Facing the sump pit fills a lot of people with dread and despair. People often cave in the face of this and seek professional help to install a sump pump. Well, I don’t think expert assistance is necessary. If you have the right tools at your arsenal, all you need to do is have a proper set of guidelines to boot. You can come out on top without any help. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to install a sump pump. Now, the procedure will change depending on the area and type of pump, so hold tight.
Table of Contents
- How To Install A Sump Pump (Basics)
- How To Install A Sump Pump In A Basement
- How To Install A Sump Pump Outside
- How To Install A Sump Pump Basin
- How To Install A Sump Pump Pit
- How To Install A Pedestal Sump Pump
- How To Install A Water-Powered Sump Pump
- How To Install A Check Valve On A Sump Pump
- How To Install A Sump Pump Drain System
- To Sump Up
How To Install A Sump Pump (Basics)
The first step in installing a sump pump is to find the place where the water collects. This could be in a basement or a crawlspace. The location needs to be close to an outlet for the sump pump to be plugged in.
Dig a hole for the sump pump
You have to dig a hole about six inches deep and ten inches wider than the device. Afterward, you need to place around three inches of gravel at the bottom of the hole and place the sump in it.
Add more dirt around the sump pump but leave one or two inches exposed at the top.
Attach the adapters
Connect the male adapter to the discharge pipe and then place it in the female adapter. Using a drill, make a hole into the discharge pipe about 6 inches above the pump.
This is known as the weep hole, which will allow the water to flow back inside the pump when it has been turned off for priming.
Install a check valve
Next, with the help of wire ties, attach the pump’s electrical cord to the discharge pipe. Install the check valve on the discharge pipe’s open-end and place the pump in the sump to channel the water out of your house.
Run PVC through the wall
Use 11/2-inch PVC and pressurized fittings to push the water of the pump away from the house. You can install some pegs to hang the PVC from joists. Apply some silicone sealant in the hole where the PVC pipe comes out from home.
Cover the sump
Place gravel or dirt around the grooved pipe to keep it securely in place. Lastly, plug in the sump pump and place the cover on the sump.
The steps discussed above provide a general overview of installing a sump pump. The ones explained below will help you more if you are looking for a detailed explanation of installing it in a particular spot.
Sump pump basin installation
Some of the sump pumps do not come with any drainage holes, so you need to bore some holes in it before placing it in the hole. Before installing it in the sump basin, you need to put gravel in the baseline and then lay the seepage pipe.
When all of this is done, you need to fill the rest of the hole with gravel until you are about 2 inches from the top of the sump basin.
Installing the sump pump
This step is crucial, so take your time with this one. In this step, you have to place the sump pump in the basin and connect it to all the necessary plumbing.
To improve water transportation, you can drill a weep hole in the PVC pipe. It needs to be drilled about 6 inches from the sump pump link.
Cover and connect
This step comes after installing the sump pump and connecting it to all the necessary outlets. Now you have to take the cover of the sump pump and place it properly.
Furthermore, you need to connect the pump to a discharge line. Following the building codes of the area you are living in, you need to ventilate the plumbing and link the power cable to the system.
Finish up the crawl space
In this step of the installation process, you have to finish up the crawl space properly. To set up the crawl space, cover the sump pump area with some gravel and resume the installation of the rest of the drainage line.
Subsequently, you need to drill a hole in the wall for the drainage line to pass through.
Connect to power
The last step in installing the sump pump is connecting it to power. All you have to do is plug the cord in the outlet and watch the device get to work.
How To Install A Sump Pump In A Basement
A sump pump might be a necessary device if you have a wet basement. It will effectively control the moisture in the basement and protect your property. Below are some simple steps for installing a sump pump in the basement.
At first, you need to find the lowest point in your basement, where you usually notice the accumulation of moisture. Next, you need to dig a hole deep and wide enough for the sump pump.
Digging a hole is easier said than done if the floor is concrete, and this is why you need proper tools such as a jackhammer or a sledgehammer.
The most efficient sump pumps often feature weep holes. These weep holes enable water to penetrate from beneath and the sides. If your sump pump doesn’t have weep holes, then you have to drill the holes yourself.
Next, you need to wrap a cover of filter fabric around the basin’s exterior to prevent sludge and silt from blocking the basin. You have to add two to three inches of gravel in the bottom of the hole that you made.
A fieldstone or paver has to be placed over the pebbles to turn it into a stable platform. Then place the sump pump inside the hole and backfill it around the perimeter with the excavated dirt.
One way to know that the sump pump does its job correctly is to make sure that its float valve can move up and down freely. When the water level increases, the float rises, and when it does, the device turns itself on.
You must test the float valve before starting the device. You can do this by moving it with your hand to ensure that nothing is obstructing its path. Another essential feature is the check valve.
The check valve channels the water away from the sump pump. In between your home exterior and the valve, you need a length of PVC pipe or an adjustable discharge hose.
