How to Clean Your Sump Pit

Cleaning out a sump pit is something that most homeowners do not think to do. That is, until the sump pump stops working and they discover there is sediment and debris buildup causing problems. There are a lot of great instructional sources out there that share with you how to clean out your sump pit, but here’s our simple take: buy a DriBot.

We’re kidding (sort of). Here’s why:

Our product, DriBot, is a home flood prevention appliance and the only sump pump system on the market that has a monthly automatic self-cleaning basin. In addition, you can clean your basin manually at any time without getting your hands dirty. You do so with the press of a button on the DriBot touchscreen or on our mobile app. 

During the monthly automatic self-cleaning, DriBot pumps water into the basin and then pumps that water, along with resting sediment and other built-up debris, away. It sends you a report letting you know if the pump system is working properly so you don’t have to worry about the pump malfunctioning the next time you need it to keep your basement dry. 

DriBot also has a clear basin lid and super-bright LEDs that light up your pit. This way, you can easily see what’s going on inside your pit without even removing the lid. 

Maybe DriBot is not a system you can easily afford. Or maybe you can afford it, but don’t feel that you need it – we get it. People that have not experienced flooding in their home tend to believe they are adequately protected against it. So if you are a homeowner with a sump pump, we advise you, in the very least, to become educated on your sump pump system and the many reasons it could stop working (see our comprehensive list of reasons your pump could stop working). You will be glad you did. 

With that said, we invite you to lesson number one – How to Clean Your Sump Basin (by Hand).

Things you will need: 

  • Gloves
  • Garden Hose 
  • Bucket
  • Wet/Dry Shop Vac
  • Face Mask (optional but highly encouraged)

STEP 1: Make sure you have turned off the power to your sump pump at the main circuit panel to be extra safe during this process. You should also unplug the sump pump from the AC outlet.

STEP 2: Disconnect your sump pump from the discharge pipe.


STEP 3: Using gloves (this could get messy), remove your sump pump from the pit and take it outside (you may want to transport it using the bucket or and old blanket so as not to track mud through your home). Use the garden hose to clean off any dirt, mud, or sediment that covers your sump pump.  

STEP 4: If your pump is raised up on bricks or another type of base, remove these now and give them a rinse with water (or dispose of them and replace with new).

STEP 5: Next, scoop out any thick sludge, debris, or sediment in the basin and put it in your bucket. Empty the bucket as you will need it later.

STEP 6: Using the shop vac, suck up any standing water in the bottom of the sump pit.

STEP 7: Reinstall your sump pump by setting it back in the basin and reconnecting it to the discharge pipe and plugging it back in to AC power.

STEP 8: Check to make sure the float switch moves smoothly to the off and on positions. 

STEP 9: Turn your sump pump back on at the main circuit panel.

STEP 10: Use your garden hose to fill the emptied bucket with enough water to fill the basin. Pour water into the basin until the float switch triggers the sump pump to turn on. Observe as water is pumped away to confirm that it is functioning as expected.

There are a few important things to note before you clean out your basin:

  • Sump pit basins could smell, depending on what drains to your sump pit and what’s in your soil. If you are sensitive to smells, we recommend wearing a mask and keeping your basement as ventilated as possible.
  • Make sure you have adequate lighting. Unlike the DriBot, most sump pits are not lit. You will want a strong flashlight so you can see that all debris is cleared from the bottom of your pit.
  • You should not use any chemicals to clean your sump pit. Water will suffice!

While manually cleaning out your sump pit by hand may seem tedious, it could save you thousands of dollars in water damage. Your sump pump should be cleaned at least once every three months. All homes are different though, so if you notice that your sump pit collects more build-up than what might be considered “average,” we encourage you to clean it more regularly.

If you’re like us, you’d rather be doing something, anything, else than cleaning your sump pit. That’s why we designed a product that does it for you. If you are interested in learning more about how DriBot works, or simply want some more advice from experts on your sump pump system, we encourage you to connect with us.

We'd love to tell you more about DriBot and how it saves you from the tedious task of cleaning your sump pit by hand! 

How to Clean Your Sump Pit
OmniSite, Lydia Ward October 10, 2023
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