Ask Jack: Hines Plumbing On the Best Ways to Maintain Your Sump Pump

Ask Jack: Hines Plumbing On the Best Ways to Maintain Your Sump Pump

When it comes to sump pumps, keeping it well maintained can be the difference between a major headache paired with a potentially large clean up bill and going about your everyday life as usual. Everyone has heard the horror stories of a friend or family member’s sump pump failing and wreaking havoc on their basement.

First, let’s get down to the basics of what a sump pump is and what it does exactly. This submersible sits in a sump pit located at the lowest point of your basement, when ground water around your foundation drains into the sump pit through perforated drainpipes, the float switch on the sump pump is triggered. This causes the pump to remove the incoming water by pumping it into the nearest storm drain, dry well, or detention pond.

As you can imagine, if this vital device fails, it can cause quite a problem for your home, flooding your basement and destroying your family photos, furniture, or anything else you might store in your basement.

One thing that is very important in maintaining your sump pump is testing it routinely to ensure that the next deluge of rainwater won’t make an appearance in your home. One way to do this is to pour a bucket of water into the sump pit, if it turns on as it should, the pump will be triggered and remove the water and shut down after a matter of seconds.

If the pit is dirty, removing any accumulated dirt, sand, gravel, or debris can extend the life of your pump for quite a while and make sure it doesn’t lose any of its efficiency. Make sure the discharge line through which the pump removes the water is free of obstructions as well. As with any device, the pump will wear down over time, so be sure to test it routinely, so you are aware before the weather puts more pressure on it. This is especially important in the Chicagoland area, where the high water table causes more sump pump replacements than almost anywhere in the country.

Additional steps can include; making sure your pump is plugged into a GFCI outlet and the cord is in good shape, and the outlet is not in a damp area. Make sure the pump is upright so that the pump will trigger correctly when water levels rise. A battery backup is also a good option to ensure that it will continue to operate in the case of a power failure.

Of course, if you are wary of performing this maintenance on your own, are afraid your pump might be reaching the end of its life, or are in need of repairs or replacements, call the experts at Hines Plumbing! For questions or concerns about your sump pump, call Hines Plumbing at 219-464-8938 or go online at