Tip- Locate your sump pump. The pit should be securely covered to help prevent a fall hazard or debris or animals/bugs from getting into the pit and clogging the system. Covers also help reduce moisture and radon from getting into living space. Start by removing the cover and verify the pit is clear of debris and sediment. Verify a check valve is installed on the vertical discharge pipe a short distance above the pump. The purpose of a check valve is to prevent the water from vertical pipe above the valve from draining back into the pit once the pump has shut off. Most check valves have an arrow on them directing water flow. Check to make sure the valve is installed properly, if it is not the valve will block the water from exiting the pit and eventually could cause water damage and your pump to fail. Some submersible sump pumps require a weep hole in the pipe just above the connection to the pump and below the check valve to help prevent air lock in the pipe. Verify the discharge pipe is secured properly and does not have any leaks. The discharge pipe should route to the exterior of the house and not to the city sewer or private sewage system. Most municipal codes do not allow sump pumps to be connected to sewer lines. Connection to a private sewer system can overwhelm the system and could cause damage. The exterior discharge pipe should extend at least 5 feet from the foundation to an area the will allow the water to dissipate away from the structure. Finally test the pump to verify it is working properly and smoothly. If the pump sounds rough or bogged down, then you should have it inspected or replaced by a licensed and insure plumber. It is a good idea to have a water or battery powered back up sump pump installed for possible power outage to help prevent flooding and water damage.