Sump Pump Maintenance — Make Sure the Equipment’s Ready When Needed
Unlike other appliances in your house that are used frequently, you probably seldom think about your sump pump until it’s truly needed to avoid possible health and safety hazards. As a homeowner, a few simple sump pump maintenance steps every few months can help keep the equipment in tip-top shape and ready to work if and when it’s needed.
Sump Pump Maintenance TasksEvery basement is different when it comes to the amount of water it may collect over time. At least three to four times a year, however, the entire sump pump system should be checked for proper operation.
- Typically, there will be a bit of stagnant water left in the sump pit. Start the sump pump maintenance by pouring a few gallons of fresh water into the pit. This will verify that the float or switch is working correctly, and it will remove the old water.
- Unplug the pump from the electrical outlet, and disconnect the discharge plumbing. Most sump pumps have a flexible hose or a quick-disconnect union allowing for easy removal. If yours does not, you may have to consult a plumber.
- Lift the pump from the pit and lay it on its side to expose the bottom. Over time, debris may collect on the intake ports and the screen, reducing the pump’s efficiency.
- Carefully remove any loose debris from the pump, and any from the pit, if necessary.
- Lower the pump back into the pit, reconnect the plumbing and plug the pump back in.
- Ensure that the outlet is protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) device.
- Finally, run a few more gallons through the pump while checking the discharge pipe for possible blockages. A few minutes of sump pump maintenance can easily spare you a big headache in the future.