Basement Sump Pump Maintenance

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: October 28, 2022

There are multiple ways to prevent flooding in your basement. Some of the things you can do include maintaining clean downspouts, repairing foundation cracks, and installing window well covers.  If water gets into your basement, despite taking all the above precautions, your last line of defense would be the sump pump. This is why sump pump maintenance is crucial.

A sump pump is a pump that removes water from the lowest part of your home—typically in a pit, or well that’s dug below your basement or crawlspace floor. Though not all homes need a sump pump, they are highly recommended in areas with heavy flooding. 

When the groundwater rises to a certain level, the sump pump activates automatically and drains water out of the basin until the level is back to normal. There are two types of sump pumps—pedestal and submersible. A pedestal sump pump sits outside the pit (or well), and a submersible pump floats in the water. 

Know Your Sump Pump’s Functionalities

The first important pillar of sump pump maintenance is knowing the unit as extensively as possible. This way, you will know what to expect regarding your pump’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs. 

If you have no clue what your sump pump is (e.g., the sump pump came with the house you bought or you’re renting the property), try to look at the motor to see if the model number is written there. If not, a good first step is to look for the brand name of the pump. Then, to zero in further into the sump pump model, determine whether it is a pedestal sump pump or a submersible sump pump. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to tell based on just the appearance. 

A submersible sump pump has a motor that can work underwater – therefore, the motor would be inside the sump pit. A pedestal sump pump has a long stand that raises the motor above the pit and floor. Though they may be designed differently, both sump pumps have common parts like the motor, float switch, power cords, impeller, and pipe fitting for the discharge pipe.

Check Periodically If the Sump Pump Still Works

You never know when your basement may flood; therefore, it pays to do sump pump maintenance once a month to check whether or not it’s still working as it should. Simply ensure that your sump pump is connected to its power source, and then pour water into the sump pit. Watch how the pump runs and note any odd noises you might hear.

Know the Signs of A Problem with Your Sump Pump

Like with any machine, there are signs to look out for when there is an issue with your sump pump. These include:

  • Strange noises from the pump could indicate worn-out parts.
  • Rattling or grinding noises could point to a jammed or damaged impeller.
  • The motor vibrating excessively can mean that the impeller is bent or deformed.
  • The sump pump turning on and off when it should be running could mean that there is a problem with the internal wiring.
  • An oil leak could mean that the sump pump will fail very soon.

If you encounter any of these, call an expert immediately because your sump pump could be due for expert maintenance or needs to be replaced altogether.

Deep Clean Your Sump Pump As Needed and Clean The Sump Pit Regularly

Cleanliness is a top priority for your sump pump and sump pit maintenance. It extends the lifespan of your equipment and increases its efficiency. 

Here are four steps to cleaning your sump pump and sump pit: 

  • Turn off the sump pump and ensure no one is using any appliances that will drain water into the sump pit (e.g., washing machine).
  • Use the garden hose to rinse the pump. Then use a plastic scraper or putty knife to remove caked debris.
  • Use a wet vac to clean out the sump pit. 
  • Once the pump is dry, reattach it to the discharge pipe and plug it into its power source.

Make Sure That The Equipment Is Properly Covered

Proper coverage on your sump pump can prevent larger debris, lint, and sediment from falling into the sump pit. As much as possible, the covering should fit snugly and only have holes for the wires, the stand (in the case of pedestal sump pumps), and the drainage pipe. Taking this extra precaution doesn’t rule out cleaning the sump pit regularly, but you will have less to clean if it’s covered properly.

Check the Discharge Line

Sometimes, water might be draining slowly from your sump pit – not because of a problem with your pump – but because of a problem with your drainage pipes. Along with checking the functionality of your sump pump, inspect your drainage pipes and try to remove any obvious blockages.

Consider Getting a Back-Up Sump Pump

It’s common for the power to go out during a storm. This is why some homeowners choose to install a backup sump pump that doesn’t run on electricity. Typically, these pumps run on battery or water pressure from your home. They are usually not as robust as submersible or pedestal sump pumps but have the advantage of not being dependent on electricity.

Our plumbing experts at PlumbWize specialize in sump pump maintenance, repair, and replacement. Even if you have lost the instructions for your sump pump or it’s an old unit that comes with a property you’ve bought and are completely confused with diagnosing the problem, we can help you out.

Best 5 Basement Sump Pump Maintenance

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1. Wayne 58321-WYN3 CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Stainless Steel Sump Pump with Integrated Vertical Float Switch, Large, Silver

Wayne 58321-WYN3 CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Stainless Steel Sump Pump with Integrated Vertical Float Switch, Large, Silver


  • Brand: Wayne
  • Color: Silver
  • Material: Stainless Steel

This pump is a permanent option and is designed to be installed in a sump basin 11 inches or wider in diameter. The powerful 3/4-horsepower engine allows this pump to move an impressive 5,490 gallons of water per hour, meaning it can keep up with even the most dramatic flooding. 

This pump features a 1.5-inch National Pipe Tapered (NPT) discharge, so it’s compatible with standard plumbing for a simplified installation process. The entire installation process takes about 15 minutes to complete.


