How to Clean a Sump Pump

DIY, How-To,

A sump pump is useful household equipment for basements experiencing frequent flooding. The pump prevents dampness in your home if the water table is above the foundation and directs the water away to a preferred area. It also protects surfaces from water damage and saves money.

For the sump pump to work effectively, you must clean it regularly to remove debris. If you’re planning to have a clean sump pump, this guide has the necessary steps to make it in perfect working condition.

Tools Required

You will need the following tools or items to help clean your sump pump:

  • A garden horse
  • A tarp or plastic sheeting
  • A bucket
  • A wet/dry vacuum for final cleanup
  • A tool for scraping dirt

Step-to-Step Guide on How to Clean a Sump Pump

Use the below steps to clean your sump pump faster:

Disconnect Electricity

First, disconnect the pump from the electricity supply by unplugging the sump pump or switching the power off at the main circuit breaker. Doing this reduces the risks of working with water when the electricity connection is on.

Cut Water Supply

After that, turn off the water from the drains that feed the pump pit. If the sump pump has no water supply, you can without interruptions.

Disconnect the Pump

Disconnect the pump from the discharge pipe that leads outside the house. This will make it easier to remove the pump from the pit.

Wrap the Pump

Additionally, you need to wrap the pump with a plastic tarp. The plastic tarp will prevent your sump pump from dripping when you remove it outside the pit. Then put the pump in an area where you can access both sides easily.

Clean Your Sump Pump

Spray the pump well on both sides and all openings using a garden hose. Ensure you wash away as much dirt as you can. But some tough debris might take a lot of work. So you will use a scrub brush to eliminate them.

Also, use the scrub brush to remove the tough stains from the pit around the pump. You can make a solution of water and vinegar to clean the sump pump faster.

Rinse Your Pump

Then rinse your sump pump using the garden hose. Check if there is any remaining dirt on the pump and scrape it off.

Spray enough water on the pump to also help remove any remaining stuff. Do this until you’re satisfied, and then you can reinstall the pump without worries.

Drain the Check Valve

You should drain your check valve. But the manner of doing this depends on the kind of valve you have. You can use a bucket to drain the water.

It’s advisable to use a larger bucket that can hold water, especially if your drain is longer. The best thing about the check valve is that it allows water to flow one way.

So, no worries about the water flowing back into the sump pump pit. Instead, the whole water will drain out of the drain. You can also clean your check valve if it can be separated or disassembled to make it work better.

Wet/Dry Vacuum the Water

Afterwards, vacuum the water out of the sump pump pit. You can also use a vacuum to clear the water mess in your working area.

Clean the Pit

Remember to clean the pit. Also, take this opportunity to check the pit’s condition to ensure everything is in perfect shape.

Look to see if there is anything that can damage your sump pump. Additionally, remove any dirt in the pit that the pump can suck up. Spray the pit with disinfectant before reinstalling the sump pump.

Reinstall Your Sump Pump and Test It

Finally, put back your sump pump on the pit. Reconnect the discharge hose, reinstall the covers or replace the old/damaged ones.

Put everything back where you found it before cleaning. Then use water to test if your sump pump is working.

Slowly fill the water from the bucket into the sump pump pit until the float switch activates. If you do this, you’ll notice water coming out of the pit and into the pump. This is a sign your sump pump is in perfect condition and ready to work effectively.

It’s advisable to clean your sump pump when it’s not raining to avoid water coming into the area or pit as you work. Also, note the date you clean your sump pump to avoid forgetting it. The reference will help you clean and maintain your sump pump.

How Often Should You Clean Your Sump Pump?

The amount of time you can wait before cleaning your sump pump depends on how regularly it works and its condition. A clean sump pump that rarely works doesn’t need regular cleaning.

You can clean it once or twice a year. However, if you have an ever-running dirty sump pump, clean it after 3 months.

Apart from that, ensure you do the following:

  • Monthly cleaning to clear blockages around the pump and make it operational.
  • Check for clogging or chances of experiencing it after every three months.
  • Yearly checkup to look for rusting or damaged parts. Also, lubricate the movable parts of the sump pump.

What Can I Use to Clean My Sump Pump?

The best cleaner you can consider for your sump pump is a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar. The solution is not toxic, is safe for the components, and cleans well.

However, you can also use bleach if the sump pump smells bad. Bleach is not recommended if your sump pump has an old cast iron component.

Useful Tips When Cleaning Your Sump Pump

  • If you want to clean your sump pump, use vinegar or bleach to kill bacteria and remove bad smells.
  • Also, check if the pump is damaged before reinstalling it. Look at the pump’s cord and the plugin, and consider replacing them if you can’t repair them.
  • Test if your clean sump pump works well with at least 5 gallons of water.
  • Place the pump in the middle of the pit when reinstalling it to allow the float to move freely.

Work with Plumbers in Detroit

If you can’t find time to clean the sump pump, contact the plumbers in Detroit to do this on your behalf. The experts will ensure your sump pump is clean and in perfect working condition.

We can also check on other plumbing connections in your home to help reduce some drainage problems. Contact WaterWork Plumbing any time for a clean sump pump.