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Sump Pump Maintenance checklist

7 Sump Pump Maintenance Tips You Should Know

Every year, millions of homeowners experience the devastation of a flooded basement. A sump pump is frequently the only thing that stands between your home and total disaster, but many people don’t know the proper sump pump maintenance.

A sump pump is a crucial part of your home’s drainage system, and it’s essential to keep it in good working condition. 

By following this simple sump pump maintenance checklist, you can help ensure that your sump pump will continue to operate appropriately and protect your home from water damage.

1. Understand How Your Sump Pump Works

how sump pump works

Before you begin sump pump maintenance, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the functions of your particular sump pump model. 

Example: Some pumps have a float switch, which shuts the sump pump off when the water level reaches a certain height. Other models come equipped with an anti-cycling feature that turns off the pump when it runs continuously for a certain number of seconds.

For starters, here’s crucial information you should know:

  • How old is your sump pump? 
  • What type of sump pump do you have?
  • Do you know where to get the sump pump parts?
  • Sump pump system issues you had in the past?

It is essential that you know the answers to these questions, as they will determine the actions you take to maintain your sump pump.

2. Inspect Your Pump for Damage and Clogs

Sump Pump Maintenance checklist

Periodically inspect your sump pump for signs of damage or clogs. You should check for sump pumps that dispose of water from the washing machine or dishwasher every month because they will be more likely to clog with soapy residue, hair, and any other debris that could jam the propellers.

If you notice any problems, schedule an appointment with a sump pump specialist to inspect the rest of your system and determine whether additional repairs are necessary.

3. Check Your Sump Pump’s Gaskets

Sump Pump Maintenance checklist

When inspecting your sump pump, checking the gaskets is also essential. Gaskets act as barriers, preventing water seeping into the sump pump and motor. Over time, gasket material degrades, cracks, or hardens, eventually resulting in costly damage to your sump pump system.

You can usually find replacements for sump pump gasket materials at any hardware store. Some of the most common materials are rubber, foam, and felt. 

4. Drain Your Sump Pump Basin Periodically

Sump Pump Maintenance checklist

If you have a sump pump with an attached basin, it’s essential to drain the water once every month or two. Your sump pump has an integrated float switch, you can use this method to test whether or not the switch is working correctly.

If you have a battery-powered sump pump, be sure to remove the battery from time to time and allow it to dry completely before putting it back in place. Wet batteries corrode very quickly, causing damage to your sump pump system.

In addition, if you have a backup sump pump system, make sure you inspect it every couple of months. This way, if your primary pump fails, the backup will be ready to go and prevent additional damage to your basement.

5. Clean the Sump Pump Basin Regularly

Depending on if it’s a sewage or storm sump pump it’s essential to clear dirt build-up, grease, debris or any weeds growing in your sump pump basin which can reduce efficiency and clog/cause damage to your pump. 

6. Replace the Pump’s Filter Regularly

Sump Pump Maintenance checklist

In addition to the pump gasket, sump pumps may also have a built-in filter. Over time, this filter can become clogged with debris and reduce the efficiency of your sump pump system.

If you notice your pump running for an unusually long period or if it cannot drain water from your basin as normal, it’s possible that the filter is clogged, and you need to replace it.

If you’ve checked the gaskets and still cannot determine where the problem lies, you may need to consult with a professional plumber for additional help.

7. Cover the Sump Pump Basin When It’s Not in Use

Sump Pump Maintenance checklist

If your sump pump has an exposed basin, be sure to cover it when you’re not using the water or if it’s going to be exposed to harsh weather conditions for a prolonged period. This will help keep debris out and prevent dust from building up inside the unit.

If you notice that your sump pump system is not working to its full potential and you don’t know why it’s essential to call a professional plumber to inspect and provide sump pump maintenance service for you.


Inspecting your sump pump system doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With a little bit of knowledge and preparation, you should be able to determine whether or not it needs repair. If it does need repair, your minor investment in time and effort will help ensure that the damage is minimal.

If you live in the Lower Mainland of Canada and need sump pump repair or installation, contact us for more information. With our expert team at Your Guy Plumbing, we can do it for you and ensure that your basement is safe from any water damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I inspect my sump pump?

Regular inspection of your sump pump system is a good idea, but it can vary depending on the situation. If you notice a problem with your water draining or see that the pump keeps running for no reason, it’s essential to determine what is going wrong as soon as possible.

You should regularly check the gasket and filters to ensure that your pump is working at its maximum potential. In addition, be sure to check up on the system after every significant weather event (for storm sump pumps only).

What do I need to know if I have a backup sump pump system?

If you have a primary and backup sump pump system, you may need to know the following:

  • The backup system should be inspected and tested at least once a month
  • If your primary system fails, you should switch the power off and check all of your equipment for defects before switching it back on.

John Relampago

About the author

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