Sump Pump Maintenance: A Homeowner’s Guide to Preventing Basement Flooding

A sump pump is crucial in preventing basement flooding and minimizing the risk of water damage in your home. A well-maintained sump pump protects your property from costly repairs and damage by efficiently pumping water away from your home’s foundation. Advanced Gen Plumbing has provided high-quality plumbing solutions since 2014 as top-rated plumbers in Ontario, CA, and beyond. In this blog post, we will give you a detailed overview of sump pump maintenance, outlining essential tasks and tips for keeping your pump in optimal condition and ensuring your basement remains dry and protected.

In this article, we will discuss the following aspects of sump pump maintenance:

  1. Understanding the Importance of Sump Pump Maintenance
  2. Routine Sump Pump Maintenance Tasks
  3. How to Test Your Sump Pump’s Performance
  4. Common Sump Pump Problems and Solutions
  5. When to Call a Professional Plumber for Sump Pump Issues

By the end of this blog post, you will have a comprehensive understanding of sump pump maintenance, its importance, and how to prevent basement flooding and potential water damage effectively. Advanced Gen Plumbing is committed to providing our customers with educational, informative, and helpful content on various plumbing-related topics, such as sump pump maintenance. 

Our skilled plumbers are dedicated to offering exceptional service and support, ensuring your home’s plumbing system is well-maintained and working efficiently. Join us as we explore the world of sump pump maintenance, offering practical tips and guidance to protect your home and keep your basement safe and dry.

Understanding the Importance of Sump Pump Maintenance

Sump pump maintenance is essential for keeping your basement dry and preventing potential water damage. A well-functioning sump pump extracts water that accumulates in the sump pit, usually located in the basement. This water can enter your home through leaks, heavy rainfall, or a high water table. By maintaining the performance and reliability of your sump pump, you can protect your home from costly repairs and foundation damage associated with basement flooding.

Routine Sump Pump Maintenance Tasks

To keep your sump pump running efficiently and extend its lifespan, follow these routine maintenance tasks:

  • Inspect the Sump Pit: Ensure your sump pit is free of debris, such as dirt, gravel, or other items that can obstruct the pump’s inlet screen and impede its operation. This should be done at least twice yearly, preferably in the fall and spring seasons.
  • Clean the Pump and its Components: Regularly clean the sump pump’s components, such as the impeller, check valve, and inlet screen, to prevent blockages and maintain optimal performance. Use a soft brush and water to dislodge buildup and residue.
  • Check the Float Switch: The float switch is a critical component that activates the pump when water reaches a particular level. Inspect the float switch for any damage or obstruction and ensure it can move freely, triggering the pump as required.
  • Examine the Discharge Line: Inspect the discharge line for any signs of damage, leaks, or obstructions, ensuring it effectively leads water away from your home. Make sure the line’s end has an adequate cover to prevent debris and pests from entering the pipe.

How to Test Your Sump Pump’s Performance

In addition to regular maintenance, testing your sump pump’s performance is vital to ensure it is functioning correctly and ready for heavy rainfall or water accumulation. Follow these simple steps to test your sump pump:

  • Unplug and replug the sump pump: Before conducting any testing, unplug the sump pump from the electrical outlet then re-plug it to ensure a proper connection.
  • Fill the sump pit with water: Slowly pour a bucket into the sump pit until the float switch rises, activating the pump.
  • Observe the pump’s operation: When the pump activates, check its performance and ensure it drains the water correctly. The pump should shut off once the water level reaches a certain point. If the sump pump does not turn on, check the float switch for any obstructions or consider having the pump serviced by a professional.

Common Sump Pump Problems and Solutions

Despite proper maintenance, sump pumps can encounter various issues that may affect their performance. Below are some common sump pump problems and their solutions:

  • No Power Supply: In the event of a power outage or a faulty connection, your sump pump will not function. Installing a battery backup system can ensure the continuous operation of your sump pump during power outages.
  • Clogged Discharge Line: If your discharge line becomes clogged, your pump may struggle to remove water from the sump pit. Regular inspection and cleaning can prevent and address this issue.
  • Overwhelmed Pumping Capacity: If your sump pump cannot keep up with the volume of water entering your basement, it might be undersized or operating inefficiently. Consult a professional plumber to evaluate your home’s pump capacity requirements and recommend a suitable replacement.
  • Broken Check Valve: A malfunctioning check valve will allow water to flow back into the sump pit after the pump turns off. Inspect the check valve for damage and replace it if necessary.

When to Call a Professional Plumber for Sump Pump Issues

While routine maintenance and simple troubleshooting can resolve many sump pump issues, there are situations where professional help is required. Contact a professional plumber if you experience the following:

  • Faulty or damaged electrical connections: If you believe there is an issue with your sump pump’s wiring or electrical connection, consult a professional plumber to assess and repair the problem.
  • Persistent or severe clogs: If your sump pump’s performance suffers due to clogs you cannot resolve, contact a plumber to inspect the unit and perform a thorough cleaning.
  • Pump replacement or upgrade: A professional plumber can guide you in selecting the right sump pump for your needs and provide proper installation services to ensure peak performance.


Sump pump maintenance is essential for preventing basement flooding and protecting your home from water damage. By following the tips and guidance outlined in this article, you can keep your sump pump functioning efficiently and effectively manage water accumulation in your basement.

Advanced Gen Plumbing is your trusted partner for top-rated plumbing services in Ontario, CA, and beyond. Our team of experienced plumbers is committed to providing high-quality sump pump maintenance, installation, and repair services. If you need help with your sump pump or any other plumbing concerns, contact us today—we’re here to help keep your home’s plumbing system in excellent condition.

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