If your basement sump pump fails when you need it most, you’ve got a major emergency plumbing repair on your hands. Or maybe two, depending on the water source. But with just a little annual maintenance, you can ensure your sump pump is ready to spring into action at the first sign of moisture.

Keep the sump pump area clean

Your sump pump is in the middle of a pit so that all the surrounding water drains quickly. While that’s great for water removal, it also makes the pit a collection area for dirt, gravel, and debris. Periodically give your pump and pit a quick clean to ensure nothing blocks the drainage flow. Make sure your discharge line is also unobstructed so your basement flood can become backyard mud.

Perform a basic check every year

The best way to make sure your sump pump is ready for a rainy day (or a major leak) is to run it at least once a year. Grab a bucket of water and slowly pour it into the sump pump. As the water causes the pump’s float to rise, it should come to life. Once the water has been removed, a properly operating sump pump will shut itself off within a few seconds.

If your sump pump fails the water bucket test, give your Omaha plumber a call. And since Murphy’s Law says the only time you’ll actually need your sump pump is during the week it doesn’t work, better make that call soon!

Have a battery backup, and test it!

If your flooded basement is caused by a major storm, chances are you’ll lose power during the worst of the downpour. For homeowners who keep special or valuable items in their basement, have a finished basement, or just want peace of mind, investing in a battery-powered backup pump is a wise idea. These systems can be fairly inexpensive and will continue operating for five hours or more on battery power alone. As with a traditional sump pump, give it a test annually to ensure it’s ready when you need it.


Even if your basement sump pump is in perfectly working order, keep your emergency plumbing repair service on speed dial. If your flooded basement is caused by an upstairs leak, you’ll need a team of plumbing experts you can rely on. At Burton, our plumbers are available 24/7. We hope you never have to make the emergency plumbing call. But if you do, we’ll be there with our upfront pricing guarantee and industry-leading warranty.