Have you ever had water come into your basement? If your home is located in a low lying point, or if it is in a flat area, this could very well be a problem you experience, especially when the groundwater is at high levels. It could be this is something you just experience when there are heavy rains or melting snow, but in some areas, this can be a constant problem. This is why, in such areas, it is necessary to have a sump pump installed in the basement. A sump pump sits in a trench underneath your home, and it will pump out water that seeps in from the ground and deposit it away from your home.
A functioning sump pump can be the only difference between a dry basement and one that has problems with flooding.
It is, however, important to test out the functioning of your sump pump. When it sits for long periods of time without running, components might rust or get stuck, which will pose a problem when it needs to start back up again.