How Long Should A Sump Pump Run Continuously?

How long should a  sump pump run during rain?

In a nutshell, we’re seeking to find out how long a sump pump operation is expected to last.

This is a question asked by many as they need to distinguish between when a sump pump is working and when there’s a fault.

To find out such details and more, all you have to do is read through to the end for answers to your questions.

How Long Should A Sump Pump Run During Rain?

Moisture management requires the use of specialized systems like the sump pump. This allows for the efficient disposal of accumulated water from the sump pit when it gets flooded.

Now, understanding its operability requires knowing the different aspects of its functioning including run times.

What’s the Moisture Condition Like?

To understand how long a sump pump should run per cycle, you’ll need to first have an understanding of your moisture situation.

A sump pump is supposed to be triggered by a sensor when water levels get to certain points within a sump pit. Of course, the pump is expected to turn off after pumping out the water.

While this is true, there are extreme cases of severe flooding where a lot of water is involved. With a flooded basement or home, a lot of pumping will be required to get the water out.

Therefore, it’s necessary to first understand your home’s moisture condition.

With such information, you’re able to assess your sump pump run time.

Sump Pumps Come with Varying Capacities

Another factor to consider when determining the run times of sump pumps is the pumping capacities or ratings. You’ll find these pumps have power ratings that range from 1/3 horsepower to about 3 horsepower.

The higher the horsepower, the more powerful the motor is.

A powerful motor translates to more gallons per hour being pumped. More importantly, sump pumps with greater pumping capacities tend to outlast those with lower horsepower in terms of pumping duration.

With the information provided in this section, you should some insight into what’s involved in sump pump run times.

So how long can a sump pump run continuously?

Run Times for Sump Pumps

Can a sump pump run continuously?

How does one go about determining the working duration of sump pumps?

One of the ways to figure that out is by the quality of the pump. Outside of this, a sump pump could run beyond the recommended timeframe when there’s a problem.

For a better understanding of these points, let’s take a look at each as follows.

How long is too long for a sump pump to run?

i. Sump Pump Quality Matters

The expected run time of sump pumps is largely determined by the quality. There are top-quality sump pumps designed to run longer in situations where there’s a sudden rise in groundwater.

Such water rise may be due to irrigation or flooding from heavy rainfall.

Speaking of quality, there are high-quality sump pumps as well as low-quality ones being sold in the market. High-quality pumps will last or run between 20 to 24 hours non-stop.

This is the ideal pump type to use when the moisture or flooding conditions are significant.

On the other hand, low-quality sump pumps do not last as long. You’ll find these with run times between 6 to 18 hours non-stop.

Low-quality sump pumps serve their particular use and are especially effective when moisture conditions aren’t so bad.

  • What Makes a Quality Sump Pump?

So far, quality has been mentioned as one of the key influencing factors that determine how long a sump pump should run.

Speaking of quality, you’ll need to consider certain features including the power rating as well as the power source.

Other sump pump features to consider include switch type, audio alarm, pump type (submersible or pedestal), and core material used for sump pump construction.

Speaking of materials used, the high-end sump pump types are built using stainless steel or cast-iron materials.

The low-end or low-quality pumps, feature high-grade plastic materials for body construction. Of course, sump pumps made from stainless steel or cast-iron materials tend to outlast those build using high-grade plastic.

ii. Faulty Sump Pumps May Turn on and Fail to Turn Off

Although we’ve provided the ideal run times of sump pumps based on type or quality, another factor affects normal running. As a sump pump gets used continually, there’s a tendency for it to malfunction.

These machines are only built to last and not work perpetually without issues.

Sump pumps will need to be serviced periodically to keep them in good working condition. When this isn’t done, it creates a situation where components are likely to break down. A faulty sump pump may run without resting.

Note that even the best quality sump pumps need some rest before continuing to avoid a burn-out.

When a sump pump runs continuously without stopping or resting, it could be due to many reasons. Such reasons may include a faulty valve, a faulty float switch, as well as an incorrect sump pit size.

Let’s discuss each of these points.

  • Faulty Sump Pump Valve

Because sump pumps are installed below ground, valve systems are installed to keep water from backtracking.

This simply means a one-directional movement of water is established. However, when the valve is faulty, discharged water is likely to flow back.

This leads to a situation where the sump pump runs continuously as discharged water gets nowhere but returns to the sump pit. When not properly addressed, continuous running of the sump pump could lead to its burn-out.

  • Faulty Float Switch

One of the vital components of a sump pump is the float switch designed to trigger the pump to either run or turn off. As the name implies, float switches work with the water level.

As water levels increase, the switch is pushed up which in turn triggers the pump when it reaches certain levels.

On the other hand, a running pump is triggered to turn off when water levels drop beyond a certain point.

When the float switch becomes faulty, it’s likely to cause the pump to work continuously even when there’s no water in the sump pit.

  • Incorrect Sump Pit Size

An appropriately sized sump pump and the pit should be installed. When the sump pump is smaller than the sump pit, it’s likely to compensate by working continuously.

This also happens when the sump pit is smaller; it won’t hold enough water at once for it to be pumped.

As the sump pit gets filled up faster, your sump pump will run more frequently than necessary. This is also a problem to avoid.

We’ve seen here that a top-quality sump pump mostly runs between 20 to 24 hours while a low-quality pump typically runs from 6 to 18 hours.

However, run times can be affected by many factors as discussed above.

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