Tips for Maintaining an Efficient Sump Pump

Water damage to home caused by hurricane related flooding.
Water damage to home caused by hurricane related flooding.

The arrival of spring often signals lots of melting snow and heavy rainfall. If you have a damp basement or live in an area prone to flooding, you know that dealing with water damage can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare.

A sump pump can be an effective device for moving accumulated water away from your house and preventing costly repairs. Here are a few tips to keep your sump pump in good working order.

  • Ensure the unit is plugged in to a working ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and the cord is in good shape.
  • Check the discharge pipe and vent hole for dirt, gravel and other debris. Clear any obstructions, as these cause the pump to work harder to drain the sump basin and increase the chance of overflowing.
  • Inspect the intake screen for clogs and remove any debris.
  • Remove any visible debris from the pit, and ensure the float component is unobstructed.
  • Test the pump by pouring a bucket of water into the basin. As the water level rises, the float should trigger the pump to activate and drain the water quickly.
  • If your pump has a backup battery, replace the battery every two to three years, or as directed by the manufacturer.


  1. Thanks for helping me figure out this sump pump. When I first purchased my home and heard that word, “sump pump,” I told my real estate agent, “a what what?” 😀 😀 😀 Well, now I know! I just shared this post on my Facebook page with my girlfriends. We will NEVER say “what what” again… well, unless we’re at the club, right? What, what, what what, what what!!! 😛

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed this content, Emily! Thanks for sharing it with your friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content.
      And good luck with your sump pump. 🙂

    • Hi, Mary Ann! Sump pumps require annual maintenance, at a minimum.
      They can last up to 10 years, although many last just two to three years.


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