Although easy to forget, sump pump systems require regular maintenance. At least you should examine your equipment once a year. Pumps that operate frequently should be examined more at shorter intervals.
Examination and cleaning should include – removal of dirt, gravel, sand, and other debris. Foreign matter will decrease the pump’s ability to drain the sump, and can allow the reservoir holding area to overflow. The check valve can also jam from the debris.
If you have a battery backup unit: unplug the main sump pump and actuate the battery back up unit to ensure it is operating correctly. Run the main sump pump to make sure it works as designed. Allow it to pump the reservoir to it’s lowest level.
Keep electrical safety in mind at all times and disconnect when necessary. With a screwdriver, disconnect the pipe below the check valve so you can remove the sump pump from the reservoir. Inspect for free movement and clean check valves and clean water intake areas.
Thoroughly clean the reservoir water holding area.
Ensure that water exit area to plumbing is clean and no blockages have built up. Place the pump back into the clean reservoir, reconnect the plumbing and fill the reservoir with water to ensure proper operation.
This little exercise should not take very much time but will provide you with confidence that your system will perform as needed during bad conditions. You don’t need to be repairing systems when they should be performing their duties!