On this page we run through how to install a sump pump using visual aids. We’ve also got a video at the bottom should you wish to follow that instead.
Step 1: Starting Out
First up you need to install the pit that you will be laying the pump in. It must be 8 inches from the foundation walls to avoid any problems in encountering the the foundation footing of the house. Then you need to lay the area of concrete floor that will be removed allowing a minimum of 6 inches surrounding the pit.
Once you’ve marked this area you will then need to cut the perimeter using a jackhammer, once done you will need to slice through the interior in 8 to 12 inch bites. Once the area has been broken you will need to drive the jackhammer in at an angle in order to loosen the first few bits of the flooring. Once done you just need to collect any remaining pieces of concrete and disperse of them.
Step 2: Starting Out
Once the concrete has been removed and the soil dug from the area. You can check your progress by using a liner, then you need to excavate just enough soil in order to allow you to place 6in of grace surrounding the liner. Once the top liner has sat level with the top of the floor you have dug a deep enough hole.
Step 3: Starting Out
Set your pit liner into the hole you’ve just dug and fill the remainder with a course gravel.
Step 4: Starting Out
Fill up the hole with enough gravel to bring the grade 1 inch above the underside of the floor and 3 inches below the top surface.
Once done level the gravel with a wooden float to ensure a smooth surface.
Step 5: Starting Out
Once the pit liner has been secured in place by surrounding gravel you will then need to apply concrete over the area by mixing one part cement, two parts of sand and three parts of gravel and then you just need to add water. If you only use a single bag of cement (this should be all that is required) then you would need to use around 5.5 gal of water. Make sure you pack the new concrete tightly along all of the cut edges on the floor.
Finally smooth over the new floor with a trowel and let the concrete cure for a minimum of a day or two before you commence pump installation.
Step 6: Installing the Pump
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You need to begin by threading in a 1.5 inch pvc male adapter into the port and then begin tightening until it is secure.
Step 7: Installing the Pump
Using a PVC cement you need to glue a PVC riser into the male adapter, the overall length of the roster will vary dependant of the liner, the goal in this situation is to bring the riser just above the very top of the pit liner.
Step 8: Installing the Pump
Before you set the pump into the pit, it is best practice to bind all its electrical cords to the riser with a vinyl electrical tape or electrical ties.
Step 9: Installing the Pump
Gripping the support ring on the pump and the riser you need to lower the pump carefully into the pit liner.
Step 10: Installing the Pump
Once the pump has been laid at the bottom you need to check the float position. First you need to locate the pump and make sure that the float is a few inches away from the liner meaning it will be able to move up and down with out any interference. After this you will need to install the lid over the riser, lids can either be slotted or will require you to bore a hole in order to fit.
Step 11: Installing the Pump
Once you’ve got the pump in place you will then need to place a check valve on to the riser, this is essential as it prevents the pump motor from burning out. If there was no check valve in place the water would be propelled up the riser and would fall back down into your pit every single time the pump has been turned off. The left over water is enough to activate the pump which will run for a few seconds and then it will turn off again this action can actually ruin your pump very quickly.
Each valve will normally come with rubber couplings and some hose clamps, so be sure to position your valve with flow indication arrow pointing up and then you will need to tighten your coupling over the riser with either a screw driver or you can use a nut driver.
Step 12: Installing the Pump
Next step you will have to add a second riser able the valve that will extend directly into the space between the basement ceiling joists. The length of this riser will depend on the position of the horizontal run that exits your house. Your best bet is to cut an oversize piece and once it is secure you can begin to make changes to it. You will need to secure the second riser to the remaining upper coupling on a check valve by using a hose clamp.
Step 13: Moving Outside
Due to the discharge of groundwater being unable to be deposited into your houses plumbing system therefore you must connect piping in order to dispense of the water outdoors. The easiest way to do this is to make a hole through the rim joist of the house and run your piping into the joist and the outer wall. Once outside it needs to finish as far away as possible to prevent any water returning to your basement.
Step 14: Moving Outside
Once you’ve got the hole sorted you will need to slide a piece of PVC pipe through the joist and then position the end near to the vertical riser that is coming from the pump. Using a 90 degree PVC fitting against the two pipes and then you’ll need to mark the height of the vertical riser.
You will need to then trim the riser to the exact length that is necessary and then assemble the pipes to the elbow using PVC glue. Once done you will need to make sure that everything is in order before going outside and completing your discharge pipe.
Step 15: Moving Outside
Once you’re outside you will need to cut everything but 1/2 an inch from the horizontal pipe that you fitted before, then glue a 90 degree PVC elbow to the end of your trimmed pipe so it points towards the floor.
Step 16: Final Connections
From this point onwards completely depends on your yards specific landscaping as the goal here is to move any of the purged water pumped up away from your house in a way that prevents it from coming back. If your yard has a large slope then you can discharge your purged water onto a splash block similar to a downspout.
If this isn’t the case then the pipe can extend over ground or underground until it reaches a safe distance away from your home. As long as the horizontal pipe has a good enough slope then the pipe will drain once the pump finishes meaning that freezing shouldn’t be an issue for you.
Once you’ve installed the discharge line make sure you caulk the opening on the inside and outside of your house.
Step 17: Final Connections
You must use a good silicone based caulk that is flexible enough in order to absorb any vibrations from the pump. Once the pump and your piping is in place you can then finish off by plugging your pump and testing it out.