Your sump pump is designed to help keep water out of the basement. When it’s working properly, it probably does that job very well. But if you have a sump pump that can’t keep up or struggles to operate, it might be time to consider sump pump maintenance – or even an upgraded sump pump. 

Whether you had a sump pump installed or you moved into a home that already had one, it’s up to you to make sure it’s working properly. Most of the time, these systems are “out of sight, out of mind,” and we don’t really give them a second thought. That is – until they fail us. 

All too often, people experience water damage and losses related to water in the basement because their sump pumps fail to work properly. And in many cases, these things could potentially have been avoided if the sump pump had been properly maintained. 

When to Maintain a Sump Pump

Having your sump pump cleaned and inspected might be a good idea. Ideally, you should really do this once or twice a year. You can have a full inspection and maintenance service right before the rainy season, and then perhaps one after. If nothing else, at least get one each year. 

There are things that you can do to clean out and maintain the pump. However, if you really want to make sure it’s inspected and maintained properly, we recommend bringing in the professionals to take a look. 

Keep in mind that if your system works very hard for long periods of time, it might actually need more maintenance because it has been working hard. For some simple things you can do on your own, take a look at these tips. 

Sump Pump Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your sump pump on your own is simple. This could be a great way to determine if you need repairs as well. Before you do anything, be sure it is powered down and unplugged. This is essential for your safety. 

Then, you can follow these basic tips for your system. 

  1. Remove Debris

Once the pump is off and unplugged, look in the tub of the pump to see if there is obvious debris. Sometimes the pump can get leaves or other particles in it. These take up space in the basin, but they also impede the pump so it can’t work as well. 

Clean out any debris that you find. 

  1. Signs of Rust, Corrosion, and Wear

Over time, as sump pumps are used, they do start to wear down. It’s inevitable that at some point, they may need repairs or replacement. In some cases, you can repair or replace small parts to keep them working longer. 

If you notice any signs of corrosion, rust, mold, or disconnects in the pieces, these may need to be handled by a professional. 

  1. Inlet Screen Clean

The inlet screen in your sump pump needs to be inspected and possibly cleaned. This screen fits into the base of the pump and helps to filter debris out before it makes its way into the system. Clean the screen and filter using a brush and some water before putting it back in place. 

  1. Discharge Pipe Inspection

Finally, you can look at the discharge pipe of your system. This is the drainage piece. If the drainage isn’t working properly, it could compromise the whole system and not allow water to drain properly. Make sure the drainage pipe is not clogged anywhere, and that it flows well away from the home. 

Protect Your System with Sump Pump Maintenance

Don’t leave your sump pump unattended and forgotten. Be proactive with sump pump maintenance to ensure the system keeps running properly and as it was designed to do. Remember that you can do some basic cleaning and maintenance on your own, but it’s not a bad idea to also have a professional inspect it and make repairs as needed.  

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