How to tell if Sump Pump is Working – 2023 Guide

This is a comprehensive guide to how to tell if sump pump is working. For fault detection and correctness, it is necessary to know whether your sump pump is working normally or not. In this guide, you’ll get to know if your sump pump is working properly. Particularly, we’ll be covering the following points:

Keeping your house safe from water damage regardless of the reason is imperatively significant. Whether you’re battling with a pipes issue or a nasty storm that has flooded your basement, you need your sump pump to work adequately

A sump pump is a water pump that is used to remove the water piled up in the water-collecting sump basin, generally found in the basement of houses. The sump pump plays a vital role in keeping the house parched and intact. However, can you tell if your sump pump is operating at an optimal level?

Read also: How to install a sump pump in a crawl space?

In this post, we’ll guide you on how to know if the sump pump is working and what let you buy a sump pump in the first place. Also, we’ll look at some recommended maintenance guidelines to keep the sump pump working for a long time. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the cause of the symptom.

Reasons you may need a Sump Pump

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There are several benefits and reasons for installing a sump pump, especially if you’re living in an area which is prone to rain and storm. So, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you would need to install a sump pump

  • Lack of drainage systems
  • Soggy Climate
  • No vapor barrier between dirt and crawl space
  • Leakage in Plumbing
  • The groundwater level is higher than the floor

Well, you’ve installed the sump pump in your basement, and now you’re equipped to preserve your house from water damages. But how do you know it is working in the right manner? Below we’ve listed down some key points to follow and check whether your sump pump is working rightly or not

How to tell if sump pump is working?

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To know whether your sump pump is working or not can be figured out in no time. Below are the steps which can help you determine if your pump is working or not.

  • Find your water drainage pipe and ensure there are no blockages in it. Also, make sure that it is discharging the water far enough from your house. Likewise, If there is any debris in the pipe, remove it.
  • Afterward, locate where the sump pump is installed. You’ll need to pursue both power cables to the channel, and once you’re there, unplug both the power cables. The plug which is dedicated to the pump should then be unplugged into the channel. If the power flows to and from the unit when it is turned on and off, then you can re-plug in the other plug.
  • This course is different if your sump pump only has one plug instead of two. In this case, follow these steps: Take a gallon of water and pour it into the pump sump basin to the point until the float begins to rise. As a result, it would indicate the pump to turn on. Do this time several times to make sure the pump is draining water properly. If for some reason you’re not able to pour water in, then similar to a toilet, lift the float of the pump and see if it is working or not.

If after going through the above steps still seems like the pump is not draining water, then it might be best to call a repairman. Furthermore, this process of checking the sump pump should be done at least twice a year, and below we’ll give you a few maintenance tips to prolong the lifetime and efficiency of your sump pump

Suggested Maintenance

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For any machine to work seamlessly, it requires you to be aware of the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance, as well as, taking a few extra safety measures particularly on the off chance that you live in a high flood-risk zone could set you up for success. After all, sump pumps can sit idle for lengthy timeframes, so, to ensure that when it works, it does flawlessly, you need to follow these straightforward maintenance recommendations.

Every 3-4 months

  • Clear the inlet
  • Check the power cable and connection
  • Use the water method from above to test the performance

Once a year

  • Take out the sump pump from the basin and clean it
  • Clean the sump basin
  • If pump not functioning properly, replace it
  • Check the power cable and connection
  • Use the water method as mentioned above to check the working of the pump

If you follow the above instructions carefully and with dedication, there is a 99% chance that your sump pump will work at an optimal level all year long, which implies no unexpected base problems and fixes. Also, this implicates that you would be ready for adversarial weather conditions and any unforeseen plumbing issues.


Knowing why you need a sump pump and how to test it can enable you to save money. Hopefully, we’ve helped you out to get an understanding of precisely how to tell if your sump pump is working, as well as, how to make sure it remains that way

In the end, I am going to leave you with a question. How many of you are already applying these methods to preserve your sump pump?  Leave a comment below as I am curious to know your answers.