What Does a Sump Pump Do?

Many homes use sump pumps to prevent ground water from getting into  the basement or crawl space. Extra water can build up along the  foundation, especially during heavy rains. A sump pump moves this excess  ground water out away from your home. If your pump stops working, water  could get into your basement and foundation walls, causing mold and  mildew. If enough water gets in, the basement could flood.

How to Test Your Sump Pump

There are two ways you can check that your sump pump is working correctly.

First, just unplug the pump and then plug it in again. If you look at  the outlet where you sump pump is plugged in, you should see two  separate plugs. Unplug both of them, and then plug in just the one for  the pump. If the pump doesn’t turn on immediately, your pump needs to be  repaired or replaced, so you should call a licensed plumber. If the  pump worked properly, don’t forget to reconnect the other plug.

The second way to test your sump pump is by running water through it.  You only need enough water to raise the float until the pump kicks on.  Now, just because the pump runs, that doesn’t mean it will actually  work, so watch to make sure the water actually gets pumped out of the  hole.

If you’re not able to add water to the pump, you can lift the float  arm up and see if the pump turns on. This method won’t confirm if water  will actually be pumped out, however. If you test the pump without  water, don’t let it run more than a few seconds. Otherwise, you risk  damaging the pump motor.

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