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How Does a Sump Pump Work and How to Test It

When you first think of your sump pump, your first thought is likely something related to flooding or flooding prevention. And, you’d be right!

Here are a couple helpful tips/reminders to help with flood prevention and water building up in your basement:

First, you want to make sure you have a quality-working gutter system. Getting water away from the house is the important key so it’s essential to have downspouts. Downspouts help move the water 4-10 ft away from the home and ensure water doesn’t come out of the gutter and sit directly on your home’s foundation.

Second, take a look at the landscaping around your home. Often times, homes are built on a slight hill or slant. This is a great natural aide in getting water to flow away from the home, especially if it rains frequently or you don’t have a properly installed gutter system.

Third is the sump pump. Your sump pump’s drain tile runs all the way around the foundation of your home. If there is water coming in, the water works its way through the drainage system to the sump pump basket. When the basket is turned on or is filled up with water, it will pump the excess water through a tube that pushes the water to the outside of your home.

There are two simple ways to test your sump pump:

  1. Dump water into the sump pump basket as if water is actually flowing through. If the one-way valve and float reacts and turns the sump pump on, then water will drain as expected.
  2. If you already have water sitting in the sump pump basket, reach down into the water and grab the float. If you move the float upward, it will kick your sump pump on. I

If you dump water into the sump pump basket or bring that float all the way to the top and your sump pump doesn’t react, your sump pump is not working properly. If it’s not reacting to either of these tests, reach out to a professional immediately.

If you live in a 4-season state, your sump pump hose on the outside of your home likely freezes in the wintertime.

In the fall, homeowners should be detaching their sump pump hose. If your hose is still connected in the winter, water will freeze on the inside and create a block, which will not allow the sump pump to successfully pump water out of the basket in your basement.

Once the risk of freezing is gone in the springtime, then it’s time to reattach the hose so water can safely drain away from the foundation of the home.

If you have any questions about your sump pump, we’d love to help! Comment on our blog our reach out to us on our YouTube channel.

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