What are the Best Tips for Sump Pump Installation?

T. L. Childree

There are many factors to consider for sump pump installation, but following a few tips may help improve the outcome of this project. For example, purchasing a high-quality pump with sufficient horsepower may help to avoid future replacement costs. Make certain that the sump pit is large enough for the pump and located in the lowest point of the basement. Discharge pipes must be large enough to handle the maximum pump output, contain a check valve to prevent water backflow, and be pressure tested after installation. Sump pumps must be maintained and tested at regular intervals and a back-up system should also be installed.

Woman posing
Woman posing

A flooded basement can produce serious health hazards such as mold and bacteria. Any type of sump pump installation must effectively remove water from the basement area at all times. When purchasing a sump pump, it is best to choose a high quality product that will endure years of continuous operation. Inexpensive models typically need replacing after a relatively short period of time. It is also important to choose a pump with enough horsepower to move a high volume of water when necessary.

Sump pump installation usually requires a collection pit for the water to drain into. The pump is placed into the pit and forces water out of the basement through a discharge pipe. A sump pump installation pit must be large enough to accommodate any size pump and located at the lowest point of the basement. This pit should be at least 18 inches (45 cm) wide and 24 inches (60 cm) deep to accommodate the largest submersible-style sump pump. A smaller sump pit requires a pedestal-style pump which can be quite noisy when running.

A successful sump pump installation depends largely on the discharge pipe’s ability to handle the maximum water flow that the pump is capable of producing. Polyvinyl chloride piping is usually strong enough for this task and can be easily connected together. The diameter of this pipe should be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm), and rubber fittings often work best. A check valve must be installed at the pump end of the discharge pipe to prevent a backflow of water when the pump is off. It is also a good idea to pressure test the system after the piping is assembled.

Sump pumps require regular inspection and maintenance for proper operation. Check for obstructions in the discharge pipe every couple of months, and clean out the sump pit annually. It is usually a good idea to install a battery powered sump pump that will automatically run during a power failure. Such power outages often occur during periods of heavy rainfall, and a back-up pump could keep the basement from flooding during such an event. The battery for this pump should be checked, charged, or replaced at regular intervals.

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