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Testing & Inspecting Sump Pumps

Inspecting sump pumps

Testing your sump pump every once in a while is very important to know it will properly operate when you need it most. A sump pump is a key component in your home that helps prevent ground or rainwater from entering your basement and keeping water away from the foundation. Water from under or around your home drains into a sump pump pit, and is then pumped out and away from your home.

Components to inspect:

  • Sump pit/sump basket/crock

  • Pump operation

  • Sump cover

  • Extension/discharge piping

  • Backup battery or alarm in case of failure

Inspecting sump pump crock or basket

You want to inspect the crock/sump pit for any debris or blockages. You want to have a proper sump pump cover to prevent anything from falling into the pit and compromising proper operation, blockages, or prevent the pump from operating as it should.

Pump Operation

Best way to test your sump pump for proper operation is to dump enough water into the pit for the float to raise and activate the pump to drain the water out of the pit. (see video above) You can also just lift the float or lever to test if the pump turns on but I advise pouring water in to test or simulate normal operation.

Extension/Discharge Piping

Discharge piping is the extension piping that drains the water away from the home. This pipe should always terminate a minimum 10 feet away from the home to drain water away from the foundation.

Back-up battery and alarms

In case of power outages or any failures of operations, it is very important to have a back up battery or alarm system that indicates the sump pump is not operating properly. This can be extremely crucial during a big storm when the home is taking in large amounts of water. There should be a test button on the system (example below) to test if back up system works properly. I recommend normally testing the alarm system to make sure you can be aware if the sump pump were to fail.

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