Spring is here, and the rainy season begins! There is a good chance that your home has a sump pump in the basement. A sump pump removes water from the lowest level of a home and pumps it outside the house. Properly maintaining your sump pump lets you rest assured that it will function correctly if you should experience a flood of water from unforeseen leaks or weather conditions. If your home does have a sump pump, you should test it yearly to make sure it is working correctly.
Here is how to test a sump pump if you have one in your basement:
1) Locate the exit pipe (also called an outlet pipe) on the exterior of your home through which your sump pump directs the water from your basement. Inspect the outlet pipe for damage. Verify that the pipe has no obvious clogs or blockages.
2) Examine the sump pump. It would be near an interior wall of the foundation, typically in an unfinished area of the basement. Sump pumps are located in a “pit” that looks like a hole in the floor that a 5 gallon bucket might fit into. Your pump may have a lid or cover on it. If the lid or cover is sealed around the edges, do not proceed as this was done for Radon management. If you can easily remove the lid or cover, do so.
3) Verify that the electrical cord for your sump pump is plugged into an outlet.
4) Using a flashlight, inspect the interior of the “pit” for any clogs or debris. Remove any debris that you find.
5) Pour approximately 5 gallons of water into the basin of your sump pump. Pour slowly (at approximately the same speed that water might flow into the basin from the basement) until the sump pump turns on and begins to pump out water. Do not pour in more water than the basin will hold. Expect the sump pump to begin pumping out water when the water level reaches approximately 8 to 12 inches below the surface of the basement floor.
If you are a renter with Home Rental Services, and your pump does not come on to remove the water from the “pit”, please submit a maintenance request so that we can get your sump pump repaired!