Self Test for Sump Pump
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Today, April 14, is an unusual day. A ton of snow fell, and it’s wet and heavy. You probably already know that if you picked up your shovel this morning. All of that snow is going to melt and run down under your house. So your sump pump is about to take a beating. Since it probably hasn’t run a lot until now, this may be the first really big test for it of the year. You need to make sure it’s working and ready. If not, you could flood your basement. Follow these quick and easy steps to make sure your pump is ready.
Take the lid off the sump barrel. It’s a black plastic lid, about 60cm (2 feet) in diameter. You might need a screw driver or pry bar to pull it out. They are usually located in the mechanical room of your basement, against an outside wall. If you don’t find one, your home might be old enough that it doesn’t have one. We can install them for you if you want one. Building codes require that one gets installed in every new home, but we find that older homes often don’t have one.
Fill the barrel with water. Use a garden hose if your washing machine is nearby, or else just grab a bucket and make a few trips from the nearest faucet. As the barrel fills, you should see a little float device start to rise. As it rises, you should hear the pump turn on and start to move water. If so, you’re halfway there.
Run outside to the where the water is exiting your home. Sometimes the pipe that’s shooting water out of your house is right beside the house. That’s no good because the water will just run right back down the side of your foundation and back into the sump barrel. Get a piece of drain pipe or something to get that water at least 5 feet away from your house. If you landscaping slopes toward your house, you need to go even further.
If your pump runs and the water is being properly discharged away from your home, you are good to go. If you need more advice or help, you can always feel free to call. 403-327-9349