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sump pumpIn a geographical area where strong storms and heavy rains are common, a sump pump is a vital piece of emergency equipment for preventing flooding in your home’s basement. Keeping this device well maintained and functional should be part of your regular seasonal maintenance routine. Here are some tips on how to test the sump pump to make sure it will keep water out of your basement when the rains fall.

Sump Pumps: Basic Function

A sump pump is a powerful water pump that removes water from your basement when flooding occurs, you haveĀ burst pipes, or another water-related emergency arises. They are placed in a sump pit at the lowest point in your home. Gravity naturally pulls water into this pit, usually about two feet deep and 18 inches wide. As the pit fills up, the rising water level moves a float switch, or activates a pressure sensor and turns on the pump. The sump pump draws water out of the pit and sends it out through drainage pipes or into the local sewer system.

How to Test the Sump Pump

  • Check the power supply for proper connections and operation.
  • Clear debris, dirt and other material from the sump pit.
  • Fill the sump pit with water to the level required to activate the pump. If the pump does not work, call for repair.
  • If there is a float switch, lift it by hand to see if the pump comes on. If this does not activate the pump, repair will be needed. Be careful not to let the pump run for more than a few seconds without water in it; this can severely damage the unit.
  • If the pump activates like it’s supposed to, cycle some clean water through the unit to help remove any dirt or other material inside the pump.

Live in Sarasota, Bradenton or Manatee County? Aqua Plumbing & Air can help you with your home heating, cooling and plumbing needs. Contact us today for more information on how to test the sump pump and keep this vital piece of emergency equipment ready for when it’s needed.

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