Sump Pumps

To maintain the efficiency, safety, and useful life of your sump pump, it is important that your home maintenance program include the proper maintenance for your sump pump.

A sump pump sucks out rain or waste water from a basement floor, basement floor drains, around foundations, etc.  When the sewer line level is above the basement floor, a sump pump is required for pumping the water up to the sewer line level.  The way an automatic sump pump works is that when the water level rises, it pushes up a float that turns on the pump motor.  As the water is pumped out and the float drops down, the pump motor automatically shuts off.  Some sump pump systems have a backup battery so that the sump pump will still operate during a power failure.  See also:  Basement, Foundation, and Plumbing.

Shown in the "Maintenance" tab above are the recommended routine maintenance tasks for your sump pump. The "Questions / Answers" tab above shows our answers to related questions. And the "Articles" tab above provides links to related informational articles and sources.

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 Maintenance Task:  Check sump pump operation and clear strainer screen

    How do you check sump pump operation and clear strainer screen?  



Check the inlet suction screen to be sure it is not blocked or plugged with debris.  Clean out as necessary.

To check operation of the sump pump motor, pour water into the drain area and see if the motor turns on when the float rises with the water level.  Repair as necessary.

    Why is it important to check sump pump operation and clear strainer screen?  



Ensures proper operation of sump pump, which reduces risk of serious water damage.

    How often should you check sump pump operation and clear strainer screen?  
    Perform annually (September).  




    How does Home-Wizard rate the costs and benefits for this task?  
    The cost of this task is low from an investment of time standpoint, as once you have done it the first time, it is much easier the next.  It should only take about 30 minutes to complete.  
    The benefits of this task are high, in that it helps to prevent very costly water damage, especially if you have a finished basement.  
    Overall Home-Wizard benefit-versus-cost rating (one 'hat' = low and four 'hats' = high)  




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