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Why is My Septic Pump Tripping the Breaker? – 5 Reasons

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

why is my septic pump tripping the breaker

Have you ever experienced a septic pump tripping gfci breaker? Are you wondering “why is my septic pump tripping the breaker?”

There are many reasons for a sump and septic pump tripping the circuit breaker. Most of these problems are associated with a ground fault or blockage caused by the debris. If you experience issues like these, it’s best to call a professional. That’s because an improper pump repair can lead to more significant problems.

Read on to determine what causes septic pump problems and if your unit needs to be serviced or replaced.

Why Septic or Sump Pump Trips GFCI Breakers


Though sump and septic pumps are different types of pumps, these pumps have almost the same motor function. The sump pump pumps excess water from basements caused by flooding, while the septic pump removes water and waste from septic tanks.

When a septic aerator keeps tripping the breaker, you need to get in touch with a professional to look at it. That’s because, when improperly serviced, these pumps can damage your property or even lead to physical injury. However, before calling your local technician, here are some things you should consider.

1. Damaged Pump Motor

A damaged pump motor may be the most common reason your pump keeps malfunctioning, leading it to trip its breaker. You can check if your pump motor is damaged by turning it on and listening for any humming sound. If there’s no sound, calling a professional is the best way to solve this problem.

2. Leakage

Your septic pump or sump pump breaker may have tripped due to a water leak or moisture. The GFCI breaker will detect the presence of water or moisture in the pump wiring or inside the motor and will trip instantly. That is also why it is advisable to plug your pump into a GFCI breaker.

Furthermore, water and moisture that enters the motor pump can cause damage to your unit, causing corrosion and stopping it from working. If this is the case, you should also have a professional look at your system to apply solutions that will prevent this from reoccurring.

Related: Detailed Guide on Installing a GFCI Breaker.

3. Blockage

The other reason the septic and sump pump keeps tripping the breaker is dirt blockage. When there is dirt inside your pump, the impeller may have difficulty spinning or worse; it will get stuck by the debris inside. In this case, the pump will need to draw more current, which causes breaker trips.

A sign of blockage is when the pump breaker trips after a few minutes of working. Furthermore, there are instances when your pump will immediately trip upon starting due to a stuck pump impeller.

4. Damaged Electrical Wires

The electrical wiring may also weaken as it ages if your pump is old. Sometimes it’s also caused by animal bites, especially if the wiring is not secure. There are also some instances the wire gets damaged after installation or repairs.

5. Using a Low Rating Extension Cord

Though it is not ideal, some septic pumps need to use an extension cord. However, some extension cords may be too light for them. Using a low rating extension cord may blow off your pump fuse or trip the circuit breaker.

It is better to call certified maintenance if you see any of the signs above. However, if you have already purchased a replacement for your septic pump, this video by Wholesale Septic Supply will help you understand its wiring installation.


Seeing any signs above will help you answer your question of why is my septic pump tripping the breaker. Furthermore, when you experience the situations above, you should call a professional to look at your system.

So, do you have a problem with your septic pump? Is the information above helpful to you? Have you encountered any issues that aren’t listed here? Share them in the comments below to see how we can fix it!

Furthermore, read now other articles to learn more about the most reason why your appliances keep tripping the breaker, such as:

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