If your home is situated in a flat area or even in a low spot, and you regularly experience heavy rains, you probably have a sump pump in your basement. A sump pump has the purpose of pumping out water that either seeps up from below when the water level rises or that comes in from surface runoff leaking through cracks in the foundation. The pump needs to be located in the lowest part of the basement, inside a trench. When the water level rises, it will activate the pump which will funnel the water outside the home.

You should test your pump regularly to make sure that it functions properly. This can be done by pouring water down the trench and check if the pump starts running. A common problem that can cause your pump not to start up is that the float that turns it on gets stuck. When the pump hasn’t been running for a while, it’s important to test it out when you are expecting heavy rains.

Usually a well maintained sump pump will last about ten years.

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