Installing a Sump Pump


If your basement floods or becomes damp during wet periods, first try directing rainwater away from the house by changing your gutter downspouts. If that does not solve the problem, a sump pump may be the solution.

There are two basic kinds of sump pump installations. If you have no drainpipes under the basement designed specifically for handling rainwater, then dig a hole at a low point of the basement and install a perforated pit liner (you may have to perforate it yourself using a 3/8-inch spade bit). Water under the basement will slowly percolate into the liner.

If your house has rainwater drainpipes, it probably also has a pit already dug for a sump pump, with a drainpipe running into it. Purchase a nonperforated pit liner and cut a hole for the drainpipe.

A wise add-on is a rechargeable battery backup unit, which will power the pump if a heavy storm causes a power outage. A pump-failure alarm is also a good idea.

Prestart Checklist

About half a day

Sledgehammer or electric jackhammer, cold chisel, drill, masonry bit, spade bit, hole saw, PVC saw, torpedo level, screwdriver, groove-joint pliers

Basic carpentry skills, cutting and joining PVC drainpipe

Locate a low spot where the pump won't take up usable space; if necessary, install a GFCI receptacle

Sump pump, pit liner, PVC pipe, primer, cement, check valve

Step 1

Use the pit liner to mark the right-size hole to cut in the basement floor. Using a masonry bit, drill a series of holes along the perimeter. (A concrete basement floor is usually 3 inches thick.) Chip out the concrete with a sledgehammer and cold chisel or an electric jackhammer.

Step 2

Dig a hole deep enough for the pit liner and set the pit liner in place. Make sure the liner is resting solidly on the ground so it can support the pump. Attach a PVC standpipe to the unit, using the adapter parts supplied by the manufacturer.

Step 3

Set the pump on the bottom of the liner. It should be near the center so the float won't touch the side of the liner. Check to make sure the pump is level; place plastic shims if necessary. Place the lid on the liner.

Step 4

Just above the level of the floor, install a check valve, which ensures that water does not flow back into the pump. Run PVC pipe up and toward the exit point. Clamp the electrical wires to the side of the pipes. Plug the unit into a GFCI receptacle.

Step 5

Cut a hole through the rim joist for the pipe to exit the house. Run PVC pipe out of the house and extend it so it carries water at least 6 feet from the house. Water that is discharged near the house will seep back into the basement.

Comments (1)
iamsotism45 wrote:

This really helps me a lot. Not know what I am about to do. Thanks

12/30/2013 09:17:25 AM Report Abuse
Add your comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Register | Log In
One Hour or Less

Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin!