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How to Safely Maintain Your Sump Pump

The function of a sump pump is simple. It keeps your basement or crawlspace, and maybe the first floor of your house, from flooding during a hard rain. This is the reason it’s good practice to test the pump after a storm or at least once a year to make sure that it’s always in good working order. All this requires is pouring a bucket of water into the pump, waiting for it to turn on, and seeing that it discharges the water to the outside. Maintaining it is another job. Read on to learn how to do so safely.

Disconnect the Pump Before You Clean It

As with any appliance that’s reliant on electricity, you should first unplug your sump pump or turn it off at the circuit breaker before working on it. This is especially important since the sump pump also handles water. You should wear safety goggles, gloves, and waterproof boots or shoes before you start to work. Have your bucket, cleaning cloths, wire brush, and scraper at the ready. Lay down a plastic sheet around the work area, too.

Once the appliance is off, you can clean it safely. Professionals recommend cleaning its parts with a solution that’s half white vinegar and half water. If you can, take the pump outside to clean it after separating it from the discharge pipe. Once outside, you can use your garden hose to rinse it off, then leave it to dry. If there’s any standing water in the sump pit, hoover it up with a shop vacuum.

Make Sure the Components Are in Good Working Order

The sump pump endures a lot of wear and tear when it’s working. Check to make sure that its components, including the inlet screen and float screen, are in good shape. You may have to use a wire brush to make sure the inlet screen is free of debris. If the screen or other components are rusty or in such poor shape that it compromises the sump pump’s ability to work well, replace them.

Make Sure the Discharge Pipe Is in Good Shape

The discharge pipe is responsible for taking the storm water out of your home. It should be free of clogs. If there are clogs or obstructions, clean them out. You also need to make sure that the pipe is at least 20 feet away from the house. If it’s closer, the water it discharges can damage your home’s foundation. When the pump is dry, put everything back together, turn the power on, and test it again.

Call Our Professionals to Learn More About Safe Sump Pump Care

A sump pump should last 10 years, and it may last even longer if it’s well-maintained. To learn more about the safe maintenance and operation of sump pumps, get in touch with our professionals at G. I. Plumbing in Bethel Park, PA.