National Home Inspection Service



How to Test Your Sump Pump: The Right Way

How to test your sump pump
How to Test Your Sump Pump: The Right Way

Zoeller Aquanot® 508-0007 12 Volt backup sump pump WITH M98 pump

$846.37  in stock
14 new from $846.36
1 used from $719.43
Free shipping
as of July 17, 2024 4:10 pm


Part Number 508-0007
Model 508-0007
Color Black
Size 12 x 12 x 12"
  • Testing a residential sump pump is crucial to ensure its proper functioning, particularly during periods of heavy rainfall or flooding. These pumps are typically situated in basements or crawl spaces, tasked with expelling excess water from a sump pit to prevent potential flooding and water damage to the dwelling. Below is a comprehensive guide detailing the steps to effectively test a residential sump pump:
  1. Safety Precautions: Prior to commencing any testing procedures, prioritize your safety with these precautions:
    • Disable the power supply to the sump pump to prevent electric shock.
    • Utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and safety goggles, particularly when dealing with contaminated water or debris.
  2. Visual Inspection: Initiate the assessment by visually examining the sump pump and its surroundings:
    • Inspect for signs of damage, rust, or corrosion on the pump, discharge pipe, and power cord.
    • Ensure the sump pit is devoid of debris, dirt, and any obstacles that could impede the pump’s functionality.
  3. Check Valve Inspection: Assess the check valve, responsible for halting water flow back into the sump pit post-pumping. Confirm its secure installation and proper functioning.
  4. Float Switch Test: Validate the functionality of the float switch, a pivotal component that triggers the pump when the water level ascends in the sump pit. To test:
    • Fill the sump pit manually with water until the float switch activates.
    • Verify the pump’s automatic activation when the float switch reaches the designated level.
    • Ensure the pump engages smoothly, devoid of unusual noises or vibrations.
  5. Pump Activation Test: Manually activate the sump pump to ascertain its operation:
    • If equipped with a manual switch, engage it to initiate pumping.
    • Listen for abnormal sounds such as grinding or screeching, indicative of mechanical issues.
    • Confirm proper water discharge through the outlet pipe.
  6. Pump Capacity Test: Evaluate the pump’s capacity by introducing a substantial volume of water into the sump pit and observing its prompt removal. This test gauges the pump’s capability to manage anticipated water volumes during intense rainfall or flooding.
  7. Backup System Test: If a backup system such as a battery backup or water-powered pump is present, assess its functionality in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  8. Power Supply Check: Ensure the sump pump is linked to a dependable power source. Consider installing a battery backup or generator to sustain pump operation during power outages.
  9. Regular Maintenance: In addition to testing, adhere to a regimen of regular maintenance to uphold the sump pump’s optimal performance. Tasks include cleaning the pump and pit, inspecting the discharge pipe, and lubricating moving components as necessary.
  10. Documentation: Maintain detailed records of sump pump tests, maintenance activities, and repairs. This documentation facilitates tracking of the pump’s performance trends and identification of recurring issues.

By adhering to these steps, you can proficiently assess your residential sump pump, guaranteeing its readiness to safeguard your home against water damage during critical situations. Should you encounter any difficulties throughout the testing procedure or if the pump malfunctions, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a professional plumber or sump pump technician for thorough inspection and necessary repairs.

Also Checkout:

Save $50 Today

Save $50 today by scheduling a home inspection online during the month of June by clicking the button below*

*Get $25 off only on a single 'Home Inspection' fee when requested online