By Harry | Last Updated: August 01, 2020
A sump pump is considered as an effective way of keeping your basement free from water especially when the installation is properly done. The pump is usually set in a sump pit or basin at the lowest spot where water accumulates first in the basement floor. Now, the sump basins are usually made out of fiberglass or plastic and can be purchased at local stores and home centers. Before we start the installation process, you need to know exactly how a sump pump works to determine if it is what you want. Essentially, as the water fills the pit or basin, it activates a pump which then quickly discharges the water outside. The pump will automatically shut off once the water level falls. The automatic shut off and on is achieved through a floating device.
Should your basement have water problems now and then, a sump pump is your best option. This is especially true since they are easy to install and relatively inexpensive compared to other solutions. Should your basement, on the other hand, seriously flood almost regularly, then the sump pump will not help you and you need an expert’s advice.
Types of Sump Pumps
The two common types of sump pumps installed in homes and houses are submersible pumps and pedestal pumps. The pedestal pumps are partially concealed while submersible pumps are entirely concealed. Most people prefer submersible sump pumps check valve to the pedestal sump pumps because they are quiet and therefore more conducive to living areas. Pedestal pumps are cheaper and easier to maintain but make a lot of noise.
Installing a sump pump is quite straightforward and you can be able to do it yourself. This step by step tutorial will help you install the sump pump and all you need to do is free up your weekend.
How to Install a Sump Pump - Step by step instructions
Step 1: Preparation
Before you start digging, you need to prepare and consider a lot of things. Try to identify where the sewer line is located and what might be lying beneath your basement. The water supply line might also be running beneath your basement and you need to consider this before you begin any type of work. Blindly digging your basement might cause more damage and you just might end up spending more money than you had anticipated earlier on.
Identifying where your water line passes through if it indeed passes through the basement can be rather difficult. If you are not able to accurately identify the location, then check with the local building-code offices and get help.
Step 2: Digging
You need to identify the area where water accumulates first. Logically, this is the lowest point of your basement and most probably it will be the area with the most mold damage. Digging a concrete floor can be rather tedious and you will need the proper equipment to quickly complete this task.
The economical approach would be to get a heavy-duty hammer drill. With this drill, you could easily bore perimeter holes around the area to be removed. After making several holes in the area too, you could then use a sledgehammer to break the concrete.
Now, you could also use an electric jackhammer, usually available for rent at a fee. The electric jackhammer is efficient and you could get the job done quickly and with ease. Use a flat spade bit to ensure the edges are not rough and the work looks decent.
Whatever method you go for, ensure the pit is dug at least 9 inches from your foundation walls to avoid the footing which could leave to more damage that will cost a lot to repair. Ensure that the perimeter of the concrete floor you are going to remove is about 6 inches. Use the jackhammer to cut the perimeter and slice at least 8 inches through the interior. Once you shatter the area, then drive your jackhammer at an angle to loosen the pieces of the flooring. You can simply remove the concrete chunks using a bucket and dispose of them.
Once all the concrete is properly removed, dig the soil and use a liner to keep track of your progress. When the top of your liner is level with the basement floor top, then you have certainly made a deep enough hole.
Step 3: setting the pit liner
You now need to properly set your pit liner in the dug hole. Ensure that you carefully fill the surrounding gap using coarse gravel. Add the gravel until it is roughly one inch above the floor slab bottom. You can then carefully fill the remainder with concrete. Use a trowel to make the surface smooth and wait for at least 24 hours before you start installing the piping and pump.
Step 4: installing the pump
It is important that you buy a high-quality product from trusted manufacturers. Submersible pumps cost somewhere between $75 and $125. Buying cheap products might end up costing you more especially when you factor in extra costs such as repairs and replacements. Your new pump should ideally have a one and a half-inch diameter threaded discharge port. Simple start by threading a one and a half-inch PVC adapter into the discharge port and use a pair of pliers to tighten it until you fill it click.
Then you need to glue into the male adapter a schedule-40 PVC riser using PVC cement. The depth of your riser should dictate the length of your riser, this will ensure that the riser is placed right on top of your pit liner.
Before placing your pump into the pit, ensure that you bind all the electric cords to your riser using plastic electric tiles or vinyl electric tapes.
Grip the riser and your pump’s supporting ring firmly before carefully lowering it into your pit liner. Inspect the float position once your pump is resting at the bottom. Ensure that the float is away from the liner to give it room to move up and down with no interference. Now you only need to put the liner lid which in most cases is already slotted to fit perfectly over the riser.
Step 5: Complete the discharge pipe
It is not possible to purge ground-water into your household plumbing system and you will, therefore, need to connect piping to discharge the water outdoors. The fastest and most effective way is to approach the situation is to bore a hole through the outer wall and joist and install piping. You will then need to ensure the water is carried far from the house and not possible for it to run back to your basement.
Ensure that you bore from the outside to minimize damages. Take your time during this step and ensure that you do not damage your house in any way. You could also use a hole saw for a more accurate approach.
Once your hole is made, slowly slide a PVC pipe and ensure you bring the end as close as possible to the vertical riser from your pump. Trim the riser to the required length and then carefully assemble the elbow and pipes using PVC glue. Before going out to finish installing the discharge piping, it is important to ascertain the riser is plumb.
The basement utility sink is not advised when it comes to discharging the water from your sump pump. This is usually because groundwater and rainwater easily overwhelm the sewer system and could lead to more damages. In most communities, the municipal prohibit such water dumping tendencies and heavy fines are put in place. Ensure that you follow the guidelines set by your local authorities especially when it comes to dumping the sump pump discharge.
Step 6: Final touches
You need to plug in your sump pump using silicone-based caulk that is considered to be flexible enough to handle vibrations from the pump. Once everything is plugged in, test your work using around five gallons of water. It is important that you observe the pump working automatically. It should be able to start pumping immediately you dump in enough water and stop once the water level drops. Ensure that the float level is properly adjusted as directed by the manufacturer of the pump. This is important to avoid any complications and technical difficulties in the future.
Now and then you will have to clean debris and it is part of the maintenance.do not, however, start cleaning your basin before you unplug the pump from the socket. In some cases, your pump may not be active for long periods especially when you do not have a lot of water accumulating in your basement. If this is the case, then you will need to periodically test its functionality by simply pouring water into the basin.
Installing a sump pump is not as difficult as it seems and you could always do it yourself. Follow the step by step tutorial and you will be able to get the work done quickly and efficiently just like a professional.
How to Install a Sum Pump, DIY