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Equipment

How to Install and Replace a Sump Pump

2/1/17
Grainger Editorial Staff

Most buildings include a basement, and torrential rains, tropical storms and other weather conditions make them highly susceptible to flooding. That’s where the mighty sump pump comes in.

 

What Is a Sump Pump?

Sump pumps protect the underground levels of a building from flooding and water damage. This apparatus vacuums up water when it rises above a sea level and transfers it to outdoor areas, like a municipal storm drain.

Types of Sump Pumps

1. Primary Sump Pumps: Standard pumps found in residences.

There are two types:

  • Submersible pumps that are set under water and typically have more horsepower.
  • Pedestal pumps are above the water, above the sump basin.

2. Battery Back Up Sump Pumps: Incorporate a battery-backup unit in case of a power outage.

3. Sewage Pumps: Responsible for pumping out sewage waste from a building to a septic system.

4. Combination Sump Pumps: Combines a primary pump with a battery backup in one unit.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Sump Pumps

To replace a sump pump can be on the pricey side, so it’s crucial to take all the right steps and research your options first. The cost of a sump pump depends on several variables.

Type: Within standard pumps, submersible pumps are more expensive, as they have more horsepower and work through the pressure of water. Metal sump pumps tend to be more expensive than plastic ones, as they are stronger and can handle higher pressures. Plastic pumps also have lower horsepower.

Flooring: The type of floor you use for a sump pump also impacts the price of installation. The floors that house sump pumps are usually composed of cement, dirt or gravel. Dirt or gravel floors are less expensive options as they are easier to dig into. On the contrary, cement floors require hammering to be accessed and often result in more labor. Thus, denser floors like cement or concrete floors cost more than dirt and gravel ones.

Location: The location of the sump pump also has a bearing on the overall cost. If the pump is not located at the lowest area of a basement, it will drive up the cost. Generally, if the sump pump’s location is in a dense or complex plumbing region, it will be more difficult to install, and therefore more expensive.

How to Install and Replace a Sump Pump

  Installing Replacing
Step 1 Locate a space where you see a considerable puddle or water collection. Make sure it is beside a GFCI outlet. Plug in the sump pump. Unplug the current sump pump by disconnecting it from the discharge line.
Step 2 Dig a hole big enough to install the sump pump. Ideally, it should be 6 inches deeper and 10 inches wider than the sump. As you enter the new sump pump, fit it so that it sits at an appropriate level in the hole. (See above instructions for exact measurement.)
Step 3 Put the sump in the hole and add about 3 inches of gravel to the hole's bottom so that the sump is not entirely buried. Use the current piece of discharge line left from the previous pump.
Step 4 Pour more gravel while standing in the sump. Leave about 2 inches of the sump gravel-free. Connect a check valve to the discharge line to prevent water from moving from the discharge line back inside the pump to improve the pump's lifespan.
Step 5 Attach the adaptors by gluing the male adapter on the PVC discharge pipe and put the female adapter on the pump. Take the main discharge line and connect it with the outlet pipe via tightening them.
Step 6 With a quarter inch drill, drill a 6-inch deep hole on top of the pump in the discharge pipe. This ensures water to move back inside the pump when the pump is off. Plug in the pump to an outlet.
Step 7 Place a check valve on the opened end of the discharge pipe and make sure it can stand vertically. Test the pump by pouring the hole with water.
Step 8 Remove the water away from the pump and facility by using the PVC.  
Step 9 Hang the PVC through the wall.  
Step 10 Use a silicone sealant to cover the hole where the pipe is positioned between the building and the outdoors.  
Step 11 Connect an increaser at the pipe's end to spread out the water flow.  
Step 12 Surround the pipe with gravel and plug in the pump. Cover the sump with its lid.  

Dealing with Sump Pumps

There are various types of sump pumps available so you should consider which will work best for your basement. If you own a septic system, consider buying a sewage pump, as it will connect the sump pump to the septic system and help in moving out waste. If you are in an area often plagued by power outages, invest in either a combination sump pump or a battery backup sump pump.

If you are unsure about whether to replace your pump, consider things like noise, electrical power, performance and age before making your decision. Choosing the right one from the outset can save you the hassle of replacing your sump pump altogether.

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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