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How to test and maintain your sump pump (and why homeowners MUST do it!)

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


May 27, 2019 - Karl Yeh

In this episode, we discuss what is a sump pump, why you need to test it, how to maintain it and how often. 


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Hi everyone. I'm Karl. Welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, specifically our homeowner how-tos, and remember, if this is your first time on this channel and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, hit the subscription button below, hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything.

Today, I'm joined by Luke Staniscia with Brookfield Residential. We're in the basement [00:00:30] of a home and we're going to talk about:

How to test your sump pump

Karl Yeh:                              Luke before we begin,

What is a sump pump?

Luke Staniscia:                  

A sump pump is part of your damp proofing system.

Around the entire perimeter of your basement's footing is a perforated pipe, which is called weeping tile.

Weeping tile has small little holes in it that are designed to collect the water that would saturate the soil around your basement.

The weeping tile funnels all that water into a giant bucket that's embedded in your basement floor. This is called the sump [00:01:00] barrel.

In most Brookfield homes, you can find it in the mechanical room or underneath the basement stairs. Once the barrel is full of water, the sump pump turns on and drains all of that water into the storm system.

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Karl Yeh:                              Okay, perfect. Let's get to testing.

How do you test a sump pump?

Luke Staniscia:                  

That's a great question.

In order to get to the bottom of that, we kind of have to look at how the sump pump works.

For the convenience of this video, [00:01:30] I've got one removed from the barrel that we can examine. This green part here is the pump itself, but we don't want this pump running all day long because we live in Alberta, which is a very dry place and doesn't have a ton of water.

Brookfield sumps come equipped with a sensor. The sensor is designed so that as the barrel fills with water, the sensor will lift and eventually turn on the pump. [00:02:00]

To test the pump, the best way to do it is to do exactly what I just did, you're going to want to remove the lid, reach down inside and physically lift up your float.

Luke Staniscia:                  

There's a common misconception that you can simply unplug your sump from the sensor and plug it into the wall.

Although that will tell you that your sump is working, [00:02:30] something could be wrong with your sensor, so the best way to test it is to leave everything plugged in and do what I just showed you.

By physically lifting up that sensor, you will know a, the pump is working and more importantly, so is the sensor.

Karl Yeh:                              Luke, do you have anything else to add?

Luke Staniscia:                  

I do.

How often do you need to test your sump pump?

We need to talk about how often to test this thing.

I recommend that you do it three times a year, right at the start of the seasons where there will be water. Don't worry about it in the winter but at the beginning of spring, fall and summer, you want to make sure you test it. [00:03:00]

It's super important because if you come home and your furnace isn't working, you'll know because it's cold in your house.

You'll know that your electricity is not working if the lights won't turn on. You only know the sump doesn't work when your basement floods and at that point, it's way too late.

Karl Yeh:                             

Great. If you have any more questions about a sump pump, let us know in the comments section below. Remember, if you enjoyed this video and found it helpful, make sure to hit the like button and subscribe.

Thank you and we'll catch you next time.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional homeowner or home buying questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

Homebuyer's School publishes new content weekly so subscribe or check back regularly for the latest information, strategies and tips from home buying experts.  

About Luke Staniscia:

Luke Staniscia is Site Manager for Brookfield Residential. He has been with the company for 5 years and currently manage the Edgemont Site out in Western Edmonton.

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