Call (289) 788-0038

Call (289) 788-0038

DIY: How to Clean Your 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. Without your sump pump, that groundwater could easily build up and flood through your foundation. To keep your sump pump working properly you will need to occasionally clean it. Here’s how:

Gather the supplies you’ll need. 

Grab a piece of plastic sheeting, a scraping tool, a large bucket, a garden hose, and a shop vacuum.

Turn your water off. 

Technically you don’t need to turn off all the water in your home. Turn off water at any area where a fixture drains directly into the sump pump, like the washing machine. If you can’t turn off the water, make sure no one’s using fixtures while you’re working on the pump. Make sure you never try to clean your sump pump on a rainy day. Choose a time when you’re sure water won’t drain out of the pump while you’re trying to clean it.

Disconnect 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.

Wrap your pump in a plastic sheet. 

Try to remove the pump from the pit without letting it make a mess all over the floor. Sludge and dirt may be caked onto the pump, so you should carry it outside to clean it adequately.

Clean the pump. 

Use your garden hose to rinse off the pump. Once the first layer of grime is removed, you can start scraping with your tool. It doesn’t actually matter what that tool is, as long as it can scrape off anything plastered on. Rinse it once again after scraping for a final clean.

Drain the check valve in the sump pit. 

Place your bucket beneath the existing check valve where water would drain into the pump. Open it and let any existing water drain into your bucket for disposal.

Use the shop vacuum to remove leftover standing water. 

Vacuum up any water you still see inside the bottom of the sump pit. That way when you reconnect the pump itself it’s not going straight back into a messy pit.

Reconnect your pump. 

Connect the pump back to the discharge pipe and check valve. Plug your unit back into power.

Having a sump pump is a regular part of many homeowner’s plumbing. If you have one and want it checked out or don’t have one and are interested in installation, give Royal Flush Plumbing a call. We’re always happy to help.



We understand that emergencies can happen at any time.

Call us 24/7 and our team of highly trained professionals will be on the road in minutes!