Basement Sump Pump Maintenance In Three Simple Steps (By Toronto Master Plumber)

Basement sump pump maintenance protocol is simple, and needs to be observed in order to protect your home from flood in the basement.

As I write this, hurricane Sandy is approaching Toronto, and I am bracing for a flood of calls from the homeowners regarding issues with their basements. Some of these issues are a result of a failed sump pump in need of repair. These issues could be easily prevented by following three simple sump pump maintenance steps, which I am going to tell you about.

Sump Pump Maintenance By A Toronto Plumber

Recent Review: "I would highly recommend A-Z Plumbing and Drain Company to all homeowner's in need of any type of plumbing services. The owner Dimitry was punctual, intelligent, honest and very helpful. He did a thorough job, gave me some really good advice and the most important he charged me very reasonable price. Don't get ripped off by other people - call to A-to-Z Plumbing and Drain Company! He won't take advantage of your misfortune. Thank you Dimitry!.” See more reviews on Homestars.com

Some people, especially first time homeowners or those who don't call themselves handymen or handywomen, don't even realize they have a sump pump in their basement or crawl space. If you bought a brand new home, you probably don't need to worry. If you own an old home and you are not sure if you have a sump pump, recall whether you hear repeatitive noise from your basement. It may happen either during rain, or any day. If the water table around your home is high, your sump pump may turn on and off several times per hour.

Inspect your basement floor. You are looking for a pit (called sump pump pit) with a piece of mashinery inside. Sometimes it has a cover, and it always have a pipe coming out of it.

If you found a sump pump, pull it out of the water, find manufacturer's info , make and model, and snap a picture. Now you can check your sump pump maintenance schedule on Internet or send it to a plumber like me and ask a question.

One sump pump maintenance step is very simple and doesn't require a plumber's visit: checking if sump pump works.

Simply pour a backet of water in the sump pump pit. If it starts pumping, it is in working order. If it doesn't, call a plumber.

If you are in Toronto or GTA just call me at (647) 287-9589 or email me at dmitry@a-to-zplumbing.com as a part of this inspection.

And we don't just serve Toronto. You can call us from Pickering, Whitby, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Thornhill, North York, Richmond Hill, Scarborough and all of the GTA.

Sump Pump Maintenance Steps

If you are comfortable with DIY ( do-it-yourself) sump pump maintenance, here are three easy steps you should do every 4-6 months:

1. Remove sump pump: 

  • Disconnect sump pump power.
  • Pull out your sump pump from the pit
  • Unscrew check water valve.
  • Clean water in the pit from debris

2. Maintain Sump Pump

  • Wear your safety glasses just in case
  • Clear debris from the exterior of the sump pump
  • Clean pump inlet screen using wire brush
  • Inspect check valve
  • Find out from your owner's manual whether your sump pump requires oil or grease and oil it if necessary

3. Install sump pump

  • Reconnect check valve to the pump
  • Put sump pump back in the pit
  • Connect check valve to the pipe
  • Power it on
  • Pour at least 5 gallons of water into the sump pump pit and check if it turns on. You are now done with your sump pump maintenance.


These steps are described in the short video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rszr08KDEjs

Beware that some insurance companies lower your homeowner's insurance when basement flooding prevention devices like a sump pump are installed.

These simple sump pump maintenance steps need to be performed once a season, or at the very least twice a year.

If your sump pump is old and needs repairs, consider replacing it as the City of Toronto offers very generous rebate to cover the cost of sump pump install to its residents. Call us at (647) 287-9589 and we will gladly explain the process and prices associated with this

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Learn more about Basement Sump Pump and Toronto City rebates.

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