Is It Normal For A Sump Pump To Run Every 3 Minutes?
The purpose of a sump pump is to help to prevent flooding in a lower level floor like a basement. They are an essential piece of equipment if the foundation of the home sits below the water table. Sump pumps pull water away from the house and depending on your property, either disperses it or dumps it into a well or municipal storm drain.
Sump pumps are normally installed in a crawlspace or the lowest area of your basement. A hole is dug out to create a pit and the sump pump is inserted into that pit.
When the pump detects excess water it automatically turns on (it's activated by a float device). So, depending on the amount of water in the area, there may be times that it will run either continuously for a while or run every few minutes.
It just depends on the amount and continuity of the water that is flowing into the pit where the pump is located.
How Long Should A Sump Pump Run After A Rain?
Again, it depends on the amount of rain and the length of time it rained. If there were 2 straight days of rain then your pump may run for several days.
It can worry many homeowners if they notice that their pump is running, especially if they had not noticed that before. But rest assured that this is normal.
One thing we can recommend is to check with your neighbors. If their sump pumps are running like yours, then you know that it's most likely just doing what it's supposed to do. But if your pump is running much longer than theirs or you notice that it's been days since it's rained and your pump is still running - well - we would recommend that you call in a plumber to check to see if there is something wrong with the pump.
What You Can Do To Check Your Sump Pump
If you suspect that there may be something wrong with your pump - here are a few things that you can check out.
Check the plug - Sump pumps should be plugged in to a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet. There are times that the GFCI breaker will trip (especially if the area is damp) so check to make sure it is still on, if not, reset it.
Positioning - If you have a free-standing sump pump (some are inground) then you want to make sure that it hasn't fallen over due to some vibrations either within the home or within the sump pump itself.
Test It Out - Pour a bucket of water into the pit which should then make the unit automatically turn on. If the pump doesn't start, then you know it needs to be serviced.
Cleaning - Remove the submerisible pump from the pit and clean out the grate which is located at the bottom of the unit. Oftentimes small stones and other debris can get caught in that grate and block the flow or damage the pump over time.
Check for Odor - If you smell a nasty odor it may be that water is not flowing from the trap to the basin. The solution is to add 1 cup of bleach to a gallon of water and then pour that combination into the trap.
If you have any questions about sump pumps or are having some problems with one, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.