Spring is the time when you start to see healthy greenery again and you are likely to see a great deal of rain as well. In fact, you may even see up to five to six inches of rain during the months of March, April, and May. Even if you only see a few inches in your area, this is the time when your sump pump really needs to do its work to keep your basement dry. However, if you notice that the pump is running but not forcing any water out of the home, then you may see a flooding issue fairly quickly. If you notice this problem, then some quick troubleshooting is in order to make sure the impeller is moving properly. 

Inspect And Clean The Impeller

Most sump pumps are centrifugal pumps that work with a device called an impeller. Water enters the sump pump pit and the pump motor is switched on when the water level becomes too high. When the motor runs, the impeller starts to spin. This creates pressure that forces water up and out of the discharge pipe. If you hear your sump pump running but water does not move out of the pit, then it is likely that the impeller is not moving for some reason. If the impeller is stuck, then you may hear a grinding noise as the impeller tries to move.

In many cases, the impeller becomes stuck as debris sits close to the part and prevents it from spinning. Simply cleaning out the debris can fix the issue. Start by unplugging the pump and removing the discharge pipe from the top of the device. Lift the pump out of the pit afterwards and place it in a bucket. Take the bucket and pump outside. 

Look for several screws that keep the pump casing or cover in place. Remove the screws and gently pull on the casing. Use your hose to rinse the inside of the pump to remove sludge and other debris. Look for stones or other larger pieces of material sitting next to the impeller that may be causing it to stop moving. Try to move the impeller freely with your fingers. If it does not move, then hair and other debris may be wrapped underneath the impeller. Release the screw that keeps the impeller in place, remove the impeller, and clean off the base of the part. Secure the impeller back into place when you are done.

Add Some Screens

Most sump pumps will have a screen at the base of the outlet pipe to keep debris from clogging it. However, there typically is not a screen around the inlet that allows water into the sump pump. This means that debris can enter the pump, but it cannot release through the outlet. This may cause a future impeller issue. To prevent this problem, attach a small screen to the outside of the pump inlet opening. 

Sump pumps will have either a single large inlet opening or a series of vents. Inspect the pump to determine the type of inlet and measure the water intake area. Go to your local home store and purchase a piece of copper screen. While aluminum screen material can be used, copper will reduce corrosion better and stay strong as water passes through it. 

Cut the screen a bit larger than the water intake opening. If the opening is a single one and protrudes a small amount from the pump, then you can fold the screen over the edge of the protrusion and fit a rubber pipe coupling over it. If the pump has vents, then cut the screen so it is about one-half inch larger than the vents. Purchase a submersible marine glue made with epoxy. Place a generous amount of the glue around the perimeter of the vents. Wrap the screen material around the vents so the extra screen material is secured in the glue. 

If you still have problems with your sump pump or need help with these measures, contact local plumber services.