Your sump pump is helping to ward off floods, pumping water away as it collects in the sump pit. For it to work efficiently, you need regular maintenance to ensure that gravel and sand don't clog the pump. Regular cleaning will help keep your sump pump functioning, so it's ready when you need it most.
Your sump pump is helping to ward off floods, pumping water away as it collects in the sump pit. For it to work efficiently, you need regular maintenance to ensure that gravel and sand don’t clog the pump. Regular cleaning will help keep your sump pump functioning, so it’s ready when you need it most.
What supplies you’ll need:
- A plastic scraper
- A plastic sheet
- Some protective or rubber gloves
- A small cup or can
- A screwdriver
- A wet/dry vacuum
- You may also need some lighting, and a garbage can or bucket at the ready.
- Verify that it works
First, you want to make sure your sump pump is functioning correctly. Start by filling the sump pump pit with enough water for the flotation device to lift, which should turn on the pump. Check that it is working before you get your hands dirty cleaning it out.
- Shut It Down
Before you start cleaning out your sump pump, make sure you take safety precautions. Unplug your sump pump or use your circuit breaker to turn off the power. Double-check that no appliances, that may drain into the sump pit – like a washing machine – are being used. And don’t forget to put on protective gloves when handling standing water.
- Disconnect the Pipe
Use your screwdriver to disconnect the pipe, right beneath the check valve. Your manual will give you detailed instructions on how to do this.
Then, lift the pump out of the pit. Push the check valve and drain the water inside the pump. Make sure the pipe is over a bucket or trash can to catch the water. After draining, you can disconnect the top of the check valve, and clean it with warm running water before reconnecting it.
- Cleaning the Pipe
It’s time to clean the pipe. Check it for any apparent blockages and remove them. You can insert a plumber’s snake into the end of the pipe that was connected to the pump, and push the snake through toward the other end. Another way to clean the pipe is by spraying water with a high-pressure nozzle to remove any blockages.
You want to scrape and wipe off any grime coating the rest of the pump. A plastic scraper or putty knife may be necessary to remove any caked-on debris.
- Draining the Pit
Now comes the fun part: draining the water. Prepare for some potentially strong odors. From the sump pit, you can remove standing water using a wet-dry vacuum. After you’ve removed the water, you can use a plastic cup to scoop out additional grime. Make sure you wear protective gloves as you scrape the sludge from the sump pump pit into the garbage can. You want to clean out the pit as entirely as you can.
- Refill and Reset
Now that the pipe and pump are clean, it’s ready to be connected again. Set the pump gently back into the pit and reconnect everything.
It’s time to turn on the power again! Turn the pump on and refill the pit to make sure the assembly works as it should. The pump should turn on, and the float should be unobstructed and free to move. Congratulations, you’re all done!
- Review for damage
During this process, check your sump pump for any damage or visible cracks in its components. If you’re not sure about what you see, call a professional. Our team will make sure it’s functioning correctly or let you know if you need a new unit installed. With proper cleaning and maintenance, the average sump pump should last around ten years.
Having problems? Contact American Sewers
If it is already too late and your sump pump is clogged, or worse, has a burst pipe, we’re here to help. American Sewers provides the efficient service you need whenever disaster strikes. No matter how great or how small your plumbing problem, one of our plumbers can provide the service you deserve.
Mr. Rooter. (2019, April 09). How to Clean a Sump Pump. Retrieved August 6, 2019, from https://www.mrrooter.com/about/blog/2019/april/how-to-clean-a-sump-pump/
Miller, R. (2018, December 19). How to Clean a Sump Pump Drain Pipe. Retrieved August 6, 2019, from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/clean-sump-pump-drain-pipe-27037.html