How to Install a Sump Pump (DIY Easy Guide)

How to Install a Sump Pump (DIY Easy Guide)

Are you experiencing persistent water problems in your crawl space or basement area? If you have, do you know that this problem could see you losing a huge percentage of your living sump pump in your basement to help you deal with the water problem? Here is an easy DIY guide you can leverage on. 


Is a Sump Pump Necessary for Your Home?


The cost of buying a home is rapidly increasing and if you already own a home you want to do everything to prolong its lifespan. Water in your basement can cut down the lifespan and efficiency of your house and this is of course not what you want. Stagnant water in your basement could emanate from various sources. 


The good news, however, is that early all of them can be solved by installing a sump pump. This machine may not offer the ultimate solution for your problem, but it can play a major role in ensuring that your basement is dry. What’s more, it’s a cost-effective solution which means many homeowners can afford it.

How Do Sump Pumps Work?


Often, sump pumps are located right above or below your basement floor. The type of sump pump you choose determines where it’ll be placed. As water accumulates in the basement area, it flows in the sump pump which eventually pumps the water away from your house. Years back, many sump pumps pumped water out of your home into the local sewer but this is not the case today. 


Local municipalities today are opposed to the idea of channeling excess water to the local sewers because it’s likely to overload the entire system. Rather, homeowners are required to connect their discharge pump line either to an area far off from their homes or in a dry well. Sump pumps are powered by electricity and should be installed close to an outlet. Still, some homeowners use battery-powered sump pumps. 


The advantage of using the latter is; they don’t depend on an outlet and will continue operating even when there’s a power outage. Some homeowners will even use two sump pumps: an electrically powered one and a battery-powered one which acts as a backup in case of an emergency such as floods which can disrupt the electrical grid in your region. 


How Else Can You Keep Your Basement or Crawl Space Dry?


While you can use sump pumps to effectively remove water from your basement, they don’t prevent water from penetrating the area. Of course, they come in handy during emergencies but they play a little role when it comes to maintaining a dry space. You may want to adopt the following measures in collaboration with your sump pump.


Crawl Space Ventilation


When your crawl space or basement area is wet and dark, it becomes a breeding ground for mold. In order to make the area dry and prevent these toxic substances, you can install a mechanical air pump which helps eliminate moisture and other contaminating gases both in the crawl space and the entire home environment.


Crawl Space Encapsulation


A big percentage of moisture that penetrates through your crawl space comes from the surrounding foundation and dirt. The good thing about encapsulating your crawl space is that it prevents moisture from finding its way through the crawl space or even the basement area. 


Crawl Space Moisture Barriers


Moisture barriers act in a manner similar to concrete encapsulation and are efficient when it comes to preventing water, mold, and pests from penetrating your crawl space. 


When you use this crawl space solution in collaboration with a sump pump, you are guaranteed that moisture in your basement area will become a thing of the past. In case of floods, then the sump pump can pump out the water leaving your home free from wetness. 


How to Install a Sump Pump and Save Your Home from Damage


If you are struggling with moisture in your crawl space, you may want to install a sump pump. While you can install the sump pump on your own, it’s important to hire a professional especially if you don’t have sufficient qualifications and the protective gear required for the process. The good thing about hiring a professional is that they will leave your crawl space clean, dry, and safe from pests or damage and this is guaranteed to give you your much needed peace of mind. 


You can purchase a sump pump from your local home center or just have your professional purchase it from their preferred supplier. Often, these gadgets are made from fiberglass or plastic and are quite effective when it comes to pumping the excess water out of your home. There are two types of sump pumps which are; submersible pumps and pedestal pumps.

The former is entirely covered up in the sump pit while the latter is partially covered and their motor lies above the water. Pedestal sump pumps are cheaper compared to their submersible models. What’s more, if you are looking for an easy to maintain and repair sump pump, then you should consider the pedestal sump pumps. Submersible sump pumps, on the other hand, operate silently which makes them ideal for use in living areas. 


Often, sump pumps will come with long cords enabling you to connect them to a receptacle safeguarded by a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter.) If you ever have to use your extension cord with a sump pump, ensure that it’s compliant with the pump recommendations given by the manufacturer. 


Installation of the Sump Pump


As mentioned above, you may want to install the sump pump yourself. However, hiring a plumber is better seeing that they are qualified and experienced enough to execute the task appropriately. Here is how your plumber will go about installing a sump pump in your basement.


Digging the Sump Pit


To facilitate this process, you’ll require a jackhammer which helps your plumber break the concrete. Your plumber may come with an electric jackhammer which is more powerful. If you’re doing it yourself, then you can hire one from your local home center. The jackhammer is easy to use and you can even plug it in ordinary outlets in your house. You’ll also need a flat spade bit to use in collaboration with the jackhammer. 


Once all the equipment is ready, your plumber will place the sump basin upside down on the floor. He’ll then proceed to draw a 4 to 6-inch circle along the basin’s external perimeter. It’s important to maintain at least a 10-inch space from the walls to prevent foundation footing. The plumber will then use the jackhammer to break through the concrete slab at the outline. 


Once the concrete is eliminated, your plumber will dig the sump pump hole depending on the desired depth. Once that’s done, the plumber will set the basin inside the hole and later fill in the spaces around the perimeter using gravel. He’ll then level the gravel an inch above the base of the floor slab and eventually fill the remaining part of the perimeter gap using concrete. The final task involves using a trowel to smooth the surface and give it approximately 24 hours to set. 


Installing the Sump Pump


Place the sump pump in the basin according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You may have to add gravel at the base of the sump pit or place the pump on a concrete paver to ensure that it stays out of the pit’s base. Fit a check valve on the pump’s outlet. Your plumber will install the check valves together with hose clamps. This eases the pump removal when you either want to replace or service it. 


Complete the Discharge Pipe


Link a short length of PVC on the check valves’ open-end and stick either a 45 or 90 degrees PVC elbow on the short pipe to direct the discharge piping towards the vault foundation wall. Include another stretch of pipe and follow it with another 45 to 90 degree joint at the rim joist right above the foundation wall. Drill through the rim hoist to make a hole. You’ll also need to drill the exterior siding where the discharge pipe will penetrate through. 


Running the Pump


Connect the sump pump to a GFCI safeguarded receptacle. Proceed to fill water in the basin to test the pump’s efficiency. When properly installed, it should automatically turn on once the water reaches a specific level that pushes the pump’s float and turn off automatically once the water levels drop. Modify the pump’s float level according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  




To ensure that your sump pump operates efficiently, you should clean it regularly to clear any accumulated debris. If the pump isn’t activated regularly, you should pour water inside the basin periodically to test it. For any professional assistance for clean attic and crawl contact us today.

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