There is nothing worse than dirty sump pump pits, and it can be a real pain to clean them up when you need to get your system repaired or cleaned. With the right tools and proper know-how, cleaning sump pits can be done in just about an hour.
What is a sump pump pit?
A sump pump pit is simply an extra space under your home’s ground floor area where water from rain and melting snow will collect instead of draining away into drains through pipes and gutters, as would generally happen. If significant flooding occurs, the flood will drain straight back into your sump pump pit.
A sump pump is an essential part of any house. It prevents basement flooding. They should regularly clean them to keep them functioning correctly. The pump needs to be removed and washed thoroughly, the check valve needs to be cleaned, the pit bottom needs to be cleared of water and debris, and others.
For a successful sump pump pit cleaning, ensure you have the right tools :
- Use plastic sheeting or a tarp
- Pry bar
- Rubber Gloves
- A wet vacuum or dry vacuum
- A garbage can or bucket may also be necessary, and some light is required.
How to Clean a Sump Pump Pit?
Clean the sump pump pit by following the step-by-step procedure.
First things first – disconnect the electricity before working on your sump pump pit! Disconnect all electrical wires and equipment that are connected to your sump pump so they do not interfere with you.
Disconnect your sump pump
Disconnect your sump pump from the discharge pipe and remove the cover plate or access panel so you can see the pump.
Remove sump pump
Wear your rubber gloves and loosen the screws around the base and sides of the sump pump using a screwdriver. Locate the bolts holding the bottom of the sump pump to the concrete slab and unscrew them.
Use a pry bar to pull the sump pump out of its mounting brackets. Remove the clamps to release the sump pump and remove it from the pit.
Clear the water and debris off the sump pit
Now is the time to clean all the dirt, mud, leaves, and other items that may have been collected at the bottom of the pit. Scoop out any water and debris with a shovel. Use a hose to spray down the pit walls if needed.
Empty the tank
Next, empty all the contents of the sump tank into a bucket or trashcan, including anything you can’t easily dispose of (old food or other such materials).
Make sure the sump tank is completely emptied; there should be no more sediment left over. Use the wet vacuum or a broom to quickly sweep this material into the bucket or trashcan.
Drain the sump pump
Before reconnecting the sump pump to its base, make sure everything is drained properly. Use the hose to fill the sump tank again, then run the hose back outside.
Open both the inlet and outlet connections of the sump pump and use the hose to rinse out the sump pump’s inlets and outlets.
Run the hose back outside to complete the drainage process. After finishing all this, reattach the sump pump to place it back onto the pit.
Install the sump pump back on the pit
When installing the sump pump, be careful not to drop it too much when returning it inside the pit. Position the side of the sump pump facing upward toward the wall and gently slide it into the opening in the pit.
Once in position, push the sump pump until it rests firmly against the bottom of the pit, making sure nothing falls out. Tighten the bolts as directed and replace the lid.
If you find it difficult to put the sump pump back in the pit, use a pry bar to help you. Ensure the float switch moves smoothly, ensuring it will work correctly once the sump pump starts cycling after being installed.
Reconnect the pump to the discharge pipe. Connect the electrical wire for the sump pump to an outlet near where you intend to install the sump pump.
Use caution while connecting the electric cord as you don’t want to get shocked. Be sure to turn on the breaker box to the area before plugging in the sump pump.
Testing the sump pump
After you have finished all the above tasks, use your garden hose to fill the sump pit with some freshwater. Turn the sump pump on and check to ensure that the sump pump cycles successfully after it has been placed back in.
Observe as water drains from the sump pump as well as the sump pit. If necessary, adjust your settings so that the sump pump runs efficiently.
Tips to note before you clean out your sump pump pit:
- Make sure you have adequate lighting during the cleanup process. You also need appropriate footwear since the floor may contain small stones, pieces of wood, and even sharp objects. Wear safety goggles during the entire procedure and remember to stay safe!
- You should not use any chemicals around your sump pit. Even though they are not harmful to humans in normal dosage, the soil contains nutrients that could be damaged by the chemicals available from the local hardware store. The water in the sump pit is free from contaminants. However, if you do use harsh chemicals, only apply them outdoors since direct contact with the water would result in contamination.
- While changing the filters of the sump pit, always wear protective gloves to avoid getting dirt or germs in your hands.
- If possible, wait for a day or two before emptying the sump pit completely. This allows enough time for stagnant water to drain from the sump pit. It is important to empty the sump pit slowly to prevent splashing water from damaging nearby plants. Be especially cautious when draining water away from shrubs and trees. If needed, use a shop vacuum or other similar tool to pull the water outside. This way you avoid damage to plants and their roots.
- The best time to clean a sump pit is after heavy rainfall. You want to avoid using soap or detergent when washing your sump pit. Instead, use a damp cloth or sponge.
It’s not just how good you feel when you see your home looking great, but it can also increase its value. A well-kept property will attract more buyers. Your house is a big investment. Why not protect your cash? In addition to enhancing your curb appeal, maintaining your sump pump pits is beneficial to your health. Clean your pit regularly. Follow these steps to keep the pump running smoothly.