The last step is plugging in the pump and giving it a test run. For this, you need to fill the basin with water almost to the top. Per the instructions, the float will rise, the pump will turn on, and water will pump out.
Furthermore, you can make sure that the connection has no leaks and that it’s all in working order. The last thing to do is to cover the hole surrounding the sump pump with cement.
How To Install A Sump Pump Outside
The sole function of a sump pump device is to remove water that gets accumulated in a basin-like structure called a sump. These areas are mostly found in basements, crawlspaces and even in places like a backyard.
You will need some specific tools to set up a pump sump. For instance, tools such as a hose, a hammer, shovel, pipe cutter, bucket.
Locate and Mark
First, you need to locate the spot where you will install the sump pump. The ideal location to fix it is the place where water accumulates. Next, you need to mark a hole.
You can use the sump basin to mark it by turning it upside down and tracing an outline.
Wrap and Place the basin
Wrap up the sump basin with a filter cover to prevent debris from the muddy water getting inside the basin and blocking the sump pump.
Next, you have to place the sump basin inside the hole and make sure that the cover is securely wrapped around the sides and bottom while it is being placed in the hole.
Pour Gravel and Connect Check Valve
The next step is pouring 3 inches of gravel into the basin. This gravel functions as a base for the device, as a filtration system, and as a water collection. Then place the sump pump inside the basin at the top of the paver.
Lastly, connect the PVC and check valve to the pump.
Plugin and Test the Sump pump
After placing the cover on the sump basin, you have to mix concrete to fill the area at the top of the basin so that it looks neat and tidy.
To test the sump pump, pour water inside the basin to make sure that it works.
How To Install A Sump Pump Basin
This process is a bit rinse and repeat so I’ll keep it short. To install a sump pump basin, first, you need to dig a hole. You can do this by placing the basin upside down and tracing a circle on the floor with a marker.
After this, you need to drill a hole of about ½” through the floor that is about 6 inches apart from the circle that you have drawn. Next, remove the concrete and debris from the hole to make space for the basin.
Now that the floor has been drilled, the next step is to dig a hole in the sump basin. Dig a gap of about 30 inches from the top of the floor so that you can place the basin and a bed of gravel beneath it.
Next, you have to pour about 5 to 6 inches base of ½ gravel or rock inside the hole to set the sump basin on top. You might need to add or remove some of the gravel so that the basin is even with the surface of the floor.
With the sump basin set securely in place, pour gravel around the outside of the basin until it is 2 to 3 inches from the top of the concrete floor. Lastly, pour some cement around the sump basin and make it even with the floor’s surface.
How To Install A Sump Pump Pit
The first thing to do is to chip out the concrete in the place where you want to set up the sump pump pit. Then measure the diameter of the sump pit and add 6 inches.
After marking the concrete in a square shape, you have to saw it with a tool. To pull out the cut-up piece, you need to break it up with a sledgehammer.
Next, you have to dig out the hole so the sump pit can be placed about ¼ inches from the top of the concrete surface. Use some buckets to discard the debris and stone.
Furthermore, wrap up the sump pit carefully in a filter fabric before installing it inside the hole. This will prevent dirt and stone from entering the pit. Fill the sides of the pit with gravel.
You can use a small amount of water to compact the gravel with a shovel. Leave about 4 inches from the surface of the pit for concrete.
You need to double-check the pit to make sure that it is even. Next, mix concrete in the bucket and put it around the edge of the sump pit until it’s full. You can use the trowel to smooth and blend out the concrete into the current floor.
Let the concrete rest for about 12 hours, and you’re good to go.
How To Install A Pedestal Sump Pump
Pumps come in two primary varieties. The submersible pumps are placed on the surface of the sump. In contrast, a pedestal sump pump’s water storage lies on the floor of the sump. However, its motor is placed over the waterline.
So, the intake functions as the base of the pedestal on which the motor is kept. To install a pedestal sump pump, you need a few accessories such as a screwdriver, hacksaw, water, utility knife, garden hose or bucket, pliers.
The first step is to remove and throw away an existing sump pump if you have one. Then switch off the electric line and disconnect the sump pump from the discharge line. Most of the pumps are linked to this line by an adjustable rubber boot attached through a clamp system.
Next, clean the sump carefully to remove sand, debris, soil or small gravel. Ensure that the depth of the sump meets the device’s specifications, a minimum of 24-inch thickness, and keep the surface clean and even.
Thread an adequate size of the PVC adapter in the discharge outlet and secure it with a wrench or a plier. Then, place the pump in position and calculate the length of pipe needed to contact the end of the line connected to the exterior.
The third step is to lift out the sump pump and cut the PVC pipe to the calculated length. Clean up the cut with the utility knife and then cement the PVC length in the adapter.
Let the joint settle and follow the instruction manual to set up the float switch.
