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How to Check If a Sump Pump Is Working

How to Check If a Sump Pump Is Working


In this guide, we will highlight the purpose of a Sump Pump, its usage and specifications. But most importantly, the focus will be on DO and DON’Ts of checking a sump pump’s working in your house! Homeowners often make the biggest mistakes when it comes to the working of a sump pump which eventually leads to wet and flooding basements, especially in the rainy spring seasons.  If you are a homeowner with a Sump Pump installed, stay tuned till the end of this guide to learn about fixing this mistake.

Purpose of a Sump Pump

A Sump Pump is a device installed in the lowest parts of basements or crawlspaces of a house. It is designed to keep the building foundations dry and free from flooding under harsh weather conditions.

Sump pumps are installed in specialized sites called sump pits, and the sump pump is used to drain water out of this site and away from the building

Sump pumps are available in different sizes, capacities with degrees of varying performance.  They consist of four prime parts: water gathering system, a sump tank, a pump, and an outlet drain.

Checking the working of a Sump Pump

You should periodically check the working of your sump pump as it protects your home from substantial water and moisture damage. Use this 5 step checklist to aid you in covering this process:

  1. Find the outlet drain of the pump. Examine the inside of this outlet drain for dirt, debris or clogging. If any signs of clogging found, clean it with an adequate tool.
  2. Locate the sump pump site. Identify the two power cords connected to the switch. Disconnect the float switch cord. This turns of the float switch operation, i.e. pump turns on when water-level rises above a certain threshold in the pit. Connect the pump cord only and turn on the switch. You should observe the pump running.
  3. Turn off the switch. Re-plug the float switch cord and turn on the switch.
  4. Remove the lid from the sump pit. Pour gallons of water in the sump pit. After a certain limit, the sump pump switch should turn on and begin to pump this water out. Wait until all water is poured out and the sump pump switches off automatically.
  5. If your pump fails either at step 2 or step 4, it is not working correctly. Consider replacing it or getting help from a professional.

Some critical DO’s and DON’Ts to keep in mind while ensuring your sump pump is working anchor are enlisted for your comprehension.


  • Ensuring debris free drain pipe. In winter seasons regularly check for ice build-ups.
  • Make sure the float switch turns off the pump when the water level becomes scant.
  • Make sure the ‘check valve’ is pointed in the right direction.


  • Letting your drain pipework while being damaged underground.
  • Not recognizing the need for professional help to repair your pump.

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