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Hurricane Preparedness: How to Test Your Sump Pump

The Carolinas are in the throes of hurricane season with category 4 Hurricane Florence expected to hit the coast and inland areas in the coming days with severe rainfall and catastrophic flooding. Whether a major hurricane or tropical storm it is always best to be prepared for rainfall. A sump pump is one of the best mechanisms to use to keep water outside away from your home where it’s meant to be. Sump pumps are installed in the elevation of your home usually in a basement or crawlspace, where they collect water through a drainage system around the home’s foundation then pump the water from your sump to an area away from the home. Regular maintenance on sump pumps is critical to ensure it is working properly in order to keep your basement, crawlspace and overall home dry.

Sump Pump Maintenance & Test Tip:

  • For electric sump pumps: Ensure the sump pump is plugged into a working outlet, and that the cord is in good condition.
  • For battery powered sump pumps: replace the battery as frequently as recommended by the manufacturer, which is usually every two to three years.
  • Check that the sump pump is in an upright position.  While upright, all working parts should be free to move as necessary.
  • Pick up submersible pumps to ensure that there are no small stones in the grate at the bottom which could block the inlet or damage the pump.
  • Check that outlet pipes are tightly conjoined, that their outlet is at least twenty feet from the foundation of the home or building, and that when the sump pump is on that water is actually being removed through the pipes.
  • Clean the vent hole in the discharge pipe and remove any debris.
  • Listen for strange noises coming from the motor.
  • Check for oil in the sump well, which may indicate a failed pump seal.
  • Check that the float is not restricted if the activating switch for the pump works on a float.
  • Test the pump by pouring a bucket of water into the basin. As the water level rises, the float should trigger the pump to activate and drain the water quickly.


Carolina Foundation Solutions uses only the most reliable systems and products available, which are installed by our team of dedicated and trained professionals. We use the PumpSpy sump pump with battery back up system exclusively for our waterproofing services. Give us a call at (877) 770-7050 or contact us online to remove your water problems for good.

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