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Does My Sump Pump Need to be Cleaned?

Like anything else in your home, your sump pump should be cleaned out regularly. Most instruction manuals will suggest cleaning out the drain once a year. However, if your sump pump runs frequently, you will want to clean it out more often than that. On the other hand, if your sump pump virtually never runs, it probably won’t need to be cleaned as often. Regardless, your sump will function more effectively and dependably when it is kept clean. Dirt, mud, bugs, and other sediment can clog up the sump pump itself or the drain piping.

To clean your sump pump out, unplug the pump (you can also turn off power to the circuit if you’d like). Disconnect the unit from the discharge pipe and pull it out. Carry it outside and clean it off with a hose. You may want to wrap the pump in an old towel or bag to keep it from dripping on your way outside and creating a mess in your home on the way to cleaning it. (If the unit doesn’t feel wet, this step is probably unnecessary.) Spray the whole sump pump down, paying extra attention to any areas that seem particularly dirty. You likely won’t need soap, just some strong water. If anything is stuck on tightly, use a putty knife to gently scrape build-up off. Back down in the basement, use a shop vacuum to suck out any cobwebs, dead bugs, standing water, or anything else that may be in there. Then, reattach the pump to the piping and place it back into the pit. Ensure it’s properly seated and plug it back in. That’s it!

If you notice any sump pump damage or there is water that the sump pump cannot pump out of the pit, call a local plumber to come out and diagnose the issue. You may need sump pump repair services or a sump pump replacement. A professional plumber can advise on what will best fix the issues that you’re seeing.

Additional resources:
Sump Pump Running Constantly
Why Do I Have Flooding with a Sump Pump?
Recurring Basement Flooding