When your basement is susceptible to moisture and flooding, a sump pump is a valuable device to prevent property damage. While the average lifespan of this appliance is about a decade, routine maintenance is key to prevent emergency sump pump repairs. Here's a list of tasks recommended by plumbing repair professionals. 

4 Maintenance Tips to Prevent Emergency Sump Pump Repairs

1. Inspect Regularly

It's easy to overlook this appliance since it's in your basement. If left unattended, you may notice your sump pump making odd sounds, cycling too frequently, or other inefficiencies that will result in flooding. To avoid these issues, inspect your sump pump frequently. 

Look for moisture surrounding the pump or damaged components. When you see overflowing water, or you notice a wet, musty odor in your basement, schedule professional sump pump repairs early on. 

2. Test Your Device

sump pump repairs

In addition to a visual inspection of your sump pump, test the device's functionality by pouring a bucket of water into the appliance. Pay attention to what happens next. When your sump pump is operational, it should turn on immediately and drain the fluid away from your home. Testing is particularly important during dry seasons to confirm it will function when the first bout of rain starts. 

3. Clean Filter Screen

A key component of your sump pump is a filter screen. This device will filter leaves, mud, pebbles, and debris that could clog the drain pipe. Clean your filter screen as part of the inspection process to prevent blockages. Cleaning should be performed following heavy rainfall. 

4. Clear Drainage Lines

While your filter is the first line of defense against debris and obstructions that block drainage, it's best to check the drain lines themselves. Use a long, flexible brush to clear away any possible blockages. When you identify larger obstructions, call a plumber to assist.


If you need sump pump repairs, Oehl Plumbing, Heating, Electric & Air Conditioning Inc. can help. Since 1949, residents and business owners across Coralville, North Liberty, Iowa City, and surrounding areas have counted on this local company for comprehensive HVAC, plumbing, and electrical repairs. To schedule an appointment, call today at (319) 622-3636. For more information on their fully-licensed, bonded, and insured team of technicians, visit their website.