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The Maynard Man Answers: “How Do I Test My Sump Pump?”


Keeping your home comfort systems in good shape throughout the years takes a lot of work. In almost all cases, we recommend you hire a pro. Sump pump services aren’t an exception, however, there are certainly steps we think you should take on your own to test your sump pump each season to make sure yours is operable. Taking these steps can be the difference between a flooded home and a carefree home this summer.

Many homeowners read this and wonder, “how do I test my sump pump?” The Maynard Man is here to guide you! Read on as we uncover some fairly simple steps for you to follow. If you get stumped, please don’t hesitate to call our team.

Maintaining and Testing Your Sump Pump

The first step to testing your sump pump is visually inspecting the system. This will help you see if anything is amiss right off the bat. Before starting this inspection, be sure to disconnect electric cords for safety purposes. When you’re ready, look for the following:

  • A Clean Pit and Surrounding Area: The pit where water actually collects should be free of dirt, dust, and any other debris. So too should the area surrounding the sump pump.
  • Proper Float Positioning: The float of your sump pump shouldn’t be obstructed by walls or any other objects, and should be at the right height.
  • Unobstructed Drain Line: If the drain line has any signs of damage, corrosion, or holes, it will need to be professionally repaired. Otherwise, water will remain in the sump pump and ultimately flood your basement.
  • Unobstructed Tube: Check the tube directly above the pump. This air hole is in place to avoid airlocks.
  • Schedule Professional Inspections: Even with your seasonal inspections, it’s a good idea to have a trained and experienced professional take a look once a year.

When it comes time to test your sump pump, the process is very easy! First, once you’ve completed your visual inspection, be sure to plug the system back in. Now, go ahead and fill the pump using a hose or bucket of water to see if it does, in fact, effectively pump the water out.

If your sump pump is plugged into a GFCI outlet, as it should be, then it’s a good idea to test the outlet whenever you know a storm is coming. If your GFCI outlet trips for any reason, your sump pump won’t be able to operate. You’ll need to have a professional inspect the outlet to see what’s causing this so that problem can be addressed.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions you have about sump pump functionality. 

Need a Helping Hand, Call the Maynard Man: The Clean Air, Clean Water, Clean Energy Expert! Contact us to get in touch with a quality licensed Nashville plumber.

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