How to Test Your Sump Pump in 4 Easy Steps
HOW TO TEST YOUR SUMP PUMP
A sump pump is one of the most important pieces of plumbing equipment in a house. The pump's main purpose is to move the water under your home and around its foundation away to a safer location. This ensures the excess water does not weaken the foundation, damage any possessions or flood your basement.
1. PERFORM A QUICK INSPECTION OF THE PUMP ITSELF AND ITS OUTLET PIPE
Start by listening and looking. Check for excessive groundwater around the foundation. Also remove the cover and look inside the sump pit. If there is little water, chances are the pump is working. Look for any external damage and obstructions in the surrounding pit as well. Lastly check the outlet pipe that carries water away from your home and ensure it is blockage free.
2. MAKE SURE ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS ARE IN ORDER
Your sump pump should be plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. This will protect it from a potential short while it is submerged. If your power often goes out in a storm it may also be a good idea to consider a battery-powered backup pump that will operate if your main sump pump stops working.
3. POUR A BUCKET OF WATER INTO THE SUMP PIT
Fill a bucket with water and pour it slowly around the sump pump. The pump should kick on once the water level reaches a predetermined level below the basement floor. If the pump doesn’t turn on, it may be either clogged or damaged, and you should consider calling a licensed plumber for help.
4. CLEAN AND MAINTAIN THE SUMP PUMP
You should inspect and test your sump pump at least once a year. The typical lifespan for one of these devices is 10 years. If your sump pump runs often, consider replacing it every 5-7 years.