Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Time to Check on Your Sump Pump for Spring


When the winter snow melts, it can mean flooding in homes. Spring can also bring with it more storms and an increased concern with floodwaters. You have a sump pump in your home’s basement or crawlspace to deal with these specific problems. That’s great—it’s one of the best precautions you can take against extensive water damage, building damage, mold growth, and all the rest that comes with water flooding into the lower parts of your house.

But a sump pump that won’t work when you need it to isn’t much good. So before we get any deeper into spring, we recommend you take some basic steps to check on your sump pump.

How to Prepare Your Sump Pump

First, make a check on the power supply for the pump. Is it plugged into a GFCI outlet? (This is an important safety precaution, since it will shut off power in the case of a short, which may happen with an electrical device near water.) Check to see if the power cord appears to be in good shape, with no loss of insulation.

Second, clean out the sump (i.e. the pit that collects water) of any objects in it, such as gravel. These items may be drawn up the sump pump’s inlet or intakes and block it or damage the motors.

Third, (and this is only for submersible pumps that sit down within the sump) remove the pump from the pit and clean off its grate, which is where the intakes draw in water.

Fourth, turn the pump on and then pour a bucket of water slowly into the sump. The water level should cause the sump to automatically turn on and quickly drain out the water from the sump. If the pump does not turn on or is draining the water slowly, call on one of our plumbers to check on the system and see if it needs repairs.

Fifth, check on the discharge pipe vent hole to make sure it is clear.

You should be in a good position now with your sump pump. However, if your sump pump had to do extensive work last season due to flooding, then we strongly recommend you call our professionals to do a more thorough maintenance check on the pump.

Sump Pump Repair and Replacement

If you feel unsure about your sump pump’s performance in any way based on these steps, you need to have a Gaithersburg, MD, plumber on the job. A plumber can inspect the system and find out if it is in decline or needs to be repaired. Often, a basic repair can get the sump pump back in shape. In other cases, the plumber will recommend replacing the sump pump.

If you have concerns about the power supply for your sump pump—for example, in case of a power outage during a storm—you can ask about installation of a sump pump that uses a backup battery.

No matter your sump pump or other plumbing needs, you can trust to our team to come to your assistance.

Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing serves Washington D.C., Montgomery & Frederick Counties. Call for sump pump or other plumbing service needs.