Sump Pump Maintenance Checklist

If you're a homeowner, one of your biggest concerns is keeping your property in good condition. That's why it's important to perform regular maintenance checks on all of your home appliances and systems, including your sump pump. By following this sump pump maintenance checklist, you can ensure that your pump is running properly and avoid any costly repairs down the road.

Sump Pump Checklist

1. Turn off the power to the pump and empty it of water

Before you can work on your sump pump, you need to shut off the power to it. Depending on the model of sump pump you have, there may be a switch on the unit itself, or you may need to switch off the power at the breaker box.

Once the power is off, disconnect the hose from the outlet and allow any remaining water to drain out of the unit. Next, remove the cover of the unit and check for debris or clogs. If everything looks clear, reattach the cover and turn on the power. Your sump pump should now be empty and ready for maintenance.

2. Check the pump's power supply

Sump pumps are usually powered by electricity, but some models can also be powered by a battery backup system. Checking the power supply of your sump pump is a simple way to ensure that it will continue to work properly in the event of a power outage.

To check the power supply of your sump pump, start by unplugging the unit from the electrical outlet. Next, open the cover of the sump pit and inspect the float switch. The float switch should be able to move up and down freely. If it is stuck, gently clean the switch with a rag or toothbrush. Once you have confirmed that the float switch is working properly, plug the sump pump back into the outlet and restore power to the unit. Finally, test the pump by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit. The pump should automatically turn on and begin removing water from the pit. If it does not, contact a qualified technician for further assistance.

3. Inspect the pump for any leaks or water damage

One important part of sump pump maintenance is inspecting the unit for any leaks or water damage.

First, check the sump pit for any signs of water leakage. If there is water leaking from the sides of the pit or from the discharge pipe, it could be a sign that the pump isn't working properly. Next, inspect the motor and float switch for any water damage. If the motor is wet, it may need to be replaced. Finally, check the outlet pipe for any blockages. A clogged outlet pipe can cause the sump pump to overheat and fail. By regularly inspecting your sump pump, you can help to ensure that it will continue to work properly when you need it most.

4. Test the pump's float switch

One way to test your sump pump's float switch is to remove the pump from the pit and place it on a table or other elevated surface. Then, fill the pit with water and observe the float switch. If the float switch is working properly, it should rise with the water level and activate the pump. If the float switch does not rise with the water level, it may be stuck in the "on" position or it may be defective and need to be replaced.

Another way to test your sump pump's float switch is to use a multimeter to test for continuity. To do this, disconnect the power to the pump and remove the float switch from the pit. Then, touch one of the multimeter's leads to each of the float switch terminals. If there is continuity between the terminals, then the float switch is likely functioning properly. However, if there is no continuity between the terminals, then the float switch may be defective and need to be replaced.

5. Clean out the sump pump pit and check for obstructions

As any homeowner knows, a clogged sump pump can lead to flooding in the basement. To prevent this from happening, it is important to clean out the sump pump pit on a regular basis.

Begin by removing any debris that has accumulated in the pit, such as stones, leaves, or twigs. Next, use a garden hose to flush out the pit, being sure to remove any remaining obstructions. Once the pit is clean, it is also important to check for obstructions in the discharge pipe. If the pipe is blocked, water will back up into the pit and cause flooding. To clear a blockage, simply disconnect the pipe and use a plunger to dislodge the obstruction. By taking these simple steps, you can keep your sump pump running smoothly and prevent flooding in your basement.

6. Replace the pump's discharge hose, if needed

Most sump pumps come with a discharge hose that is about 20 feet long. This should be plenty of length for most applications. However, if you need to replace your sump pump's discharge hose, it is a relatively easy task.

Start by disconnecting the hose from the pump. Then, measure the distance from the pump to where the hose will discharge. Cut a new piece of hose to this length, using a hacksaw. Next, attach the new hose to the pump, using clamps or hose clamps. Finally, reconnect the other end of the hose to the discharge point. Once everything is secure, turn on the pump and check for leaks. If there are any leaks, simply tighten the clamps until they stop.