Next, place the pump on the sump floor and adjust the discharge duct with the outlet pipe. After installing a check valve, connect the discharge pipe to the outlet line with the adjustable connector.
Make sure that the float has enough room to move about freely. Furthermore, plug the sump pump in a fixed outlet that is protected by a circuit interrupter. It would be advisable not to use an extension cord.
The last step is to pour water in the sump to test its operation. You can adjust the float switch according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
How To Install A Water-Powered Sump Pump
A water-powered sump pump acts as a backup system that can control the flooding in your basement when there’s no electricity to the rescue. This sump pump is connected to your house’s water supply and works by drawing water out of the pit through creating a vacuum.
Position the water-powered sump
The water-powered sump pump is used as a backup for the existing electric-powered sump pump, so it has to be positioned in such a way that it activates only when the primary pump is not functioning.
Since the primary sump pump is placed inside the sump pit, the water-powered pump is fastened on a wall next to it.
Place the sump pump in a position where the hollow rubber ball float, hanging from the pump’s side, is slightly higher than the electric pump’s surface.
Cut into the water supply
The sump pump is connected to the cold-water line in your property. Therefore, the design of the pipes depends on the structure of your basement.
So you will have to cut ¾ inch into the cold water line closest to the sump pit and fuse a ¾ inch of T-fitting to the pipe that you have cut. Next, cut ¾ inch of a copper pipe and connect a line from the T-fitting to the pump sump’s water valve.
Unplug the primary sump pump’s cord and keep it away from water.
Cut into the drain line
After connecting the sump pump to the cold-water supply, you need to set up a drain line for the device.
There are two ways to do this: you could either connect a second drain pipe outside your property or run the drain line for the sump pump to the current drain line connected to the electric-powered sump pump.
First, you need to slacken the band clamp that is on the check valve. The clamp stops water from getting in the sump pit again through the drain pipe. Tighten up the clamp after you drain out the water.
You need to remove a part of the PVC drainpipe, and it should be large enough to hold a PVC Y-fitting. There is a check valve on the top of the sump pump, and the PVC needs to be cut and installed to adjust between the check valve and the Y-fitting.
Lastly, use PVC cement to cover up the chunks of PVC together.
Test the pump
In the last step, you need to unscrew and withdraw the backflow stopper as well as check for any clogging inside the fitting. This valve prevents the water from the sump pit to flow back into your property’s water supply so that it remains uncontaminated.
Next, open up the ball valve of the pipe on top of the backflow stopper to remove any flux or solder inside the pipe. Reinstall the backflow stopper.
Then fill the sump pump pit with water and plug in the electric pump to test it. You can remove the plug to imitate a power cut and lift the water-powered sump pump’s float until it stimulates and drains the water from the pit.
How To Install A Check Valve On A Sump Pump
Not all the sump pumps come with a check valve, so it is better to have one installed. It is a metal flap that is connected to the discharge line. The valve stays shut until the water pressure causes it to open.
Once the pressure decreases, the valve shuts down again to prevent the backflow of water. The installation process is quite simple.
First, you need to choose a spot on the pipe for the check valve. The perfect location would be close to the sump pump pit so that it prevents too much water from getting clogged in between the sump pump and the check valve.
Next, mark the valve’s length on the pipe and then cut through the pipe in two places with the help of a PVC pipe cutter. You can file the edges with a metal file or a utility knife.
If you want the link to be more extended, add another piece of pipe and tie it with adapters or couplings.
Before installing the check valve, clean the inside of the discharge pipe with the pipe cleaner. Usually, the check valve has an arrow to indicate in which direction the water should flow.
Next, add the adapters or couplings to the openings of the discharge pipe. Secure the links with the PVC cement and applicator and let it dry.
Then reconnect power to the device and pump some water into the sump pump pit. Wait for the water pressure to build, and if the valve works properly, you will hear the flap opening as the water pressure increases.
How To Install A Sump Pump Drain System
When installing an efficient sump pump system, it is a good idea to set a perimeter drain system for your device. First, you need to hammer the floor of the basement’s edge with a jackhammer and set a layer of stone. Then install a perimeter drain on top of the layered stone and backfill it with more clean stone.
The function of this drain is to gather water that is accumulated on the wall-floor joint of your basement, under the basement floor, and the basement walls and channel it to the sump pump.
To Sump Up
Installing a sump pump can put a considerable dent in your wallet if you’re not up for it. I know the prospect of setting up your own sump pump seems scary, but with an I-can attitude, it’s not difficult. I’ve outlined all the necessary information you’ll need to get started. So, don’t hold back, just go out there and get moving!
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Hey there bud,
James A. Porter here, a veteran plumber, coming to you from New Orleans, Louisiana.
As I grew up in one of the most rain-infested areas of the USA, I had to pick up a thing or two about plumbing. While most people stop after picking up a few plumbing tricks, I began my career in plumbing.
Please click here to read the full bio.