Sump pumps are an essential part of maintaining a dry basement. Due to the nature of this helpful household appliance, sump pumps require consistent cleaning to keep their systems functioning correctly. We advise annual sump pump cleaning, including removing and washing off the pump, clearing the check valve, removing water and debris from the pit, and more.

Beforehand no matter what, make sure it’s not rainy outside, or you don’t have any appliances that drain into the sump pump basin. Significantly, there is no water coming into the area as you are working on the sump pump.

  • Detach the sump pump from the power supply. Unplug the sump pump or turn off the circuit breaker at the power source. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Trying to patch up or clean a sump pump while connected to the power source is tremendously dangerous.


  • Covering the pump. Excluding yourself from extra cleanup by wrapping the bottom of the pump itself in the plastic tarp/sheeting. Set the pump in an area that will allow you to contact all sides for easy cleaning.



  • Clean the pump. Now for the exciting part. Start the cleaning procedure by spraying the pump with the garden hose. Once the pump is sprayed and all loose deposit has been removed, use the rasping tool to remove any stuck-on debris.


  • Rinse the pump. Spray the pump again with the garden hose, rinsing off any last residue that might be remaining.



  • Trench the check valve. Retain your bucket handy while draining the check valve. Any water from the check valve will be caught in the bucket.


  • Use the wet/dry vacuum to remove standing water from the sump pit. This step is self-explanatory. Use your shop vac to remove excess water from the sump pit. You’ll also likely need the shop vac to clean up any water or residue that might have made a mess of the cleaning space.


  • Reconnect the pump. Reconnect the sump pump and ensure all components are situated in the sump pit as before you started the cleaning process. Reconnect the sump pump to the power source, and be sure to turn the breaker to the ‘on’ position if you turned it off during step two.

Bonus step: Make a note of the date you cleaned the sump pump and keep it accessible for reference. You’ll want to add this maintenance item to your home maintenance list every year, or more often for homes with hardworking sump pumps due to severe weather.

Sump pump maintenance and installation

If you run into any issues while cleaning your sump pump – or you realize it’s time to upgrade an older unit – talk to the helpful team of Lehigh Valley Plumbing Experts Proudly serving all of Lehigh Valley areas, we’re here to help keep your basement dry and safe all year round. Call us today at 484 222 4038