Testing a sump pump

I have a 10 year old home with a sump pump that I have never heard turn on. I tried dumping about 50 gallons of water into the hole but I could get the dang thing to engage. Do these things have a test button, and how do I know if it works.
Thanks
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Some pumps are very quiet. I can't hear mine run unless I'm standing within 8 or 10 feet of it.

When you pour water in the sump, you're filling not only the sump but the entire system of floor and perimeter drains too. Depending on how extensive that system is, you might need a *lot* more than 50 gallons of water to bring it up to the set point of the pump. We have a large and sprawling ranch house, with about 80 *yards* of perimeter drains, and another 35 yards of floor drains inside the house. Figure roughly two gallons per yard in 4" tile...

on, you need a new pump.
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First be sure you have power. Then the float switch should turn it on when raised. If nothing happens not even a straining motor noise then its likely the switch. but at this point you should pull the pump.
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Every sump pump has some kind of float that rises with the water level. It's usually a hollow plastic ball that slides up and down on a rod. Just lift the float manually until the pump turns on. Don't run it if there is no water in the well or you might damage the pump. Also make sure there is power going to the pump. It could be wired to a circuit breaker that is off or tripped.
Tillio

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I have taken them out of the pit, put a 3 or 4 foot piece of pipe on them, stuck them in a 5 gallon pail of water and plugged them in. It's best to do this outdoors, and of course dont point the pipe at yourself or others, or your open kitchen window. The water will shoot out rather hard. (unless you want a bath).
Unplug it after the pail empties, you dont want to run a pump dry for more than a second or two.
wrote:

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