At certain times of the year, the ground is saturated with water. If your home is located in a low-lying area or a very flat area, this could cause you to experience problems with water seeping into your basement from below. If this is the case, you need to have a sump pump installed to keep the water out.
A sump pump will sit in a trench in your basement and pump out any water that flows in. It is automated and starts when the float that sits in the trench moves up. Sometimes, however, your sump pump might not function as designed, and this would put you at risk of having your basement flood. It is good to regularly perform tests to make sure that your pump functions as it should. You can test it out by pouring water into the trench and seeing if the pump starts.
A common problem is when the float gets stuck after a long time of disuse. You can plan ahead for a rainy time of the year and make sure you test it out well in advance.