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The Home Depot

Sump Pump Inspection Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Plumbing > Sump Pump Inspection Guide
Sump Pump Inspection Guide

Your sump pump keeps water out of your basement and where it belongs – outside! When it fails, you’re left with a wet, expensive mess.


What is a Sump Pump?

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, a sump pump “expels excess water through a series of interconnected pipes to a suitable discharge location.” The group says “the pump can sense water levels through a float that rises and falls with fluctuating water levels in the trench.” The pump action activates when a sensor picks up on the fact that the float isn’t where it’s supposed to be.


If you have a sump pump, don’t just forget about it down there in your basement - make sure it stays in good working order.


Learn everything you need to know in this sump pump inspection guide.

  1. 1.Why is a Sump Pump Important?

    Your sump pump keeps water out of your basement and where it belongs – outside!

    Your sump pump helps protect your home from water damage. That’s important because water damage can wreak some serious havoc in your house and on your wallet. Water can bring with it mold and mildew, it can deteriorate the foundation of your home, and it can cause some pretty nasty smells. However, your sump pump keeps these problems at bay.

  2. 2.Sump Pump Inspection Checklist

    Below are a few things you should examine when taking a look at your sump pump.


    1) Make sure that only rain and ground water are flowing into your sump pump. Things like discharge from laundry, bar sinks or water softeners can cause problems – they should be going elsewhere.


    2) The discharge line from your pump should not be connected to your sanitary sewer.


    3) Take a look at your down spouts. They should discharge at least five feet away from your home. Also, the ground around your home should slope away from your house. You can check this by observing the land around your house after it rains. There shouldn’t be a lot of standing water hanging around your home. If there are, fill any low spots so that the water runs away from the house.


    Of course, there are more detailed inspections that can be conducted by a trained professional. A good plumber will be familiar with working and non-working pumps – they’ll be able to tell you whether anything is wrong, and the best way to care for your pump.

  4. 3.What to do if you Discover Problems with your Sump Pump

    Whether you do the inspection yourself or not, you should definitely bring in a professional to fix any problems with your pump. A good plumber will come out to your home to evaluate the problem. They should be able to provide you with a written estimate of how much it will cost to fix the problem and how long the work will take to complete. Ask them to put you in touch with past customers for references, then contact those people.


    Your sump pump can be the different between a normal rainy day and costly repairs. Keep yours in good condition and you won’t be in hot water!

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