Why You Should Test Your Sump Pump

January 29, 2020by Patrick Schaible0

Your sump pump is an important part of your home or business and helps keep it from flooding. However, it can be disastrous when it is not working properly or stops working altogether. Below we will show you why and how you should test your sump pump.

What is a Sump Pump?

Think of your toilet. The float value rises as the tank fills, and the valve shuts off the flow of water when you reach the desired water level. A sump pump is similar in that it operates the same way for your entire property. They are crucial in some areas because they stop water from building up in basements or any underground area. They work to move water away from the beneath property’s foundation to ensure that it remains free of water damage from outside sources.

Sump Pump Issues

Now that Spring is almost upon us, the ground is sure to thaw. With it comes rising groundwater. The ground can become impermeable, and all the water pushed into your foundation, basements, crawl spaces, and more in some cases. This water can then penetrate the property and cause catastrophic damage. Storms that lead to power outages can also cause issues with sump pumps and make them perform below specifications.

The spring thaw is why it is essential to have your sump pump professionally installed and guaranteed, as well as having regular inspections and tests to make sure that it is working properly.

How Often Should You Test Your Sump Pump?

Sump pumps of all kinds from residential to industrial require regular testing to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Testing frequency is dependent on what the pump is used for, type of pump, rainfall per year, and other factors. However, many sump pumps should be tested every three to four months in most cases. Consult your owner’s manual for their recommendations.

How to Test a Sump Pump

Again, consult your owner’s manual for how to test your sump pump. Performing the following steps to test most sump pump models:

  1. Turn the pump on and off. Cycling its power resets the pump’s motor and possibly the CPU for units with an onboard computer.
  2. Open the inlet screen, at times called the pump screen. Clean out any debris, dirt, etc.
  3. Run the sump pump by filling the pit with water and letting it run. All the water should be gone in five to ten minutes if everything is working correctly. Those of you who live in an area with lots of groundwater should perform this test for ten to twenty minutes.
  4. Make sure the drains are clear. Sump pump pits and drainage lines can accumulate dirt, rocks, pebbles, and other debris that can cause them to create a backflow. When performing the above test, make sure the water is draining properly.
  5. Perform an alarm test if your pump comes with one. You may test your alarm by holding down the test button. There are even models that can alert you to an issue via a Wi-Fi connection.
  6. Test the battery backup by disconnecting the unit from its power source and water to the basin. The pump will turn on if the backup battery is working properly.
  7. Perform a corrosion check by inspecting the parts made of metal and other corrosive materials. Many sump pumps are made from plastic and are more resistant to corrosion and are not cause for alarm.

Sump Pump Cleanings

Even if your sump pump is working correctly, it can benefit from regular cleanings. For example, some washing machines dispose of water via a sump pump. Soapy, grimy water puts an additional strain on the system. We recommend more frequent testing and cleaning in these situations, as they can cause premature damage to your system.

You may click here to learn more about how and when to clean and test your sump pump.

Schaible’s Will Test Your Sump Pump

We professionally install and inspect sump pumps in all of northern and central New Jersey as well as Eastern PA – including Hunterdon County, Warren County, Somerset County, and Morris County. Contact us today to get a free, no-obligation quote on optimizing your sump pump.

Another great post regarding sump, pumps can be found here:

Zoeller Battery Sump Pump 1200x600

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