What Do I Do If My Sump Pump Stops Working? - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Mar 29, 2023

What Do I Do If My Sump Pump Stops Working?

If your home has a basement, you may also have a sump pump. Knowing the ins and outs of your sump pump can mean the difference between keeping your basement dry and preventing water damage, especially in the spring when snow thaws.


It’s important to understand not only the functionality of your sump pump, but how to react quickly if it stops working. Continue reading to learn what a sump pump is, what to do if yours stops working, sump pump maintenance tips, and how insurance coverage affects sump pumps.


What Is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a water pump used to remove rain or ground water that seeps into a basement—typically a basement built below the water table. The pump transports the water from a basin in the basement floor to a storm drain or other approved water receptacle. In some basements that are not below the water table, a sump pump may still be used to prevent other types of flooding or excess moisture.


What Do I Do if My Sump Pump Overflows?

If your sump pump stops working, it’s important to act fast because your basement will likely begin to accumulate water. You can take the following steps to try to get your sump pump up and running:


       Make sure your power is working: Sump pumps run on electricity, so an important first step is to make sure electricity is getting to the pump. In fact, power outages are one of the leading causes of sump pump failure.

       Reset your sump pump: If the power is still on in your home, you should try resetting the pump by unplugging it for a few seconds and plugging it back in. If the reset is successful, you may still want to have a technician inspect the pump to make sure it does not fail again.

       Unclog your pump: If your sump pump is still not working properly, the issue may be that the pump is clogged. Water that goes through the pump may carry debris that can get stuck in the basin and impact the pump’s performance. If you are going to unclog the pump, make sure it is unplugged from its power source first. Then, reach into the basin and clean out any debris that has accumulated.

       If all else fails, call a technician: Your sump pump’s failure may indicate that it is time to replace it. Generally, sump pumps should be replaced every seven to ten years to prevent malfunctions over time.


How Do I Keep My Sump Pump From Overflowing?

Sump pumps require special attention and maintenance to ensure that they continue working. Here are some steps you should take to keep your basement dry and your sump pump running:


       Schedule regular maintenance for your sump pump several times a year.

       Flush it out with water and vinegar, removing particles and residue that have built up inside the pump.

       Regularly inspect your exterior drainage to confirm that your sump pump is discharging water.

       Clean outside the drainage tubing or piping to prevent water from being blocked.

       Consider having a professional service your pump every few years.


Does My Insurance Cover Sump Pump Overflow?

Homeowners insurance policies generally do not cover sump pump failure. However, NYCM Insurance offers additional coverage that can cover the water damage that is caused by sump pump overflow.


Through our Premier Protection, Premier Plus Protection and Premier Plus High Value Protection homeowners insurance coverage policies, we offer extended water damage coverage. The amount of coverage available varies by form, so speak with your agent to extend your coverage and see which option is right for you and your home.


Whether or not your insurance covers sump pump failure and water damage, it is important to monitor your sump pump and perform maintenance on it regularly to ensure everything continues to work smoothly.