Sump pumps are very common in Edmonton. Almost every house that I have gone into has a sump pump from the time the house was built.
The purpose of the sump pump is to take any water that is about 2 to 3 feet below your basement and pump the water safely out and away from your house. If you are installing a sump pump in your house for the first time make sure that the discharge pipe goes at least 2 feet past your house.
You should check your sump pump every season at some point in the spring. Fill the sump barrel with water and allow the pump to turn on and discharge the water out of the barrel.
For the most part a pump fails when turning on for the first time for the season. The reason for this is that initial startup after sitting for the whole winter can cause the pump to cease.
I believe most pumps have a two to three year warranty, but you should still check them every year. The 15 minutes that it takes to check the pump could save you thousands of dollars in repair costs to your basement if you do have a flood.
Unfortunately testing the pump is not a guarantee that there will not be a problem in that season, but this will catch a good chunk of failed starts. To really secure your place it is best to place a high level sensor in the pump barrel that will sound an alarm if there is a failure. These can be hooked up to an alarm company that will help you resolve the situation if you are not at home when the alarm goes off.
If you need a plumber for any reason please give me a call at 780-264-0878
Kramer Plumbing and Radiant Heat
249 Grand Meadow Cres.