How to Hook Up a Sump Pump

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Sump pumps are installed in homes with basements or foundations where water might accumulate from seepage or rain. They pump water away from the house and foundation, and are useful in homes where the water table is above the basement. Installation and hook up of a sump pump takes a good degree of planning and persistence. However, if you can install it yourself you’ll save the expense of hiring a professional. Your sump pump will be powered by electricity, so you will need access to a GFCI electric outlet.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective eyewear
  • Earplugs
  • Jackhammer
  • Power drill with 2-inch bit
  • Crescent wrench
  • Small flat-head screwdriver
  • Hacksaw
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Sump pump plus piping and connections
  • Pit liner for the sump pump
  • Check valve
  • Couplings and hose clamps
  • Cement for PVC pipes
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • Drain tile (perforated plastic tubing)
  • Polyethylene sheets
  • Floor edging
  • Concrete (mixed)
  • Trowel
  • Electrical tape
  • Break apart and remove 1½ feet of the concrete floor all along the perimeter of the room using a jackhammer. Use the shovel to dig a trench 8 inches deep and 1 foot wide where you removed the concrete. Haul away the concrete and dirt in a wheelbarrow.

  • Make a pit for the sump pump. Use the jackhammer to cut away a circle of concrete at the end of the trench and dig a pit for the sump pump with the shovel. Make sure the pit is deep enough and wide enough for the sump pump; the top of the sump pump will need to be level with the floor. Dig the pit close to a GFCI outlet so you’ll have electric power for the pump. Haul away the debris in the wheelbarrow.

  • Complete the trench for the pump. Pour two inches of gravel into the bottom of the trench using the shovel and wheelbarrow. Place drain tile all along the trench over top of the gravel. Shovel additional gravel over the drain tile. Be sure to leave 4 inches of space from the gravel to the top of the trench. Place a layer of polyethylene sheeting against the foundation wall and over the gravel in the trench. Pour concrete into the trench using the shovel and wheelbarrow. Use enough so that it is level with the floor and spread it even with the trowel. Wait two days for the concrete to cure before continuing.

  • Install the piping for the pump that will run to the outside of your house. Drill a hole in the foundation wall from the outside in near the location of the pump pit using the power drill and a 2-inch bit.

  • Drop the pit liner inside the pit. Insert the discharge pipe for the pump to the discharge port in the pit liner and secure it with a 1 ½-inch PVC male adapter. Screw it in place with the crescent wrench. Raise the pipe to the top of the pit; layer PVC cement on the PVC riser using your finger and insert it into the male adapter to cement it in place.

  • Install the sump pump. Carefully set the sump pump inside the pit liner and secure the electric cord for the pump to the riser you just installed using electrical tape. Install a check valve on the riser with the crescent wrench using rubber couplings and hose clamps. Tighten the hose clamps with a screwdriver. Install an additional riser above the check valve and connect it to the discharge pipe that drains out of your house, applying PVC cement to the connection with your finger. Place the pump lid over the riser.

  • Attach 90-degree elbow pipe to the drain pipe that runs to the outside the house from the sump pump using the PVC cement. Point it down and attach the length of pipe needed to reach the ground level. Attach another 90-degree elbow pipe pointing away from your foundation using the PVC cement. Cut the sections of pipe that you need with the hacksaw. Attach a 6-foot long pipe to that elbow pipe with the PVC cement. This way the water from the sump pump will drain away from the foundation of your house.

  • Provide power to your sump pump by plugging the electric cord into a nearby GFCI-protected receptacle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear protective eyewear as well as earplugs whenever you run the jackhammer.

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