How To Install a Sump Pump

May 29, 2013

A sump pump is used to control water under the floor of a basement.

  1. Begin by protecting the area from dust as you have been trained.
  2. The sump, which is the perforated plastic box under the floor, also called a liner, must be installed at the lowest spot in the basement.
  3. Within reason, there is some flexibility as to where the pump can be located. An example of this could be that if all the mechanicals could be kept together that might be nice, but not if that is a high spot.
  4. Before making the hole for the sump, make sure there are no plumbing obstructions like drain stacks close by or pipes going into the floor. There could be pipes under the floor which would become broken during excavation.
  5. When the correct location has been determined, break a square hole, two and a half feet wide through the floor.
  6. Now dig a hole about three feet deep.
  7. All debris is put into five gallon buckets and taken up the stairs to the truck where it is placed in a large garbage can or a trailer.
  8. The liner must now be dry fit to check the depth.
  9. It takes five or six bags of gravel to install a sump pump and at least one bag of gravel is now poured in the hole for the liner to sit on.
  10. The sump liner is now placed in the hole and surrounded with gravel. The gravel is compacted by aggressively stabbing at it with the sharp edge of a shovel.
  11. Now install the pump. The pump is very simple to install and is designed for the average home owner to install themselves with very basic tools.
  12. First unpack the new pump.
  13. Now sit the pump in the liner so that the exit port on the pump is pointing toward the foundation wall. Screw the one way valve or check-valve into the exit port of the pump.
  14. Measure from the check-valve, to five inches above the top of the liner.
  15. Be sure to dry fit the lid before cutting the pipe.
  16. Now cut the pipe so that it protrudes five inches above the lid of the liner.
  17. Use no glue until all the pieces of pipe have been cut and dry fit.
  18. After inspection of the area outside, a hole must be created in the foundation wall or band board, sometimes called rim joist, to carry the exit pipe outside above the ground.
  19. When an appropriate location for the exit pipe has been determined, using a 3/8 inch wide 12 inch long drill bit with an SDS chuck, drill a pilot hole through the foundation wall or rim joist from inside to outside.
  20. Now go outside and drill a 2 inch hole with a large demolition hammer drill from outside to inside using the pilot hole as your guide.
  21. Hold the drill straight and level.
  22. Blow the dust out of the hole.
  23. Measure and cut a piece of 1 and a ½ inch abs pipe about 10 inches long and insert it through the foundation or rim joist.
  24. Measure from the pipe inside to the pipe at the pump lid and cut a piece of 1 and ½ abs pipe.
  25. Dry fit an elbow to the vertical pipe and dry fit to the pipe through the foundation.
  26. Now loosely fit a rubber coupler over the ends of the unconnected pipes.
  27. Be sure the lid is installed and the wires are run through the lid before gluing the plumbing connections.
  28. Use abs glue to connect the fittings.
  29. Tighten the rubber collar connecting the two pipes above the lid.
  30. Plug in the new sump pump.
  31. Use a five gallon bucket being filled from a laundry tub water test the new system and look for leeks.
  32. Water testing is critical as there are often connections which have been missed when gluing.
  33. If the pump activation level needs adjustments the small rubber stopper at the bottom of the vertical float stick can be set at different heights.
  34. When there are no leaks and the pump is working, correctly screw the lid down and thoroughly clean the work area.
  35. Now go outside and make any exit pipe arrangements that may be required or arranged.
  36. Invite the customer down stairs to inspect the great job you have done and explain that a battery back-up might be a good idea.

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