How to Drill Holes in a Sump Pump Basin

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Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape

  • Tape measure

  • Pencil or marker

  • Drill

  • ¼ or ½-inch drill bit (consult sump pump solids handling for your pump)

A sump pump basin is usually made from a plastic tub. The sump pump sits in the basin and as water fills the basin, the sump pump float switch rises and turns on the pump until the water level in the basin lowers enough to lower the float switch, which turns off the pump. Drill holes in the sump pump basin to allow water to enter the basin to activate the float switch. Depending on where the water is entering the basin, from the sides or close to the top, the holes may be drilled all the way down the sump pump basin or only closer to the top of the basin.


Step 1

Determine the placement of the holes for the sump pump basin. If water is coming in from close to the top of the basin, or water will seep into the area surrounding the basin, place holes on the first few inches of the basin. If the water will enter the basin from lower in the pit, drill holes the entire way down the basin.

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Step 2

Place at least three pieces of masking tape on the bottom of the basin to mark locations for at least three holes to be drilled on the bottom of the basin. This will prevent the basin from floating up if the area surrounding the basin fills with too much water. Place the tape guides approximately 4-inches apart from the center of each tape strip. Use a tape measure to measure and mark locations approximately 4-inches apart with a pencil or marker.


Step 3

Insert a ¼ or ½ inch drill bit into a drill. Drill holes approximately 4-inches apart vertically and horizonally using the tape as a guide. Rows can be straight or staggered.

Step 4

Drill the holes for the bottom of the basin.


Although the placement of the holes could be done with a marker, the tape provides a no-slip surface for the drill bit to reduce the bit sliding around on the smooth plastic surface.


Do not hold the basin in the location of the hole being drilled. Pay close attention to prevent injury while drilling the holes on the slippery surface of the sump pump basin.