Sump Pump Testing

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to get a feel for how fellow inspectors test sump pumps.

Do you use a stick/hook combo? If so, what is it made from? Electrocution hazards?

Do you prefer to use a bucket full of water? What if the sump is dry with debris/spiderwebs/etc. and looks like it has never had water in it?

Any other testing methods you use?


Parker, Colorado Home Inspector

Funny story we have very few basement homes in Arizona, I had a client insist that we test the sump pump so I said you will have to be at the inspection you can climb down in the window well and I will drop the garden hose to you I will be in the basement closet listening for the pump to turn on and the check valve to engage after it turns off. After about 2 minutes I can hear him screaming while rats were running out of the drain in to the window well.


So nobody tests sump pumps?

I will run both types of pumps, float valve and pedestal by hand. I don’t carry a bucket with me to an inspection. I comment if there is water, silt or debris in the pit and the presence of a cover or not. I use a wood stick with a hook at the bottom to lift a float switch if it is underwater. I disclaim the whole thing if the cover is screwed on.

I lift the float, listen for pump, let it go immediately if pit is dry. No water, no problem. If you did fill the sump pit with water and the pump did not work, what would you do with all that water you just dumped in there?

That’s what I’m asking!:smiley: