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You Should Be Cleaning Your Sump Pump

A sump pump with some water around it.

So, your sump pump…It’s probably not something you think about much! But as you know, it’s the difference between a dry basement and a flooded one. So what can you do to prevent a disaster?

Clean it out! Here’s our step-by-step guide to cleaning your sump pump so it’s running at optimum efficiency when floodwaters come up…

First, gather everything you need. This includes a scraper (like a floor scraper / utility scraper), and you also need a bucket, a sturdy wet / dry vacuum like a Shop-Vac, and plastic sheeting (something to wrap the wet pump in when you take it outside so you don’t make a mess).

The next step is to turn the water off in your home, and also make sure you’re not about to try and clean your pump on a rainy day. Basically, you’re doing this to make sure that no water is going to drain out of the sump pump and give you a nasty surprise when you’re trying to clean it out.

Similarly, for your protection, make sure you’re wearing gloves while working in these murky waters, and make sure you’ve turned your sump pump off either by unplugging it or cutting the power to the circuit breaker.

Now, it’s finally time to get to work! Take the pump out of the pit and put it on whatever floor cover you’re using. You may have to disconnect the pump from the discharge pipe first, and you may also want to wrap the unit in plastic and take it outside, to avoid the chance of a mess completely.

Now that you’re outside with the dirty pump, the next step is pretty straightforward: Use a garden hose to clean your pump – oh, and you may also need the scraper mentioned above to clean off tough, caked-on debris.

 While you’re leaving your newly sparkling-clean sump pump out in the sun to dry, now it’s time to get the dirty water and debris out of the pit. Put your Shop-Vac hose down there and drain it out.

Then, if you know how to remove and replace your check valve, which looks like this:

Working on pipe connections for a sump pump

Go ahead and remove it and allow the dirty water to drain out of it. Rinse it out with water and then replace it on the discharge pipe.

Now it’s time to return your sump pump to its cave-like home…Turn the power and the water back on…And feel satisfied and secure in the fact that your sump pump can work efficiently in case of flooding!

 However, you may, unfortunately, notice while you’re cleaning your pump that something is cracked or damaged. If this is the case, you need immediate sump pump repair or possibly a new pump. Water damage is a real thing for sump pumps, especially if they’re more than 10 years old.

If you would like to get your pump checked out, call Michael’s Plumbing at (407) 219-9772 or schedule an appointment online.

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