How To Replace A Sump Pump: A Step By Step Guide

How To Replace A Sump Pump

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Replacing a sump pump can be a tricky mountain to climb. Especially, when there are a number of things that you need to look out for and consider before you attempt to switch it in for a new one.

For example, you need to know the right time to change the pump, the right size of the pipes, the proper horsepower of the motor, the necessary additional materials, and the type of sump pump you need.

Once you gather these items, you need to

  • Wear protective gear
  • Switch of the electrical supply
  • Check and change the discharge pipe, if needed
  • Change the sump pump, and then
  • Do test runs

So, to make it easier for you and that you don’t miss out on any of the steps, we have made a detailed assessment of how to replace a sump pump. With this, you can change the pump by yourself.

How To Replace A Sump Pump

How To Replace A Sump Pump

To replace the sump pump, first, gather up a few necessary items and then follow the steps below.

You will need-

  • Sump pump (of your choice)
  • ABS Glue
  • Check Valve ( if replacement is needed)
  • a 90-degree long elbow
  • four 45-degree elbows
  • a 1 ½” male threaded end
  • 5’ 1-1/2” ABS pipe
  • Hacksaw
  • Teflon Tape

Prep the new sump pump

  • Attach the male threaded piece, you need to wrap the threads in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • See to it that they stay in place which you are going to screw into the pump’s fitting. But don’t over tighten it as it can break easily when pressure is applied.
  • Apply ABS glue to both the pipe and the fitting.

Detach the old sump pump

  • Before you take hold of your previous sump pump, first switch off the main power supply to it.
  • Uncover the sump pit.
  • If the check valve needs replacement, take it off by loosening the clamps.

Install the new pipe

  • Carefully lower the sump pump into the pit. Ensure that it is not leaning or touching the walls of the sump pit.
  • Make sure that the wires of the pump and the float switch are not entangled.
  • If you are using a backup pump, make sure that there is sufficient distance between the two.
  • Make sure the base of your new sump pump isn’t tilted. If it is, then use shims underneath the pump to keep it at a level position.

Recheck the float

  • Make sure the height of the float switch is at an optimal level. If it is too high, then your basement may flood before the pump is able to remove the water. And, if it is too low then your pump will be running round the clock.

Install the new check valve

  • Make sure that you are installing the check valve closer to the sump pump and not to the ceiling. Doing this will prevent the water from falling back into the pit as soon as the pump switches off.
  • Don’t forget to install the valve in such a manner that water goes up instead of down.
  • Connect the outlet pipe to your main drain line

Do test runs

  • Connect the sump pump to the main power supply by plugging the cord into the outlet.
  • Pour in about four-five gallons of water into the sump pit.
  • See if it triggers the float switch. If it doesn’t, then add in more water.
  • Make sure that the float is able to switch on the pump and it is, in turn, able to remove water out the pit through the discharge line.

How To Replace A Pedestal Sump Pump

Before you dive in to change your pedestal sump pump. There are a few items you need to have by your side:

  • a pair of gloves
  • protective glasses
  • pipe wrench
  • white cement
  • PVC pipe (threaded), primer, and glue
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Measuring tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Rake or shovel

Step 1 – Remove the previous pump

  • You need to first disconnect the power cord connected to your sump pump.
  • To remove the pump, empty your sump pit and pull out the pump by the neck or the handle.
  • Level the floor of the pit by adding some gravel by using a shovel. You can also use a rake to ensure that the bottom is level.
  • Cut the PVC pipe with the help of a hacksaw.

Step 2 – Install the discharge pipe

  • If your previous discharge pipe is in good condition then, there is no need to change it. But if it needs replacement, then mention the length of PVC pipe you need.
  • Install check valve, if needed.
  • Prime the openings of the check valve and new pipe.
  • Using a union or a hose clamp, connect the outer pipe to your discharge pipe. Seal it with plumber’s glue.
  • Wait until the glue dries out and then prime the other valve opening.
  • With the help of a male connector, install the new pipe into the discharge pipe and seal it with white cement.

