Strange Noises Coming from Your Sump Pump? Here’s Why

April 4, 2024
Strange Noises Coming from Your Sump Pump? Here's Why

Written by: Deane Biermeier / Facts Checked by; Ryan Cullenward / Products Tested by Licensed Interior Designers

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A sump pump is essential in preventing water damage and flooding in crawl spaces or basements. However, strange noises from the sump pump can be unsettling and indicate potential issues. This article will discuss the reasons behind these noises and provide troubleshooting steps to address them effectively.  

Types of Strange Noises from Sump Pump

  1. Grinding or Screeching

    • This noise could indicate a problem with the motor bearings or impeller. It may suggest that the pump is struggling to operate efficiently, potentially due to worn or damaged components.
  2. Continuous Running Water Sound

    • If you hear a constant sound of running water coming from the sump pump, it could mean that water is continuously flowing into the pit at a high rate, indicating potential issues with drainage or excessive water infiltration.
  3. Loud Banging or Clanging

    • A loud banging or clanging noise may occur when the pump switches on or off abruptly. This could be caused by water hammer, which happens when fast-moving water is suddenly stopped by the closing of a valve or check valve.
  4. Gurgling or Air Bubbles

    • Gurgling or the presence of air bubbles in the discharge pipe suggests that there may be air getting into the system. This could be due to a loose connection, a damaged discharge pipe, or improper installation.
  5. Whining or High-Pitched Noise

    • A high-pitched whining noise may indicate that the pump motor is straining to operate, possibly due to a clog in the impeller or a blockage in the discharge pipe. It could also suggest issues with the motor or electrical components.
  6. Sudden Silence

    • If the sump pump suddenly becomes silent and stops running altogether, it could indicate a power failure, a tripped circuit breaker, or a malfunction in the pump motor. It's essential to investigate the cause promptly to prevent flooding.
  7. Vibrating or Rattling

    • Vibrating or rattling noises may occur if the pump is not securely fastened or if there are loose components within the pump housing. It's crucial to address this issue to prevent further damage to the pump and ensure proper operation.

Top Reasons for Strange Noises 

1. Airlock in the Discharge Pipe 

  • Air bubbles trapped in the discharge pipe can create a gurgling or bubbling noise.  
  • Locate the check valve and vent the air out to address this issue by temporarily loosening the coupling.  

2. Impeller Issues 

  • A malfunctioning impeller may lead to grinding or rattling sounds.  
  • Start by disconnecting the power and inspecting the impeller for debris or damage. Clean or replace it if necessary.  

3. Loose or Misaligned Pump Components 

  • Loose or misaligned parts can cause vibrating or rattling noises.  
  • Ensure all pump components, including motor mounts and bolts, are securely fastened.  

4. Clogged or Blocked Vents 

  • Blocked or inadequate venting can result in a humming or vibrating noise.  
  • Clear any obstructions in the vent and ensure proper ventilation to prevent pressure build-up.  

Troubleshooting and Solutions  

1. Airlock in the Discharge Pipe 

  • Locate the check valve and temporarily loosen the coupling to release the trapped air.  
  • Tighten the coupling once the air is ventilated to restore proper water flow.  

2. Impeller Issues 

  • Disconnect the power and remove the pump cover.  
  • Inspect the impeller for debris or damage and clean or replace it as needed.  
  • Reassemble the pump and test its operation.  

3. Loose or Misaligned Pump Components 

  • Turn off the power and check all pump components for loose or misaligned parts.  
  • Use appropriate tools to tighten any loose bolts or screws.  
  • Confirm that motor mounts are secure and aligned correctly.  

4. Clogged or Blocked Vents 

  • Check the vent for obstructions and remove any debris.  
  • Ensure proper ventilation by providing sufficient clearance for air circulation.  
  • Consider installing a vent screen to prevent debris from entering the system.  

Maintenance and Prevention Tips  

1. Regular Inspection and Cleaning 

  • Schedule periodic inspections to identify potential issues early on.  
  • Clean the sump pump, including the impeller and discharge pipe, to prevent clogs and maintain optimal performance.  

2. Ensuring Proper Ventilation 

  • Regularly check and clean vents to maintain unrestricted airflow.  
  • Keep the vent area clean and free from debris to prevent blockages.  

3. Professional Maintenance 

  • Consider hiring an experienced sump pump technician for regular maintenance.  
  • They can inspect, clean, and perform any necessary repairs or replacements.  


Strange noises from your sump pump should always be addressed, as they can indicate underlying problems that may lead to pump failure or flooding. By understanding the reasons behind these noises and following the steps which are mentioned in this article, you can address the issues promptly and keep your sump pump in optimal working condition.

Disclosure: receives an affiliate commission on some, but not all, of the products we recommend—but only if you decide to click through to the retailer's site and make a purchase.

Deane Biermeier - A senior contractor and an experienced freelance writer - expert for reviews

Deane is an amazing freelancer with wide range of skills. He has good ideas and a prominent passion of writing. He is currently working on many websites including Sanitary Supply.

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