It's time to prepare your sump pump

FARGO, ND. (Valley News Live) - Local contractors and plumbers are saying it’s time to check your sump pump and make sure it is working properly.

"Right now they should be testing their pump anyway that they can,” said Mike Boeddeker, plumbing technician for Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. “If that's taking the lid off, lifting up the float to make sure it’s operating the way it should be, putting water into it, doing whatever they can to make sure it's working."

Aside from testing the pump, make sure that the water has somewhere to go. People should locate where the sump pump discharges and make sure it is cleared of ice and snow blockage.

"If you're not keeping an eye on your discharge and your pump, the pump could actually burn out,” said Kevin Cameron, VP of Drain Services Inc. “To prevent that you can have an inspection done on both the discharge and the pump."

Homeowners are also advised to have a backup for their sump pump in the case of a power outage. There are two common types of backups for sump pumps: battery or water powered.

"Something of that nature is definitely recommended, especially when things freeze and we have power outages,” Cameron said. “You just never know what mother nature is going to throw our way."

Also, keep in mind that the start of April is the cut off date where residents must pump the water outdoors or pay a fine if it's pumping into the sewer system.

Experts also say you should take a look at your homeowner's insurance policy as many do not cover sewer or sump pump failure.