How to Tell Your Sump Pump is Working

Sump pumps are an important device that you may have in your basement to prevent flooding and water damage.  Excess water is drained into the sump pit and then pumped away from the foundation of the home.  If you have had water damage and flooding in the past or you live in an area that is prone to flooding you may have one or should look into getting one.  Water damage is expensive and can cause you to lose many valuables but with the right system, can be prevented.  If you already have a sump pump how can you be sure that it is working properly when needed?

There are ways to check it is working and you should test it at least once per year.  Twice a year is recommended, in the spring and then again in the fall.  This way you know your pump will kick in effectively when necessary.  Without maintenance and testing your pump could fail and you will not realize until you have a basement full of water.  There are 2 simple ways that you can check to see if your sump pump is working.

Most sump pumps have 2 cords, a pump cord and a float cord.  The pump cord will be plugged into the float cord.  You can unplug both of them and then only plug the pump cord into the electrical outlet.  You will be able to tell right away if your pump is working.  You should hear the motor running, it will make a humming sound.

If you have a sump pump that does not have 2 cords you can test it by pouring water into the sump pit.  Continue to pour water until the float rises, it most likely will take approximately 20 liters.  When the float has risen the pump should turn on.  Watch it to ensure that it pumps all of the water out and then switches itself off.

If you are unable to pour water into the pit, you can still check it.  All you need to do is lift up the float by hand.  If the pump switches on you know it is working.  Just make sure you don’t leave it running for long with no water in there.  Any more than a couple of seconds could lead to motor damage.

Besides checking if the pump is working, you should also check to make sure there is no debris that could cause a clog.  Find the exit pipe, this is the pipe that carries the water from the pump to the outside of the house.  Make sure that nothing is blocking it and remove anything that could create a clog.  Also, inspect the inside of the sump pit to ensure that no debris is in there that could cause any problems.  Remove anything that may clog.

Prevent a disaster by regularly checking your sump pump.  No homeowner wants to be in the situation where they have the device properly installed but it fails to work when it should.  Sump pumps should last 10 years if they are properly maintained.  However, if your pump usually runs very often, it is best to have it replaced every 5-7 years.

If you have experienced a sump pump failure and are now dealing with flooding and water damage in the GTA, give us a call at Restoration Mate.  With our many years of dealing with flooding, our top notch equipment, and expert knowledge, we will have your situation under control and your basement back to its previous state.

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