Sump Pump Maintenance Tips: How To Clean A Sump Pump

I was blissfully unaware of sump pumps and anything to do with them until I shifted into my own home. Halfway into the second month, our basement got flooded with rainwater and I had absolutely no idea what to do with it. I might have figured it out on my own if I hadn’t panicked so bad and ended up calling the cops, only to have them laugh in my face. And that was my first embarrassing encounter with the lady under discussion.

How to Clean Sump Pump

Now, to save you from any such foolishly stupid mishaps, let me enlighten you all on certain sump pump maintenance tips: how to clean a sump pump that helps it to last longer than usual. The method is really simple yet time-consuming. But you’d better make time for it or be prepared to call the cops and have them laugh in your face as well! With that being said, let’s get started on our explanations.

How to Clean a Sump Pump – Step by Step Guide

Following are the steps you should take to clean your sump pump so you should never face drainage.

1. Unplug And Disconnect Your Sump Pump

First things first, you need to unplug the sump pump and then disengage it from the main discharge pipe. This will ensure that you don’t make a mess instead of cleaning it up. You may need to use a screwdriver to loosen up the sleeve that holds up the two pipes together.

Disconnect the Sump Pump

2. Remove The Pump From The Basin

Your next step must be to position a water bucket before pulling the pump from the basin. When you pull the pump, point it into the water bucket to avoid any water spilling on the floor, otherwise, you will have to wash your bathroom tiles afterwards. You can later drain the bucket water into the camote or basin.

3. Clean The Pump

Once the water is completely drained from the pump, you are advised to take it outside into your backyard to wash it out properly. You can also do it right there inside the washroom but a backyard is a better choice in my opinion since you also use a garden hose to splash water into the pump. Feel free to use a rag or a scrub to remove all the grime and dirt stuck on the pump.

Clean the Sump Pump

4. Drain The Sump Basin

Cleaning only the pump is not enough until you clean up the sump basin as well because that is where the main problem lies. Over time stones, gravel, and mud may accumulate thus, blocking out the pump and the pipes. For this purpose, you may use a bucket but the best option is to use a wet-dry vacuum, which effectively soaks up all that dirty water and solid waste from the sump basin.

5. Clean The Grate And Sump Pump Basin

Now, clean up the rest of the things connected to the sump pump such as the great and the sump pump basin. For the grate, simply take it out to the backyard and splash water onto it through the garden hose. And for the basin, use a sponge or a rag to clean it up. Feel free to use any disinfectant and clean up liquids that you usually use for cleaning bathrooms.

6. Put Everything Where It Belongs

Once you are done with all the cleaning, it is time to put everything back where it belongs. Put the grate, the sump pump, and the pipes back in position (here is how to reset the sump pump). Use the screwdriver to tighten up the sleeve holding the pipes together. Make sure that you tighten everything up to ensure the proper functioning of the pump. And that’s it, you are good to go!

What do You Use to Clean a Sump Pump?

You may use anything to clean a sump pump including the branded liquids readily available in the markets specifically made for this purpose. However, the cheapest and simplest thing to use for cleaning the sump pump is plain white vinegar. It is very inexpensive and does a great job at cleaning out stubborn grime and also removes bad odor.

But first, you will need to make a mixture of equal amounts of white vinegar and plain tap water in a spray bottle. Then shake up the spray bottle and start spraying liberal quantities of the solution onto the sump pump. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before wiping clean the surface using a rag or a scrub. Repeat the process until the sump pump is squeaky clean. Also, check out vacuum sump pump oil substitutes.

FAQs about Sump Pump Cleaning

What Type of Sump Pump Cleaner Should I Use?

You may use any type of sump pump cleaner but, in my opinion, the best by far is the white vinegar solution. It is inexpensive and effective and also deals with the smell coming from the sump pump if any. All you have to do is make a solution of equal quantities of white vinegar and plain water in a spray bottle. Shake up the mixture before spraying it on the pump. Then clean up the surface using a rag. Feel free to repeat the cycle until you get the desired results.

How often should you clean your sump pump?

The intervals at which you should clean up your sump pump may differ from house to house. On average, you are advised to clean it up every three months at least. However, if your sump pump does not accumulate debris and collects dirt very often then you may prolong the interval up to four or five weeks. At the same time, if your sump pump collects grime and gravel often then, I suggest you clean it up more regularly.

Final Thoughts about Sump Cleaning and Maintenance

Taking it all into consideration, I believe I have given you enough information to get you started on cleaning up and maintaining your sump pump more expertly now. It is not rocket science really, however, you will have to be very mindful of what goes where otherwise, you may end up all confused and frustrated. But that shouldn’t be much of a problem either because all the steps are quite simple and even a kid would remember the jigsaw of all the components.

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