Sump pump failure can lead to severe water damage when a heavy storm or flash flooding sends excessive water to a home’s foundation. Water follows the path of least resistance and will find the lowest point to flow into.
A working sump pump is one of the most effective ways to keep water out of basements, especially during storm season.
Follow these steps at least twice a year to help prevent sump pump failure.
- Check outside. The exit pipe that drains water from the pump to the outside of the home must be clear of debris, leaves, etc.
- Test the pump. Testing a sump pump is simple but crucial. Fill the basin with water; watch to see that the float or buoy rises, the pump turns on and the water level lowers.
- Have a backup. Sump pumps run on electricity. It’s a good idea to have a backup generator available in case of power loss.
- Have another backup. Some sump pumps may not be sufficient to handle an onslaught of water during a severe storm. Consider installing a high capacity model or a secondary sump pump. Remember to test backup pumps just as you would the primary.
- Don’t leave damage to chance. While you can test and monitor your sump pump yourself, you should direct any questions about installation or pump functionality to a professional plumber. (We can help connect you with someone.)
How to test a sump pump
Remember to routinely check your sump pump to ensure it is functioning properly.
To test your sump pump, follow these tips from ServiceMaster Clean in a Wink.
- Lift the float to simulate a full pit. (You can also take the plugs apart, then reconnect them.)
- The pump should start pumping out water immediately.
- If the sump pump isn’t working, contact a professional plumber as soon as possible.
Pro tip…Talk with your insurance agent about sump pump coverage so you know exactly what is and isn’t covered in the event of water damage.