Celebrating 65 Years of "No Problem" Service

Signs a New Sump Pump May be Needed

We are often asked how long a sump pump should last. The answer is, it’s variable, but a rule of thumb is seven to ten years. (We still have JMI pumps out there since 1958!) However, there are some signs that signal a pump system needs to be serviced or replaced.

Continual running

If your pump runs all the time for no reason, it may be that it doesn’t have a strong enough GPM performance for the volume of incoming water, or the HP to overcome the application TDH (Total Dynamic Head). This can be a sizing issue, as one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to sump pumps.

Strange noises

You may often hear a humming noise when the pump is running, but excessive motor noise can mean a failed bearing. Rattling or grinding noises could also indicate a jammed or damaged impeller.

Failure to turn on when needed

This could mean the float switch is stuck or part of the float mechanism is broken. Also, you may need to check the breaker in your panel.

Continual cycling of turning on and turning off

This can be a result of a power issue, or a float switch issue, but most likely is a basin and/or pump sizing issue. This is the other side of the coin and related to the continual running above. If a pump installed actually is too high of HP or GPM performance, it can shorten the life of the pump with too many start/stops in a short period of time. This causes excessive heat in motors and speeds up the life cycle of the switch.


A heavy flow into the sump pump pit can be a result of a high-water table or underground spring. It also could be the result of excessive rain or less than ideal drainage away from the house. The problem can be addressed by installing a duplex system; another pump and basin in another part of the basement (tying into the drain tile or adding additional tile); or upgrading the pump system.

If you need help determining the age or condition of the pump, contact the team at JMI Pump Systems at 800-234-5490 or sales@jmipumps.com.

Lastly - We always recommend you have a battery backup system in case of power outage or primary pump failure. At the very least, install an alarm (with text alerts available) so you are notified while you still have time before flooding. Again, call JMI for the many options available.

Leave your comment