Setting up a Sewage Pump in a Basement


A sewage pump, or sewage ejector pump, is required to move sewage when a fixture is located below sewer level. The waste and water from the fixture -- say, a toilet -- flow into a pit or other receptacle, where the sewage pump lifts it into the sewer line and moves it into a municipal line or home septic system. Although certain pumps may require unique installation steps as recommended by the specific manufacturer, most sewage pump installation techniques are the same regardless of make.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Ear protection
  • Dust mask
  • Work gloves
  • Jackhammer or concrete saw
  • Shovel
  • Hand spade
  • Basin for pump
  • Shims, if needed
  • Inlet pipe
  • Dish soap
  • Sewage pump
  • Discharge pipe
  • PVC cement or other adhesive, if needed
  • Drill with 3/16-inch bit
  • Vent pipe
  • Screwdriver, if needed
  • Check building codes before beginning installation of the sewage pump. A governing body may have requirements for sewage pumps in your municipality, such as location or minimum height of the outlet where the pump will be plugged in.

  • Excavate the area in the basement where the basin for the pump will be placed. Use a jackhammer or a concrete saw, and wear adequate safety gear, to break up concrete. Remove the broken-up concrete and use a shovel or hand spade to remove enough gravel and dirt from the pit to accommodate the basin. At the same time that the area for the basin is excavated, it will typically be necessary to excavate a trench for or take into account the existing wastewater inlet pipe.

  • Set the basin in the pit. Make sure the basin is firmly set and level. Place composite or plastic shims in the pit with the basin to adjust the basin as needed.

  • Insert the inlet pipe through the gasket located on the side of the basin. Use dish soap to lubricate the rubber gasket on the basin, allowing for a tight, smooth fit. Slide the inlet pipe about 2 inches into the basin.

  • Attach the discharge pipe to the discharge opening on the sewage pump. Some discharge pipes may attach to the pump using threads. In this case, screw the pipe in, using a wrench to tighten it. Other pumps may lack threads in the discharge opening; in this situation, use PVC cement or an adhesive suitable for use with the specific pipe material. Some pump systems may require that a male PVC adapter be glued into the discharge opening before a PVC pipe can be installed.

  • Drill a hole in the discharge pipe about 3 inches above the pump discharge, using a drill with a 3/16-inch drill bit.

  • Set the pump and attached discharge pipe in the basin.

  • Place the basin cover atop the basin. Lubricate the gasket where the discharge pipe must penetrate, and slide the cover down over the discharge pipe. Pull the power cords through the electric cord hole in the basin cover.

  • Place the vent pipe. Slide one end about 2 inches into the vent hole and make sure that the other end extends through the building roof, connects to an existing vent pipe or otherwise reaches an acceptable outlet.

  • Secure the lid to the basin using suitable hardware like screws or other fasteners, typically provided with the basin.

  • Plug the float switch piggyback plug into a properly grounded outlet, then plug the pump into the piggyback plug.

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