How to Install a Pedestal Sump Pump

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Sump pumps come in two varieties: a submersible pump, which rests on the floor of the sump, and a pedestal pump. A pedestal pump’s water intake rests on the floor of the sump, but its motor stands above the water line. The intake forms the bottom of the pedestal on which the motor rests.

Both submersible and pedestal types are equipped with a float-controlled switch that triggers the pump when water in the sump reaches a preset level, and both must be connected to a discharge line.

Things You'll Need

  • Pedestal sump pump
  • Check valve (optional)
  • Schedule 40 PVC pipe, 6 feet by 1 1/4 in. or 1 1/2 in. diameter
  • Male PVC adapter to fit PVC pipe
  • PVC solvent
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers or adjustable wrench
  • Hacksaw
  • Utility knife
  • Bucket or garden hose
  • Water

Remove and discard an existing sump pump, if present. Unplug the electric line and then disconnect the pump from the discharge line. Most pumps are connected to this line by a flexible rubber boot held in place by a clamp system.

Clean the sump to remove debris, sand, small gravel or soil. Make certain that the sump depth meets the pump’s specifications (generally a minimum 24-inch depth) and that the floor is clean and level.

Thread a correctly-sized PVC adapter into the discharge outlet and tighten with pliers or a wrench. Lower the pump into position and measure the length of pipe needed to reach the end of the line running to the exterior.

Lift out the pump and cut the PVC pipe to the measured length with a hacksaw. Clean the cut with a utility knife, then cement the length of PVC into the adapter. Allow the joint to set.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the float switch.

Position the pump on the floor of the sump and align the discharge pipe with the outlet line. Install a check valve, if used, and connect the discharge line to the outlet line with the flexible connector. Make certain that the float has sufficient room to move freely.

Plug the pump into a grounded outlet protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Do not use an extension cord.

Pour water into the sump to test the pump's operation. Adjust the float switch per the manufacturer’s specifications.

Tips & Warnings

  • If an existing discharge pipe and check valve are in good condition and the pipe fits the new pump outlet, they can be re-used.
  • The sump must be kept covered to keep out debris that might plug the pump’s inlet or damage the impeller.

References

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