How To Check If Your Sump Pump Is Working

flooded home


Part of owning a home comes with endless dedication and care. After all, buying a home is probably the biggest investment that you will make in life. For those who live in areas with plenty of rainfall, then a sump pump is a device that can help preserve your investment. However, it is important that your sump pump is ready to perform as expected when the time comes. In this article, we discuss what a sump pump is and some useful sump pump maintenance tips to ensure your device performs well.

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How Does A Sump Pump Work?

When it precipitates or there is excess groundwater, water may enter a basement or crawlspace either by drainage pipes or simply by permeating the ground. This water then collects in a sump pit, also called a hollow or basin. This sump pit is usually in a low-lying part of the home. Detecting excess water, the pump will discharge it away from the home either to a dry well or a storm drain. Thus, this protects your home and property.

Parts Of A Sump Pump

image of a sump pump pit

Sump pump systems found in most homes are composed of four major parts. The first is the sump pump pit itself. Its purpose is to collect any excess water that is around or under your home in order to deter damage to the basement or foundation.

The second and third components are the sump pump and the check valve. The job of the sump pump is to pump water away from your home once it detects an unacceptable level of water. The third part is the check valve, a device that ensures that water only flows away from your home. Therefore, once the sump pump pushes the water out, it does not run right back in.

The final part of the system, which some may fail to have, is a sump pump backup. The importance of this backup is in the event of a sump pump failure, which is not uncommon in heavy rains and other severe weather.

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How To Check If Sump Pump Is Working

There are several ways to tell if the sump pump is working properly. One common problem that arises is an obstructed exit pipe. Therefore, checking it periodically to make sure it does not have a clog will ensure the sump pump continues to function optimally. The sump basin can also become clogged so it too should be inspected regularly.

Another method to make sure that the sump pump continues to operate efficiently is to make sure the pump is plugged into the outlet and the cords are in good condition and not frayed. Though this may seem obvious, some may overlook it. It is also a potential fire hazard.

A simple technique to make sure the sump pump in your home is working is to pour around 5 gallons of water into the basin. Naturally, the sump pump should turn on and begin to pump the water out.

Another check is to unplug the two electrical cords from the back of the pump, separating the float cord from the pump cord. Then plug only the pump cord back into the outlet and, if the sump pump is working, the pump should start running.

Finally, make sure that the float on the sump pump is not caught on the lid or basin of the pump. The float is an indicator that the water height has reached the level that will activate the pump to turn on.

image of a sump pump

What To Check When Dealing With Sump Pump Problems

There are things that a homeowner can do to check their sump pump system before calling in experts. One is to check if the batteries on the pump are still viable. Since most backup systems operate on batteries, the system may fail due to batteries being old or if the power goes out causing the batteries to die.

If one’s home is located in a colder climate, it is possible to have a frozen drainage pipe causing a failure. There is a device, called a stop, that allows the water to exit before reaching the frozen pipe.

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In Conclusion

As with anything else, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you do own a sump pump, make sure that you maintain it properly. Also, be sure to test it regularly to avoid more serious and more expensive problems in the future.

Call Robinson Plumbing For Trusted Plumbing Services

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For reliable plumbing services, contact Robinson Plumbing, one of the Lehigh Valley’s most trusted plumbing companies. Our plumbing services range from sump pump repairs, maintenance, and installations to water heater maintenance, water leak repairs, clogged drains, and the installation of water-efficient plumbing fixtures. For any plumbing repairs, we always offer a wide range of solutions whenever possible. This way, you can choose the option that works best for your budget and family.

We are proud to offer the best and most affordable plumbing services in the area. All of our plumbers have the proper licenses and experience to ensure your satisfaction. All of our work is guaranteed. Contact Robinson Plumbing today to schedule a free estimate.

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