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  1. #1
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
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    Default what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Hey all,

    I use a long screw driver to test submersible sump pumps. Does anyone use something that works better?

    It has to be insulated or I won't use it...

    Thank you

    mk

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    There are those float-less types that have the skinny tube running up the cord to the plug. I gross out/entertain my clients by sucking on the tube, putting my thumb over it, and plugging it in briefly to force the pump to run.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Then there are the kind that have two plugs - one plugged into the other. Unplug them from the receptacle, unplug them from each other, then plug in the one that was not plugged into the receptacle, to force the pump to run.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Then there are the kind that have two plugs - one plugged into the other. Unplug them from the receptacle, unplug them from each other, then plug in the one that was not plugged into the receptacle, to force the pump to run.
    I stick a garden hose in through a window and flood the basement. If the sump pump fails to run, I advise my client to buy another house. Nah, just kidding. I do the plug thing or the pull thing, but have never tried the suck thing.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
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    Talking Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Then there are the kind that have two plugs - one plugged into the other. Unplug them from the receptacle, unplug them from each other, then plug in the one that was not plugged into the receptacle, to force the pump to run.
    I didn't know that.


  6. #6
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    There are those float-less types that have the skinny tube running up the cord to the plug. I gross out/entertain my clients by sucking on the tube, putting my thumb over it, and plugging it in briefly to force the pump to run.
    LOL I draw the line there!


  7. #7
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
    Andy Jarchow Guest

    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I stick a garden hose in through a window and flood the basement. If the sump pump fails to run, I advise my client to buy another house. Nah, just kidding. I do the plug thing or the pull thing, but have never tried the suck thing.
    I tried flooding the basement I but never seemed to get anymore referrals from that Realtor!

    What is the pull thing? What if they have a float but no double plug? What would you use then?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    i use an old hickory golf club---you can buy them at any garage sale or flea market

    chas


  9. #9
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    i use an old hickory golf club---you can buy them at any garage sale or flea market

    chas
    That's a good idea!



  10. #10
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Krueger View Post
    LOL I draw the line there!
    You have to give your immune system something to do every once in a while. Use it or lose it!

    I don't just grab the thing and suck! I'm not stupid! I spit on it first and wipe it off, then suck. Clients are very impressed, as they back slowly away.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  11. #11
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    You have to give your immune system something to do every once in a while. Use it or lose it!

    I don't just grab the thing and suck! I'm not stupid! I spit on it first and wipe it off, then suck. Clients are very impressed, as they back slowly away.
    LOL


  12. #12
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Some require water cooling. What's wrong with loading a few bucket fulls of water into the sump to activate the pump, thus not jepordizng the prime for the next duty call, or overheating the motor?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    You have to give your immune system something to do every once in a while. Use it or lose it!

    I don't just grab the thing and suck! I'm not stupid! I spit on it first and wipe it off, then suck. Clients are very impressed, as they back slowly away.
    I do the same thing John. I guess that's why I don't get many kisses at my inspections.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    YOU GUYS SUCK


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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    YOU GUYS SUCK
    And we're proud of it, too.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    For the pumps with the vent tube (Hydro-Matic) be aware that the first plug that inserts into the receptacle is for the switch to power the pump. If you only plug in the secondary plug you have bypassed the switch and will not know if it is functioning.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  17. #17
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    For the pumps with the vent tube (Hydro-Matic) be aware that the first plug that inserts into the receptacle is for the switch to power the pump. If you only plug in the secondary plug you have bypassed the switch and will not know if it is functioning.
    Good point. Thanks.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  18. #18
    Andy Jarchow's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    For the pumps with the vent tube (Hydro-Matic) be aware that the first plug that inserts into the receptacle is for the switch to power the pump. If you only plug in the secondary plug you have bypassed the switch and will not know if it is functioning.
    Good point
    Takes care of that idea


  19. #19
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    There are those float-less types that have the skinny tube running up the cord to the plug. I gross out/entertain my clients by sucking on the tube, putting my thumb over it, and plugging it in briefly to force the pump to run.
    To test these type I stick my finger in the switch hole to see what happens. I'd be fraid to suck on these because if there is a hole in the rubber diaphragm on the switch you could a bit of stuff in your mouth. You can also suck debris into the air vent tube rendering the cord useless.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    If the sump contains water, I lift the float that is connected to the switch. If the sump is dry, I drink a lot of water, then I carefully lean over the sump and...

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  21. #21
    David Bell's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    I gross out/entertain my clients by sucking on the tube, putting my thumb over it, and plugging it in briefly .

    But what about the pump?


  22. #22
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Some require water cooling. What's wrong with loading a few bucket fulls of water into the sump to activate the pump, thus not jepordizng the prime for the next duty call, or overheating the motor?
    I do the actual test run: fill up the sump by turn on all faucets in basement, eg. washer, laundry tub, sink, bath tub, shower and flush the toilet at the same time. Then sitting by the sump to watch/hear the pump start in and cut off.
    For dual pump system, I keep the water running and watch for the alternate pump cut in.
    For triple pump stystem, I unplug the two electric pumps and let the battery-powered pump (or water-powered pump) cut in.
    Also test run the overflow alarm by idle all pumps.


  23. #23
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use to test sump pumps?

    It sounds like you are testing a sewer lift pump and not a sump pump. I agree with your testing method for sewer pumps.


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