If you have a sump pump, it’s easy to see why it’s important during the rainy parts of the year and it’s even easier to know that it’s working. But sump pumps are important in the winter too, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow. Here’s how to maintain your sump pump and to make sure it’s operating properly, even when it’s only running intermittently as the snow melts.

Check the power: Some pumps are directly wired into the electric and some are plugged into an outlet. The first thing to do when you’re doing maintenance on your sump pump is to check the wires and outlets to make sure nothing is frayed, broken, chewed or tripped. If the power supply is in working order, you’re ready to move on to the next step:

Test the pump: The easiest way to test your sump pump is pour a bucket or gallon of water carefully into the pit. Once the water reaches a critical level, it should trigger the sump pump to kick on and drain the area. Sump pumps use floats, so if the float is stuck and the sump pump doesn’t click on, sometimes jiggling the pump and then standing it back upright helps, especially if the pump hasn’t run in a while.

Clean the pump: Once you’re sure your pump is working, disconnect it from the power and the line out of the house to clean it. Sump pumps often deal with water that’s heavy in sediment and debris, so cleaning it and clearing out the grates will help it run more efficiently. You can also clean the sump pit while the pump is removed.

If your sump pump is not working properly and if it’s not the float, they are relatively easy to replace, especially considering the damage a broken sump pump can have on your house. If you aren’t comfortable doing that replacement yourself – or you just don’t want to deal with the crawl space, direct and electrical requirements – we would be happy to help. Find your local TruBlue at https://www.trubluehousecare.com/locations/.