How to Clean Out a Basement Sump Pump

Residential basements, particularly in areas with high ground-water levels, will often use a basement sump pump to remove unwanted water from the basement. To keep your sump pump working properly you will need to occasionally clean it. Here's how.

Things you'll need:

Plastic sheet
Garden hose
Plastic scraper
Wet/dry shop vac
Bucket or container

Step 1 – Shut Off Electrical Power

Unplug your pump from its electrical power source. Or, at your circuit breaker panel, turn off the circuit that supplies power to your pump.

Step 2 – Disconnect the Pump from Its Discharge Pipe

Locate the discharge pipe your pump is connected to, then disconnect it.

Step 3 – Clean Off Your Sump Pump

Wrap your pump in a plastic sheet to prevent spilling sludge and dirt on your floor, then carry the pump outside where you can rinse it off. Use a garden hose to rinse off any sludge, dirt, or debris. To remove caked sludge or dirt, use a plastic scraper or putty knife.

Step 4 – Remove Standing Water

From the sump pit, remove standing water by using a wet/dry vac. Drain water from your check valve by first placing a bucket under it to catch draining water. Clean your check valve by removing it and rinsing it off. Then, replace it.

Step 5 – Reconnect Your Pump

Reconnect your pump to the discharge pipe and plug in the power cord.