Troubleshooting Sump Pump Humming: Causes and Fixes

The installation of a sump pump is crucial in preventing water damage and flooding on the property. Its purpose is to remove standing water from your basement or crawl area to stop costly structural damage. Unfortunately, sump pumps have a tendency to buzz, which may be both annoying and alarming. In this post, we’ll go over the basics of sump pump humming noise, including what produces it, why it’s dangerous, and how to fix it.

What is the sump pump humming noise?

The acoustic phenomenon known as the sump pump humming noise refers to a perceptible auditory signal that becomes manifest when the pump’s operation is underway. The sump pump humming noise can be characterized as a persistent, sonorous sound of a relatively low frequency that can be easily detected by the human ear. It must be emphasized that this noise is not an arbitrary or inconsequential occurrence, but rather serves as a telltale sign that some defect or dysfunction is afoot within the pump or one of its constituent parts.

Causes of sump pump humming noise

sump pump use in houseA sump pump may make a humming sound instead of working properly for several reasons. One of the most common causes is a clogged or blocked impeller, which can be caused by debris or sediment. There are several causes of the sump pump humming noise. One of the most common causes is a clogged or dirty impeller. The impeller is part of the pump that spins and moves water out of the sump pit. When the impeller becomes clogged with debris, it can cause the pump to work harder, resulting in a humming noise. Cleaning the impeller can resolve this issue.

Another reason for a humming sump pump is a lack of water in the sump pit. If the water level is too low, the pump can suck in air and vibrate. Ensuring that the sump pit is filled to the appropriate level can prevent this issue.

Loose parts can also cause a sump pump to vibrate and hum over time. Tightening any loose parts can help resolve this issue.

Electrical problems can also be the cause of a humming sump pump. Damaged or faulty wiring or electrical connections can cause buzzing or humming sounds. It is essential to ensure that the electrical components of the sump pump are functioning correctly, and if there are any issues, it’s best to call a professional.

Finally, a faulty float switch can cause a sump pump to hum instead of turning on or off as needed. The float switch is responsible for regulating when the sump pump operates. If it becomes damaged or faulty, replacing the float switch can help resolve this issue.

The dangers of sump pump humming

The act of ignoring the ominous warning that is the sump pump humming noise can result in an array of perilous predicaments. Among these hazards are the potentialities of fire hazards, flood risks, and exorbitant energy consumption.

In the event of a malfunctioning sump pump, it is plausible for the pump to overheat, leading to the ignition of a dangerous and potentially life-threatening fire.

Furthermore, if the sump pump fails to operate as intended, it could pave the way for the ingress of water into one’s property, which can culminate in irksome and expensive water damage.

Additionally, a sump pump that is forced to work harder than necessary will consume more energy, leading to an unwanted and exorbitant increase in energy expenses.

How to diagnose sump pump humming noise

There are a few actions you can take to identify the origin of your sump pump’s buzzing sounds. First, look for obstructions or dirt in the impeller. Clean the impeller if it’s unclean, then test the pump once again. If the impeller is clean, look for wear or damage in the motor.

An excessive amount of vibration, a burning odor, or the pump not turning on at all are additional indications of a failed sump pump. It could be time to replace your sump pump if you experience any of these symptoms.

How to fix the sump pump’s humming noise

There are several troubleshooting techniques that can be used to fix the sump pump’s humming noise. If the impeller is clogged, clean it out and test the pump again. If the motor is the issue, it may need to be replaced. Loose or worn bearings can also cause humming noise, and replacing them can often solve the problem.

If you’re unsure of how to fix your sump pump, it’s best to call a professional. A trained technician can diagnose the problem and provide recommendations for repair or replacement.

Sump Pump Humming But Not Pumping: Causes and Solutions

If you hear a humming sound from your sump pump but it’s not pumping water, it can be a cause for concern. In this section, we’ll discuss the causes and their solutions for a sump pump that is humming but not pumping.

Causes of Sump Pump Humming But Not Pumping

  1. Impeller Blockage: If debris or silt becomes caught in the impeller of a sump pump, the pump will continue to hum but won’t really expel any water. In this situation, the impeller may need to be cleaned to remove obstructions.
  2. Airlock: When the suction pipe of a sump pump becomes clogged with air, the water supply is cut off. A dry well or a broken discharge line are two potential causes of this. If the problem persists, check that the discharge line is properly connected and unblocked.
  3. Damage Motor: A burned-out motor could be the cause of a sump pump that makes a humming noise but does not actually pump. As time passes, the motor can wear out or be damaged, leaving you with a humming noise but no water flow. In this case, it’s possible that a new motor will solve the problem.
  4. Poor Float Switch Quality: If the float switch that controls the sump pump gets stuck or damaged, the pump will continue to hum but won’t actually operate. This problem may be fixed by just replacing the float switch.

Solutions for Sump Pump Humming But Not Pumping

  1. Clean the Impeller: The sump pump may be unable to pump water if the impeller is blocked with debris or sludge. You can either physically clean the impeller by removing the sump pump or use a garden hose to resolve this problem.
  2. Check the discharge line: A cut or obstructed discharge line may be the cause of the sump pump not receiving water. Make sure the discharge line is attached and unobstructed so that water can flow into the pump.
  3. Change the motor: The motor must be replaced if it is burned out or damaged. To eliminate any safety issues, it is preferable to call a professional to replace the motor.
  4. Replace the Float Switch: The sump pump may hum but not pump if the float switch is jammed or destroyed. The float switch may need to be replaced to remedy this problem.

Preventing sump pump humming problems

Maintaining a sump pump on a regular basis is crucial to avoid issues. This includes cleaning the pump housing and impeller, examining the power source and battery backup, and confirming the float switch’s functionality.

Also, it’s critical to routinely check the sump pump for wear or damage. Make sure the pump is firmly attached to the sump pit, and inspect the power cord for fraying or other damage. A loose pump may vibrate excessively and make a loud noise, which could cause harm.

It’s critical to make sure the sump pump is the appropriate size for your home or building in addition to performing routine maintenance. An inadequate pump might find it difficult to handle an abundance of water, which could result in increased wear and tear and eventual failure. A professional can aid in determining the pump’s proper size for your requirements and installation.


Sump pumps are an essential part of protecting your home or building from flooding and water damage. While the sump pump’s humming noise can be an indication of a problem, it’s essential to diagnose and fix the issue promptly to prevent further damage. By performing regular maintenance and ensuring proper installation, you can help ensure that your sump pump operates effectively and quietly for years to come.

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