A working sump pump prevents water damage, mold, and mildew in your home’s basement and foundation. Roto Rooter experts recommend testing your sump pump at least once a year and replacing it every 10 years. Replacing your sump pump can cost up to $475, which may seem steep at first but it’s much less than the potential costs of cleaning a flooded basement and removing mold from your home ($2,000 to a whopping $30,000 for cleanup alone, not to mention possible health-related costs). Test your sump pump this weekend and preserve your home’s structural stability, maintain your family’s health, and save thousands in costly repairs.

What to Do

Check your basement sump pump for clogs or malfunctioning parts.

What You’ll Need

The Basics

  •  Five-gallon bucket
  •  Gloves

front cover of guide book

How to Do It

First, locate your home’s exterior pipe that drains water away from the sump pump. Inspect it for any obstructions and clear away all blockages.

Then, go to your sump pump and identify its two power cords: the pump cord and the float cord plug. (They should be attached to each other.) Unplug both from the electrical outlet, then unplug them from each other. Plug only the pump cord back into the power source. If the sump pump is working properly, you’ll hear the pump start to run. Unplug the pump, reattach the two cords, then plug back in.

Fill a five-gallon bucket with clean water. Take the lid off the sump reservoir and slowly pour in some water from the bucket, keeping an eye on the sump pump switch. You should see the switch turn on and begin to pump water. Once the water has drained, observe to see if the pump turns itself off. Once it has, add the rest of the water from the bucket to see if the pump turns on again and repeats the process.

If either the electrical or bucket test show any sign of damage, inefficiencies, or simply aren’t working, call in a plumber to get your sump pump fixed and/or replaced.

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The opinions expressed in this post are for informational purposes only. To determine the best financing for your personal circumstances and goals, consult with a licensed advisor.