Step 3 – Replace sump pump

  • De-clog the pipes and look for any attached debris.
  • Place the new pump into the sump pit. ensure that it is installed at a horizontal level at the bottom of the pit.
  • Check your float switch. See to it that it is able to move around freely and is not near the wall of the pit.
  • Connect the end with the valve to the PVC pipe. And, the other end of the pipe to the rest of the pipeline, with the help of a union connector.

Step 4 – Test sump pump

  • Pour about 5 gallons of water into the sump pit.
  • Connect the pump to the main power supply.
  • Switch it on. Check if the pump is discharging water by monitoring the water levels in the pit.

How To Replace A Backup Sump Pump

In the following steps, we will not only mention the procedure to change a battery backup sump pump but also how to replace a sump pump battery. You will need

  • Utility knife
  • Handsaw
  • Screwdriver

Steps to Replacing Battery Backup Sump Pump

  1. You need to first disconnect, remove and discard the old sump pump.
  2. Tape the threads of the check valve by using Teflon tape. Tighten the valve on the side of the new pump.
  3. Apply the Teflon tape on the threads of the backup sump pump as well.
  4. Lower both the primary and the backup pump into the pit. make sure that it is set on a level.
  5. Use a PVC pipe of 1 1/2in. diameter as a discharge pipe to connect the backup sump pump to the discharge line. For steady connection, use additional support such as a rubber connector and stainless-steel hose.
  6. Glue the fittings and the pipe together.
  7. Use a deep-cycle 12-volt marine battery to power the backup sump pump. Put it in a plastic case and set it on a nearby shelf.
  8. Connect the pump to the battery by using low-voltage cable connections.
  9. Plug the battery charger into an electrical outlet. And, the power cord of the backup pump to the primary sump pump.
  10. Do test runs. See that it is operating properly by pouring down water into the pit and lift the float.
  11. Run multiple tests to ensure that everything is in check.

How To Replace A Water-Powered Sump Pump

If you are connected to the municipal water system, then having a water-powered sump pump as a backup pump is a better option. To replace one, you will need the following list of items:

How To Replace A Water-Powered Sump Pump

  • Tubing cutter
  • Saw
  • Drill/driver
  • PVC pipe saw
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Propane torch
  • Slotted screwdriver

Steps to Replacing Water-Powered Sump Pump

  1. Switch off the main power supply.
  2. If there are any pre-installed attachments such as cleats nailed into the wall to latch your backup sump pump onto, then use it. Or else, attach a couple of 3ft 2×3 cleats by using a 3in. screwdriver.
  3. Mount the water-powered sump pump to the cleats.
  4. Set the float switch at a slightly higher level than your main sump pump.
  5. Make a precise cut on a cold-water line and install a copper pipe with a diameter of ¾ in. into the control valve of the backup pump.
  6. To solder, the connections, use lead-free solder and a propane torch.
  7. Remove the main sump pump. Drain the water in the discharge line with the help of a slotted screwdriver by loosening the clamps on the check valve.
  8. To connect the water-powered sump pump to the discharge line, cut the pre-existing discharge pipe and attach a PVC discharge pipe of 1 ½ inch diameter. Run it from the backup pump to the discharge pipe.
  9. Install a second valve to the backup sump pump and then prime it by using a PVC pipe primer.
  10. Weld the plastic pipe and the fittings together.
  11. Place a bucket underneath the water valve and remove the backflow preventer.
  12. Open the water valve. This will wash out any flux or leftover solder in the system.
  13. Test the newly installed sump pump by pouring in water in the sump pit.
  14. Check if the primary pump is running. If so, then switch it off.
  15. Lift the float and see if the water-powered sump pump starts pumping out water. Once the water reaches the float of the backup pump it should switch on.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Sump Pump?

The replacement cost depends on the type of the pump:

  • For a submersible sump pump, it will cost you between $490 – $1,170
  • For plastic pedestal sump pump, it will be between the range of $490 -$600

Additional costs for PVC pipes, glue, primer and connectors can go from $80- $200, depending on the number of items you need.

If you are opting for the service of the installer, the charge should be around $45-$200.

How to Replace a Sump Pump Check Valve

Step 1- Remove sump water

Drain the sump pit and the discharge pipe before you begin. Disconnect the sump pump from the main power supply.

