How to Test Your Sump Pump to Ensure Effective Operation
A sump pump is a device that helps prevent your basement or crawlspace from flooding. It’s installed in a sump pit where it drains the water that collects there to ensure a dry, mold-free basement and stable foundation.
While it’s a simple mechanical device, it’s important to test a sump pump every so often to ensure effective operation when it’s needed most.
- Add water to the sump pit. This should trigger the sump float to rise. When it reaches a certain level, the rising sump float activates the sump pump.
- If adding water is not practical in your situation, simply lift the sump float to activate the pump. Be sure you only activate the pump for a few seconds if it doesn’t actually have any water to pump out.
- Double check that the sump pump is receiving power if it does not activate when you lift the float. Because it’s a submersible device, it should be plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
- If the sump pump is indeed receiving power, the float switch may have failed. Depending on the unit, you may be able to repair or replace the float switch and fix the problem.
- The other possibility is that the pump is clogged. The dirty water that passes through the pump can cause this to happen. Try scooping debris from the sump pit and run clear water through the device to help remove buildup. Run enough clear water through the sump pump that the drainage pipe is cleared of all debris as well.
- It’s essential to test a sump pump with these techniques at least once per year.
- If your sump pump is used quite frequently, it’s wise to inspect it more often than that. Testing should only take a few minutes and could prevent some serious frustration.
For more information on how to test a sump pump, please contact the professionals at Sobieski Services, Inc. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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