How to Test your Sump Pump in 3 Easy Steps

A sump pump is installed in a basement or crawlspace below the floor to protect your home against flooding and accumulating ground water. A sump pump can also remove collected condensation from your air conditioner and prevent moister from collecting near the foundation.

Testing your sump pump periodically ensures it is working correctly and is protecting your home against water damage.

  1. Locate the outside rigid, or flexible pipe that evacuates the drained water from the sump pump. Locate the outside pipe that catches the drained water from the sump pump. Look to see if the inside of the pipe has any dirt or debris that would clog the drainage. Remove anything that would cause any blockage.
  2. Locate your sump pump in your basement, crawlspace or mechanical room. Follow the two electrical cords from the sump pump to the electrical outlet. These cords should plug into the back of the float cord plug. Pull both the plugs from the outlet, pull both plugs apart and plug the single pump cord back into the outlet. At this point you should hear the pump running. Unplug the pump and plug the cords back in the wall with the float cord plug first, and the pump cord plugged into the back of the float pump.
  3. Remove the lid to the sump pump pit. Slowly pour some water from a 5-gallon bucket into the pit. Watch the sump pump switch. It should turn on and start to pump water from the tank. Wait to see if the water pumps from the tank and wait until all the water pumps from the tank to check and see if the sump pump turns itself off. Then pour new water in the tank again to see if the pump turns back on.

If anything fails during any of the tests, it is time to get a new sump pump.
The experts at DRF Water Heating Solutions provide and install sump pumps. For more information call 630-615-7000 or email DRF at