How to Test Your Sump Pump

March 19, 2024

It is important to test your sump pump periodically during the rainy months to prevent a flooded basement and water damage.

What Does a Sump Pump Do?

Many homes use sump pumps to prevent ground water from getting into the basement or crawl space. A sump pump moves excess ground water away from your foundation. If your pump stops working, water could get into your basement and foundation walls. If your sump pump pit overflows, it could flood your basement.

How to Test Your Sump Pump

There are two ways you can check that your sump pump is working correctly. Be sure to consult your equipment’s owners manual for proper testing procedures.

Option One: unplug the pump’s power, then plug it back in.

If you look at the outlet where you sump pump is plugged in, you should see two separate plugs. One is for the float switch, the other is for the motor. Unplug both, and then plug in just the one going to the pump. If the pump doesn’t turn on immediately, your pump needs to be repaired or replaced. If the pump worked properly, reconnect the other plug and you’re done.

Option Two: The second way to test your sump pump is by running water through it.

Fill your sump pit with enough water to raise the float until the pump kicks on. If you’re filling the pit and the water level gets near the top of the pit, but the pump doesn’t activate, you may have a bad switch. If the pump does activate, it should lower the water level in the pit, removing almost all of the water.

If you’re not able to add water to the pump, you can lift the float arm up and see if the pump turns on. This method won’t confirm water will actually be pumped out, however. If you test the pump without water, don’t let it run more than a few seconds. Otherwise, you risk damaging the pump motor.

This simple test could save you from a flooded basement. Sump pumps typically last 10 years or more, but the lifespan really depends on how often it runs and how clean the water is that runs through it. If you have an older unit, or if there is a lot of debris in your sump pump pit, it’s a good idea to test the pump more often. If you don’t have a backup sump pump, you should proactively replace your pump before it stops working.

Learn about backup sump pumps.

Sump Pump Pit

If you need your sump pump tested, serviced, or replaced give us a call at 316-847-4277.

Resources found on our website are provided as general guidelines, and Reddi Industries does not assume any liability resulting from the provided information. Be careful! Check your equipment instruction manuals before testing or working with equipment.