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How to Clean a Sump Pump

Sump pumps are installed in houses as a kind of insurance policy, meant to take care of the home in the event that the surrounding area floods. Sump pumps are generally installed in homes located near high water tables, poorly draining soils, areas with heavy rain, or in homes with poor foundation drains or basement wall construction. No matter what the reason, if excess water appears in the basement, having a sump pump can help prevent serious water, mold, and mildew damage.

A Clean Sump Pump Can Prevent Flooding

Since a sump pump may only be occasionally used, it may be easy to forget about. But a maintained versus an unmaintained sump pump can make a huge difference when it is most needed. The first step is to make sure the pump is working by filling the sump pump pit with enough water for the floatation device to rise, which should turn the pump on. If it does not turn on, the pump may need to be replaced.

If the pump works, clean the device by doing to the following to ensure it stays working:

  1. Unplug any devices that drain to the sump pump pit, including the power to the sump pump itself.
  2. Disconnect the motor from the discharge pipe and remove from the pit.
  3. Place the pump in a bucket and bring outside.
  4. Scrape and wash sludge and hardened materials off of the exterior of the pump until it is clean.
  5. Use a shop-vac to remove all of the water in the pit.
  6. Remove the bricks from the bottom of the pit.
  7. Scrape out any loose debris and sludge into a bucket wearing gloves and a facemask, since this is residue from sinks and drains and may look and smell unappealing.
  8. Remove debris from the inside of the sump pump pipe using a plumber's snake.
  9. Rinse the pipe, pump, and pit with clean water.
  10. Replace the bricks, connect the pump to the motor and discharge pipe and reconnect power to the pump.

While cleaning a sump pump is not always a pleasant task, it is necessary for maintaining your home. In Texas, a sump pump should be cleaned at least once a year, and if it has been longer than five years since it has been maintained, it should be done so immediately.

If you have not had your sump pump cleaned in a while, experience a clogged sump pump or have a pipe burst due to an unclean sump pump, call our Austin emergency plumbers at Excalibur Plumbing by dialing (512) 277-5535.

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