How to Clean out a Sump Pit

Sump pits can become nasty and gooey. If you have never cleaned a sump pit, you do not know what you have been missing. Cleaning your sump pit is the activity for which you have always longed.

Steps

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    Ensure that all systems that drain to the pit are out of use and locked. For example, if your companion starts to wash clothes while the pump is off, you will have a flood.
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    Get adequate lighting for the project. Basements and utility rooms are usually too dark to see the bottom of the pit.
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    Disconnect power to the sump pump.
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    Disconnect pump motor from discharge pipe and lift out of pit.
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    Place pump in a bucket or wrap in heavy plastic so that you can carry it outdoors without dripping sludge on your carpet or flooring.
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    Scrape and wash sludge and crud off exterior of pump.
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    Using a wet-vac/shop-vac, remove all remaining water from pit.
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    You will probably find a couple of bricks in the bottom of the pit. Remove these bricks.
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    Scrape and scoop out debris and sludge. This sludge is detergent and soap residue if you have a washer or shower draining to the sump. The odor could make you feel nauseous.
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    When you are satisfied that the pit is relatively clean, replace bricks, reconnect pump to discharge, reconnect power to pump and restore drainage systems to sump.

Tips

  • Do not pump alcohol, petroleum products or anything flammable with a sump pump. Pump only water and water-dissolved particles.
  • You do not want sand, hair or solid particles in the sump pit. Pump liquid only.

Warnings

  • When re-positioning sump pump in pit, be sure that the float is freely moving. If it becomes stuck, your pump will either stay on and burn up or stay off and flood your house.

Things You'll Need

  • Wet vac
  • Bucket
  • Scraper
  • Tools to disconnect drainage pipe
  • Rubber gloves
  • Face mask

Article Info

Categories: Plumbing Drains Waste and Vents