The quality construction behind this pump is evident. Cast iron and stainless steel are durable even when repeatedly submerged, and the top-suction design helps minimize clogging for low-maintenance use. This pump’s thermally protected oil-filled motor helps to prevent overheating, and the floating guard prevents the switch from getting hung up. This pump is backed by a five-year warranty.

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  • Automatic operation when floater is lifted by water, easy installation, durable construction made from cast iron and stainless steel, can pump nearly 6,000 gallons of water per hour.
  • Quiet Sump checked the valve and got the old pump out, and this one is in with no issues.


  • The float switch can malfunction in the sump basin if not properly aligned.

2. Professional EZ Travel Collection, Hot Tub, and Swimming Pool Drain Pump with Hose Pond/Flood Pump (Up to 3,700 Gallons per Hour)

Professional EZ Travel Collection, Hot Tub and Swimming Pool Drain Pump with Hose Pond/Flood Pump (Up to 3,700 Gallons per Hour)


  • Brand: Professional EZ Travel Collection
  • Material: Plastic, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

The Professional EZ Travel Collection Hot Tub and Swimming Pool Drain Pump is a versatile pump you can use to drain ponds, pools, water tanks, hot tubs, and even basements. This kit has everything you need to start, including an extra-long 25-foot electrical cord and a 25-foot hose.


This pump can drain up to 3,700 gallons of water per hour. It is equipped with folding feet on its base, so as the water is drained away, you can fold up the feet and allow the pump to sop up the last bit of water. The impact-resistant casing makes this pump durable, and the handle allows you to transport this pump from one location to another.

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  • Versatile, 3,700 gallon-per-hour capacity, portable
  • Great pump. The rotating output nozzle is a great feature that helps avoid kinks that most other pumps end up with at the output.


  • No filter or outlet hose size is non-standard in any remotely warm liquid.

3. WAYNE Waterbug 1/6 HP 1350 GPH Submersible Multi-Flo Technology-Water Removal and Transfer Pump, Yellow

WAYNE Waterbug 1/6 HP 1350 GPH Submersible Multi-Flo Technology-Water Removal and Transfer Pump, Yellow


  • Brand: Wayne
  • Color: Yellow
  • Material: Brass

The Wayne WWB WaterBug Submersible Pump is one of the more versatile sump pumps available, yet it’s still available at a budget price. This pump features a top and a side discharge, so you can select the right option for the job. The top discharge allows the pump to fit in tight spaces, such as laundry tubs and buckets, while the side discharge is useful for open areas such as basements, yards, and roofs.


I used this pump when my barn flooded, and it was easy to operate and did an excellent job of draining water away. It’s compatible with a garden hose, which saves money on expensive sump pump-specific hose kits. While the flow rate is a little low at 1,257 gallons per hour, it quickly drained 8 inches of standing water out of my barn with no problem.

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  • Versatile side- and top-discharge options remove water down to 1/16 of an inch, connect to a standard garden hose, and are portable.


  • The hourly capacity is less than other pumps, no automatic-off switch.

4. Basepump HB1000 Water Powered Backup Sump Pump

 Basepump HB1000 Water Powered Backup Sump Pump


  • Brand: Basepump
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Polypropylene

A sump pump installed within your basement pit usually works well, promptly removing water and channeling it out of your home. However, many sump pumps fail when the electricity goes out. And if you suffer a long-term power outage during a storm.


A sump pump can be installed into your existing discharge line, which relies on water pressure to power its pumping action. It’s intended to serve as a backup pump for your normal sump pump and installs into your ceiling. This is particularly helpful if you have a narrow sump pit since many other water-powered sump pumps must be installed within the pit. 

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  • Installs in the ceiling (ideal for narrow sump pits), no electricity needed.
  • I got this unit installed in time for the wet winter months and was able to test it. It works as advertised.


  • Installation takes about 3 hours, pricey.

5. DEKOPRO Sump Pump 1HP 3302GPH 750W Submersible Clean/Dirty Water Pump Swimming Pool Garden Tub Pond Flood Drain w/Float Switch and Long 16ft Cable


  • Brand: DEKOPRO
  • Material: Plastic, Metal

When the water level is below 4.7 inches, it automatically disconnects the power; when it rises above 4.7 inches, the pump will start again. Cut off immediately when the pump fails to pump water to prevent the coil from getting burned. Thermoplastic composite material is highly rugged. They are designed and manufactured in line with valid safety requirements. The thermoplastic body resists corrosion as there are no exposed metal parts—lower noise and energy-efficient. The oil-free motor requires no maintenance.


750 Watt, 1 HP motor. Max Lift: 16 Feet; 3302 Gallon Per Hour rating tackles any draining job in a fraction of the time. This pump easily passes solids up to 1″ in diameter. GREAT for flooded areas, swimming pools, cellars, or garden ponds.

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  • The fitting that comes with this is an easy-to-screw-in part, but you will be hard-pressed to find a hose that will fit onto it easily.
  • This pump worked great. It drained a 20,000-gallon pool in 7 hours.


  • Forget emptying a hot tub or pumping any remotely warm liquid.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

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