Sump Pump Short Cycle…And Why You Shouldn’t Worry About It.

Lots of contractors and homeowners have questions about their sump pumps short cycling. Most of the time, it’s not something you need to worry about. Most sump pumps are sitting in a sump basin, so they collect the same amount of water every time. Once the water rises, the pump turns on and pumps out the water in the basin, then it turns off. So the pump is actually pumping out the same amount of water every time it cycles.

For our purposes, let’s say your sump pump basin holds 5 gallons of water. Now a 3/4 HP Pump will pump out the water at a faster rate than a 1/3 HP or 1/2 HP Pump. And most sump pumps will pump out the water that comes into the basin regularly without any problems.

What you have to plan for are those rain events that happen once or twice a year where a LOT OF WATER comes into the system at a very short period of time. In these events, a 1/3 HP Pump or a 1/2 HP Pump may not be able to keep up with the rising water level. If this happens, the basement will eventually flood.

Now it is true that during one of these rain events a higher HP pump may run a few more cycles than a lower HP Pump. But the smaller HP Pumps may not be able to keep up with the torrential rains that may occur.

So the trade off for the few dozen extra cycles on the switch of your main sump pump isn’t worth the risk of flooding your basement (and most pump switches average 100,000 cycles anyway).