Step 2 – Discard old check valve

Remove the old check valve with the help of a saw or PVC cutter. Cut the portion above and below the valve. If there are hose clamps fastened to the pipe, then loosen it.

Step 3- Install new check valve

Ensure that the new valve fits into the cut portion. If the gap is larger, use PVC coupling to make the valve fit properly. Use hose clamps above and below the valve to make sure that it grips the discharge pipe tightly.

Step 4- Check supports

Make sure the discharge pipe is properly supported and is not shaking.

How Long Does It Take to Replace a Sump Pump?

First-time installations usually take a long time but to replace the sump pump only takes about an hour or so, especially if you hiring a professional.

How Often Should You Replace a Sump Pump?

The time frame for replacing the sump pump usually depends on its type and how often you maintain it. A pedestal pump may last longer than a submersible pump. Usually, it needs replacement every 7-10 years.

Can I Replace a Sump Pump Myself?

If you have sufficient expertise in handling plumbing units, then replacing a sump pump won’t be very daunting. All you need to do is make sure that you get a few facts right:

  • Use a sump pump that is of an appropriate size for the sump pit.
  • The pump should have enough power to keep the sump pit dry.

When To Replace the Sump Pump

Your sump pump will start acting strangely before breaking down completely. Here are some of the warning signs:

  • Unusual rattling noises – This may indicate a damaged or broken motor part.
  • Heavy vibration during operation – If the impeller bends or is damaged, it can cause the shaft to become imbalanced. This will cause loud noise and heavy vibration.
  • Runs non-stop or irregular cycles – A malfunctioning float switch can cause your pump to switch on and off at unwanted times or even make the sump pump run continuously for hours.
  • Long run time – This happens when your sump pump does not have enough horsepower or is of the wrong size.
  • Visible oxidation – Sometimes it can be because of corroded batteries or due to iron bacteria. This can be a health hazard and must be replaced immediately
  • Age – The older your sump pump gets; the more issues keep popping up.
  • Failing motor – This may happen when there are electrical problems with the system such as shortening of the fuse or a burnt-out motor.
  • Improper installation – A poorly installed sump pump leads to basement flooding, which will, in turn, damage your pump and property.
  • Power outages – Sump pumps are delicate devices. That is why frequent power surges may cause it to fail.

Can I Replace the Pedestal Sump Pump with Submersible?

You can easily switch the type of your sump pump from pedestal to submersible. One of the core differences between the two types is that the motor in the pedestal pump is placed above water and as for submersible pump, it is sealed inside an airtight unit and placed inside the pit.

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1 – Switch off the power supply

  • Cut off the main power supply by disconnecting the plug of the sump pump from the power outlet.
  • Turn off the circuit breaker.
  • Make sure you are using a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) instead of a receptacle outlet.

Step 2 – Install check valve

  • If your previous pedestal pump has a built-in check valve then you need to install a separate one when you are replacing it with a submersible.
  • Check valves are unidirectional so make sure that you are placing them in the direction. The arrow on the check valve should point outside your home.

Step 3 – Replace sump pump

  • When you are placing the submersible pump inside the pit, ensure that the inlet water ports are not blocked.
  • Make sure that you are placing the unit on top of bricks or cement blocks. Never place it on the gravel, it can easily clog the motor.
  • Use a one-part cover to screen your sump pit. This will not only make it a hazard-free zone but also prevent any objects from falling into the pit.

Step 4 – Adjust the float switch

  • Since the pump and the motor is placed inside the sump pit, the airtight casing tends to heat up when the pump is operational.
  • Make sure that you adjust the float switch such that there is some water remaining in the pit to keep the casing cool.

Is Replacing a Sump Pump Hard?

Replacing the sump pump completely depends on your expertise in handling machinery. If you have years of experience, then it shouldn’t be too intimidating.  However, if you are a rookie then you should call in a professional and let them handle the replacement.

Final words

To save your home from basement flooding or water damages, it is necessary to keep your sump pump in good shape. And, at the same time, it comes in handy to how to replace a sump pump. It is quite straightforward once you get the hang of it.

All you need to do is follow the steps and always make sure that the power supply is switched off. Do not forget to take safety precautions before you begin. We hope this article was helpful to you. Thank you!

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