How to avoid flooding by checking your sump pump

KUSA - This wet weather is flooding some basements across the metro area and it's only expected to get worse this weekend.

Springtime runoff can often cause problems for sump pumps, but, with the added rain, some metro area plumbers are working overtime.

One homeowner in Lakewood tells 9NEWS their basement has flooded several times over the last few weeks due to an old sump pump that's not properly working.

Master plumber Chris Doyle from EC Plumbing says you can check to see if your sump pump is operating properly. He says take a bucket of water and add it to your pump pit, until the pump is almost fully immersed and the pump starts to run removing the water from the pit.

"Sump pumps can be a big springtime issue. It is not always an emergency but it is usually better to check it regularly to avoid flooding, depending on spring runoff and precipitation," Doyle said.

Doyle also says sump pumps can typically last from five to eight years, depending on the mineral content of the water they sit in and the amount of corrosion they build up externally and internally.


  • A good way to check if they are operating properly is to add water to the sump pit from a bucket until the pump is almost fully immersed and the pump starts to run removing the water from the pit.

  • There is a float located on the side of the pump that rises with the water and at a certain point activates the pump motor and removes the water. The pump should start running to remove water from the pit.

  • Occasionally this float can get stuck so it is good to make sure it can move freely without any obstructions. Also, check to make sure no excessive water runs back into the sump pit from the discharge piping asthis can be an indication that the inline check valve is not operating correctly. If this is the case it can cause the pump to run unnecessarily.

  • The discharge piping outside of the home should also discharge at least four feet away from the homes foundation. A properly operating sump pump is key to keeping groundwater away from your home and foundation.

  • You can also move the location of your sump pump to make sure the float doesn't get stuck on the wall or in mud, and cause your basement to flood.

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(KUSA-TV © 2015 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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