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flushing/vacuuming sump crocks

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Flushing a sump crock is either really rewarding or really disgusting, depending on your proclivities. But it is not hard, and it can save you real aggravation down the line. Here’s a brief step-by-step on how to flush the gunk out of your sump crock and keep it running for years to come.

  1. make sure you’re working on a sump pump and not an ejector pit – if you’re confused about the difference – an ejector pit pumps sewage – so if you’re here because there’s a nasty smell – there may be a good reason for that.
    1. A quick rule of thumb for telling the difference – look at the pipes going in – if one is 2″ (pipe is stamped with its size), then it’s an ejector pump. a Sump pump uses a 1.5″ discharge pipe.
    2. If smell is your number one concern, try sealing it in! use caulk or “thumb gum” around the lid and lid penetrations.
  2. make sure no one else is using water – you don’t want a surprise bath while you are taking it apart.
  3. lift the lid of the sump crock and rotate it out of the way
  4. if the sump pump is working and you can get a hose to the crock location, spray down the walls and let the sump pump pump out the water. Take a long handled scrub brush and gently scrape down the sides of the crock (you don’t want to scratch it as that will just give bacteria an easier place to grow in the future).
    1. pro tip – your hot water heater usually has a hose bib for draining – you can do double duty and connect your hose to the hot water heater and flush it while cleaning your sump crock!
  5. If the sump pump is not working or you can’t get a hose down, bring a bucket of water and a shop vac – suck out the standing water (if any) and pour in the clean water. give the sides a scrub (as noted in step 3) and vacuum out the water. keep pouring and vacuuming until you have clear, standing water.
    1. Many sump crocks have a gravel bottom, so BE CAREFUL. you don’t want to suck the gravel out of the pit with your vacuum cleaner.
  6. If you have odor issues, try using a small amount of bleach mixed into the water while scrubbing (an ounce per gallon should not harm your pipes or septic system).
  7. That’s it! make sure the pump is still sitting level in the crock, put the lid back on and plug it back in!

As always, if you need assistance – call us! 540-338-8535 ext. 2!sump-pump

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