Sump pumps are indispensable throughout the year, but they assume a particularly vital role during the fall and winter months in regions that encounter cold weather and snowfall. Therefore, it is imperative for Ohioans to prioritize the maintenance of their sump pumps. Here are some expert tips and tricks from Five Star Columbus Plumbing that you can implement this fall to ensure the success of your sump pump during the upcoming colder months. 


  1. Take off the Lid: Access the sump pump pit or basin by removing the cover. Upon removing the lid, inspect the interior promptly. Should you encounter any debris, mud, or rocks, exercise caution while removing them. Objects of this nature have the potential to obstruct the sump pump and result in overflow problems.  
  1. Inspect the Drain Hose: It is advisable to conduct a comprehensive examination of the drain hose. So, start by checking if the drain hose is securely connected and devoid of any obstructions or ice accumulation (especially during winter). A blocked or frozen drain hose can lead to continuous operation of the sump pump, which hinders the effective discharge of accumulated water from the pit.  
  1. Check the Inlet Screen: Ensure that the inlet screen is clean to enable water entry into the sump pump’s pit. If the inlet screen is obstructed, water access to the pit may be hindered, leading to potential basement flooding.  
  1. Examine the Float Mechanism: Verify that the float mechanism in your sump pump is working. It is responsible for activating the pump to remove excess water. You want to make sure that the float component can move freely without any obstructions. A faulty float can result in the pump either failing to operate when required or running continuously, potentially causing damage to the pump’s engine over time. 
  1. Inspect the Discharge Pipe: Another thing you want to check on is that the water discharged by your sump pump is directed away from your house. So, take a moment to inspect the location of the discharge pipe outside when you hear the sump pump operating. Confirm that it directs water at a safe distance from your home. If the discharge point is too close, there is a risk of water seeping back into the pump, leading to continuous and inefficient operation. Excessive operation can increase the likelihood of premature wear and tear on your sump pump, potentially reducing its lifespan. However, it is important to note that while it is crucial to avoid placing the discharge pipe too close to your home or other structures, it is equally important to ensure that it remains within the boundaries of your property. Discharging excess water onto your neighbor’s property is not recommended.  
  1. Perform a Test Run: To initiate the activation of your pump, introduce a bucket of water into the sump pit. Then, its performance must be closely monitored to ensure optimal water removal. Next, the discharge pipe will be inspected externally to validate appropriate water disposal. In the event the sump pump fails to work, try checking that it is still connected to the power source and verify the power cord is still in working condition. 
  1. Prepare for Unexpected Circumstances: Having a backup battery or generator proves highly advantageous, particularly during severe rainstorms or power outages. When a contingency plan is in place, it provides reassurance, knowing that everything will be properly managed in the event of power failure or unforeseen circumstances. 

To guarantee optimal performance of your sump pump throughout the coldest months, it is crucial to properly winterize your sump pump system in the fall. This essential maintenance will help safeguard your home from potential water damage during the colder seasons.  

Having trouble with your sump pump? Don’t delay; call Five Star Columbus Plumbing today at (614) 401-8086, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here