Did you install a sump pump years ago, and have recently started wondering if its working? Or maybe you’ve recently purchased a home with a sump pump, and want to understand more about it. As spring and summer draw near, and Colorado is starting to see more rain than snow, its time to do a springtime cleaning and test your sump pump before you actually need it. Test Your Sump Pump

Sump pumps are mechanical. As a rule, anything mechanical is subject to failure, and should have routine inspection and maintenance to keep it up to par. Here in Colorado, because we have a small amount of heavy moisture every year, once a year may work, but check with your local plumber. It all depends on the age and use of your sump pump.

Testing is easy. Using a bucket of water, pour water through the sump hole. The pump is equipped with an automatic switch that senses when water reaches a certain level. At that point, the sump pump will turn on and begin clearing out most of the water from the pit, shutting off once the water drops below the acceptable level.

If the sump pump doesn’t automatically turn on as the water rises, start by checking your power source. If the power is on and functioning, the float switch may have failed and in need of replacement. If the pump works properly, allow it to run its cycle.

Once the water has cleared, unplug the sump pump and feel the bottom of the pump to make sure there isn’t and foreign material or sludge. Clear any blockage, and consider investing in a new sump pump to meet your needs. Your plumber can help you replace and upgrade, depending on your requirements.