rectify this problem by layering your yard by filling it with topsoil and diverting the water away from your home. In extreme cases, you should call in the experts and let them readjust your yard’s problems.
The trigger button that stays floating gets stuck in a position where it runs constantly. The most common cause is that the cords can entangle with the trigger button or float switch.Use waterproof tape or bands to bind the cords to the pipelines so that they do not float and get entangled with the switch.
If your basement lies just above the waterbed, the water level will rise higher than the floor when it rains heavily. This can flood your basement, and the machine will continue running endlessly.The best way to tackle this problem is to lift the sump pump a few levels higher by placing a couple of stepping stones below it. This will raise the height of the sump pump and prevent it from running every 30 seconds.

How Often Should A Sump Pump Run?

A standard sump pump will run only when the water level triggers the floating button. As the water level declines in the sump pit, the machine will turn off automatically.

However, there are instances of the sump pump running every 5 minutes. This happens when there are technical issues in the sump pump. The factors that can cause the sump pump to run continuously are clogged pipes, broken valves, the pump or sump pit’s size, the level of your yard, etc.

The most common cause is when the switch is jammed or entangled with the cord.

There can be situations where the sump pump won’t start also. A running sump pump is better than one that doesn’t even function as it will not prevent your basement from flooding. It won’t sometimes start due to various causes like:

  • Lack of electricity.
  • Dysfunctional float switch.
  • Clogged sump pump weep hole in the impeller chamber.
  • Overheating.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should a sump pump run?

It runs only when the switch is triggered.

Other Causes of Continuous Sump Pump Operation

Some causes of continuous sump pump operation are jammed valve or float switch, clogged channels, the pit’s size, etc.

How To Fix A Sump Pump That Keeps Running

Check to see if the switch is tangled up with the cords, unfreeze the pipelines, remove debris, raise the level on which the pumping device sits, rearrange the sump pit, etc.

How long can a sump pump run continuously?

It can run continuously until it switches off manually or breaks down because of overheating.

Why does my sump pump keep going off?

This happens when the switch and channels are clogged; there is a lack of electricity, a broken valve, etc.

Why Does My Sump Pump Run Constantly In Heavy Rain?

If your basement floor and the water bed are on the same level, more water will seep in when it rains heavily, making the sump pump operate constantly.

You can fix this issue by installing an outdoor sump pump which will pump the rainwater collected in the yard away from the house.

Why Is My Sump Pump Running So Often In The Winter?

During winter, the pipe channels freeze and can cause the water pumped upwards to flow back into the pit. This makes the sump pump function so often in the winter.