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How to Stop a Sump Pump From Clogging With Rocks

Chelsea Fitzgerald

A sump pump that is clogged with rocks and other debris can't do its job efficiently. Sump pumps prevent water from seeping into the foundation of your home or flooding the basement. Taking the proper measures to prevent debris from clogging the sump pump ensures that it is able to prevent water damage to your home exterior and interior. This task takes little time but saves you money on a large repair bill.

A flashlight allows you to inspect the sump pump properly.

Step 1

Put on disposable plastic gloves to protect your skin from unsanitary conditions while working on the sump pump.

Step 2

Grab a flashlight so that you can see all of the parts better.

Step 3

Remove the cover from the top of the sump pump so you can look inside it for rocks. Some sump pumps do not have a cover.

Step 4

Check the ball that rises and falls with the water to ensure it is free of rocks and other debris. This is called the sump pump float. Inspect it about every 60 days or more often if you are experiencing quite a bit of rainy weather. Rocks may obstruct the ball, thus causing it not to work properly.

Step 5

Inspect the valve to ensure it is not obstructed by rocks. Rocks and debris can lodge in this basin area where water flows when the pump is not running. Also, check the impeller for any clogs. These are all typical causes for a sump pump to malfunction.

Step 6

Reach around the float and the valve to remove any rocks -- large or small -- and discard them. Even small pebbles can cause clogs if more than one settles in the wrong area.

Step 7

Replace the filter -- or mesh screen -- over the impeller if it is worn or install a filter if it does not have one already. This allows the water to flow through the sump pump but prevents debris from obstructing the internal components. Inspect the screen regularly to remove any rocks and other debris that could clog the sump pump.

Step 8

Drill holes in the sump pump basin if it does not have any. This prevents rocks and other solids from clogging the machine. Use an electric drill with a bit that is slightly smaller than 1/4- or 1/2-inch. According to Popular Mechanics, the size of the hole depends on the pump's solids handling rating.