Instant Plumbing and Rooter Logo

How to Maintain Your Sump Pump: DIY Tips for a Dry Basement and Home

Serving Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and more of AZ with professional plumbing services since 2001

Your sump pump, although often forgotten, plays a crucial role in protecting your basement and home from flooding and water damage. Regular maintenance can extend its lifespan and ensure it’s ready to spring into action when needed most. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps for DIY sump pump maintenance, empowering you to keep your basement and home dry and your sump pump in top-notch condition.

How To Maintain Your Sump Pump: DIY Tips For A Dry Basement And Home
How To Maintain Your Sump Pump: DIY Tips For A Dry Basement And Home
How to Safeguard Your Home from Leaks While You're Away

Before You Begin:  

Before diving into sump pump maintenance, remember to turn off the power to the pump to avoid electrical mishaps. This is a critical safety precaution.

Visual Inspection:

Start your sump pump maintenance with a visual check. Look for any signs of damage, wear, or rust on the pump itself, the power cord, and the discharge pipe. Check the sump pit for debris and ensure there’s no visible substantial amount of water.

Remove Debris:

Any debris that has accumulated in the sump pit can hinder the pump’s performance. Carefully remove any dirt, gravel, or debris that may have found its way into the pit. This step is especially important if you have an older, non-submersible sump pump.

Test the Float Switch:

The float switch is what triggers your sump pump to turn on when water levels rise. Fill the pit with water and watch the float switch. It should activate the pump when the water level reaches a certain height and turn it off when the water is pumped out.

Clean the Pump Screen or Inlet:

Many sump pumps have a screen or inlet that can become clogged with debris over time. Carefully remove it and clean away any accumulated dirt or particles. This ensures that water flows freely into the pump.

Check the Discharge Pipe:

Inspect the discharge pipe for any obstructions or blockages. It should be clear of debris to allow water to be expelled away from your home’s foundation. Also, make sure the pipe is securely fastened to the pump.


Lubricate the Bearings:

If your sump pump has oil ports, add a few drops of oil to lubricate the bearings. Refer to your pump’s manual for specific instructions on oiling.

Test the Backup Battery (If Applicable):

If your sump pump has a battery backup system, ensure the battery is in good condition. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test it or replace it if necessary. A functional backup battery is vital during power outages.

Perform a Test Run:

Finally, perform a test run. Fill the sump pit with water and ensure the pump activates and pumps the water out properly. Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations that could indicate an issue.

Regular Maintenance Schedule:

Ideally, you should perform these sump pump maintenance tasks every six months. However, it’s a good idea to check it more frequently, especially during the rainy season or if you’ve experienced heavy rainfall recently.

DIY sump pump maintenance is a simple yet essential task to ensure your basement and home stays dry and your sump pump operates efficiently. By following these steps and staying proactive, you can rely on your sump pump to protect your home from unwanted water damage, even during the heaviest rains. However, we understand that not everyone may feel comfortable or able to perform these tasks themselves. If you prefer professional assistance or have any doubts about your sump pump’s condition, don’t hesitate to reach out to Instant Plumbing and Rooter. Our team of experts is here to help keep your basement dry and your sump pump in excellent working order. Remember, regular maintenance is the key to a dry and secure basement.

*** Please Note: All of these steps can also be taken on an Ejector Pump Pit, we do recommend wearing PPE when working with sewage, safety glasses or goggles, gloves, and always make sure to keep your mouth closed while working in the space (you can also wear a mask). ***

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I perform maintenance on my sump pump?

A: It’s recommended to perform maintenance on your sump pump every six months to ensure it’s in top working condition. However, if you live in an area with frequent heavy rainfall or have experienced recent flooding, it’s wise to check it more often for optimal performance.

Q: What are the first steps I should take before starting sump pump maintenance?

A: Before you begin any maintenance work, always ensure your safety first by turning off the power to the sump pump. This is a crucial step to avoid any electrical mishaps. Once the power is off, you can safely proceed with the maintenance tasks.

Q: How do I test the float switch of my sump pump?

A: To test the float switch, fill the sump pit with water and observe the switch. It should activate the pump when the water level reaches a certain height and turn it off once the water is pumped out. This test ensures that your sump pump will respond correctly during actual flooding.

Q: What should I do if I find debris in the sump pit?

A: If you notice debris in the sump pit, carefully remove it. Debris can hinder the pump’s performance by blocking the water flow or damaging the pump. Keeping the pit clean is essential for the efficient operation of your sump pump.

Q: Is it necessary to have a professional check my sump pump?

A: While DIY maintenance is crucial, having a professional like Instant Plumbing and Rooter check your sump pump can provide additional peace of mind. Professionals can identify and fix complex issues that might be difficult to detect on your own. If you’re unsure about any aspect of your sump pump’s condition, it’s always a good idea to seek expert assistance.

About Us

Instant Plumbing and Rooter LLC is a family-owned and operated plumbing business in Phoenix, AZ. We’re a family of reliable professionals that use the latest techniques for dependable plumbing services. Since 2001, we have been taking care of our community’s plumbing needs promptly and professionally.

Through our work, we aim to change the perception of plumbers in our community. Our goal is to make homeowners like you more informed, as well as show others that being a plumber is not just about unclogging toilets.

A plumber brings hygiene, sanitation, and comfort to everyone, and that’s what we’re here to help you with.

Quick Links

Tell Us About Your Project

Fill out the form below with details about your project. We'll get back to you shortly.

Important: So we can better help you, please upload a few photos of your project below

Browse Related Posts

Book Services Online
Call Us

Or click Book Now and do it all online