How to Test and Maintain Your Sump Pump

PURE has seen an increase in claims involving failed sump pumps due to recent storms. To proactively prevent a loss before a storm hits, ensure your sump pump is working properly by taking the following steps:

  • Test your sump pump on a quarterly basis. Perform the following test to make sure that the float is not tangled or jammed in one position, which can keep the pump from working properly.sump pump


  • Connect a backup power source. Sump pumps often need to work during extreme weather conditions when power outages are likely.
    • If you own a generator, have a licensed electrician confirm there is a transfer switch to your sump pump so that it will continue to operate should the power go out.
    • If you do not own a generator, consider installing a backup battery. Replace the battery every two to three years whether or not the pump runs.
  • Consider installing an alarm. An alarm can alert you of water backup in the event of a sump pump malfunction or power loss. They are especially important in homes that are not occupied for long periods of time. While a standard alarm, which can be purchased in your local home improvement store, can alert you of a problem while you’re in the home, more advanced Wi-Fi enabled solutions like PumpAlarm can alert you remotely by sending a text message directly to your mobile device. If your home has central station monitoring and/or a home automation system installed, the best solution is an alarm that can tie into these systems.
  • Confirm the presence of a check valve. This device prevents pumped water in the discharge line from re-entering the sump pit when the device is turned off.
  • Keep it clean and free of debris. Check to ensure the discharge pipe is free of leaves/debris and snow/ice so water can be pumped out when the pit fills.The inlet screen, which prevents the passage of dirt and other solid material from entering the pump, can also become blocked. Cleanings should occur often for pumps that run constantly.
  • Contact a professional if your sump pump is not working properly. A PURE Member Advocate® can help you locate a certified professional in your area.


If you have additional questions about maintaining your sump pump or for assistance locating a service provider in your area, please contact a Member Advocate at or 888.813.7873 (PURE).