Kevin Cook for Idaho Senate Ribbon

Have you considered testing your sump pump lately? If not, it’s important that you do so. Sump pumps should be checked regularly to make sure they’re working properly, especially before the rainy season hits. By testing your sump pump, you can help prevent costly flood damage to your home. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to test your sump pump to ensure it’s operating correctly.

Visually inspect your sump pump

Before testing your sump pump, you should start by visually inspecting it. Look for any signs of damage, such as cracks, broken switches, or old power cords. Check to make sure the sump pump is plugged in and that the power cord is in good condition. If the pit is clear of debris and the pump is plugged in, then it is ready to be tested.

Pour water into the sump pit

The next step is to pour water into the sump pit to raise the float switch and activate the pump. Pour enough water so that the pump turns on and begins operating. If the pump doesn’t turn on, there may be an issue with the float switch. Make sure the float switch is free of debris and not getting caught on the sump pit walls.

Listen for the motor

Once the pump is turned on, listen for the motor. It should produce a low humming sound as it pumps water out of the pit. If you hear a grinding or clunking noise, it could mean there is something caught in the impeller, and it should be removed before further use. If this is the case, it’s best that you call a professional plumber to help repair the sump pump.

Check the outlet pipe

Inspect the outlet pipe for any signs of blockages. If you notice any obstructions, remove them as soon as possible. You could use a garden hose or plumbing snake to clear the problematic blockage in the outlet pipe. Remember that a blocked outlet pipe can cause your sump pump to malfunction and lead to water damage in your home.

Test the back-up system

If you have a back-up system installed, make sure you also test it. This is important, since sump pumps can malfunction and an additional back-up system can be a life-saver. You could run through the same steps outlined above for the back-up system, to ensure it’s operating correctly.


Testing your sump pump is not only important, it’s also easy if you follow these steps. Regularly testing your sump pump can help you detect any issues before they lead to costly flood damage in your home. Knowing how to maintain and test your sump pump can ensure it is working efficiently and that your home remains protected from unwanted water. Remember, a little bit of time spent testing your sump pump can prevent a lot of costly problems in the long run. If you notice any issues, it’s always best to call a professional plumber to inspect and repair the sump pump.