Maintaining your sump pump for when you need it most

Sump pump

When a severe storm hits, homeowners may experience excess water in their basements, or the lower levels of their home. A sump pump can help protect your property by controlling water and keeping your home dry.

Sump pumps are used primarily in the northern United States. They are typically found in the lowest part of a house, such as a basement. A sump pump is usually installed by a professional in a specially constructed sump pit. The sump pump’s primary job is to pump water outside and away from the home.

Once installed, it is important to consider the following maintenance tips to help ensure your sump pump is ready when you need it.*

  • Check the pump at least once a year to make sure it is still in good working condition.
    • Is the sump pump plugged in? 
    • Is the power cord in good shape?
    • Is the drain hose connected properly?
    • Is there any debris in the area that could clog the pump and prevent it from working properly?
  • Occasionally, pour water into the sump pit to test if the sump pump starts up automatically and quickly drains the water.
  • Since sump pumps run on electricity, consider installing a battery backup so your sump pump will not fail, even in the event of a power outage.
  • If your sump pump is not working properly, contact a professional.


Most homeowners policies do not cover water in the basement. If you own a sump pump, consider obtaining optional coverage for water backup or sump discharge or overflow.

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