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How to Install A Sump Pump

Summary:  The easiest, safest, and best way to install a sump pump is to hire a professional plumber or contractor. However, learning how to install a sump pump yourself can save you some money.

If your home has a basement which leaks or tries to flood each time it starts raining, you might be wondering how to install a sump pump to prevent this from happening in the future.

The easiest, safest, and best way to install a sump pump is to hire a professional plumber or contractor. This ensures the sump pump is installed properly, and will keep your basement from flooding in the future.

You can do it yourself too of course though, so let's review how to install a sump pump yourself.

First you must realize that the more money you spend on your sump pump, the more reliable it is likely to be. Spending money on a quality pump today can make it work like crazy for many years to come.

Sump pumps come with various types of housing. Plastic, metal and cast iron are the most common. Cast iron is considered to be the best sump pump housing choice, because it's strong and it dissipates heat.

Sump pumps also come in various sizes, usually referred to in horsepower settings. Sump pumps commonly come in 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2 horsepower options. Another thing to pay attention to though, is how many gallons of water the sump pump can dispose of in an hour. It's possible to find a 1/2 horsepower sump pump which gets rid of 3000 gallons of water in an hour, while another 1/2 horsepower sump pump disposes of 7000 gallons an hour instead.

Basic Instructions on How to Install a Sump Pump

Make sure you choose a sump pump which has a good quality switch and float system. These items are what tells the sump pump when to turn on and off, so buying a pump with low quality switch or float systems can make it fail to do it's job properly.

Get a good sized container for your sump pit. Some people choose a five gallon bucket to use a sump pit, but these can actually make your sump pump fail, or break completely. Instead, be sure to buy a container that's at least 22 inches deep, and 18 inches in diameter.

Once you have your equipment, you'll need to create the sump pit hole. This might require a jackhammer to break through your basement's concrete floor. Your sump pump pit needs to be installed slightly below the level of the basement floor. This makes it the lowest spot in the basement, and will help water to drain into the pit. If the spot you've chosen to install your sump pump is lower than the rest of the floor, then install your sump pump flush with that area.

Seal the edge of your sump pit using concrete, then allow it to dry fully.

If your sump pump didn't come with a valve which only allows water to travel in one direction, known as a "sump pump check valve", you might want to install one.

Now you simply wrap some tape around the thread of your sump pump's pipe connector, and tighten it to the pump by hand. Run extra pipe to a convenient location outside your home and away from the foundation, then place your pump. If you're using a submersive sump pump, you'll place it into the sump drainage pit. A pedestal or upright pump will simply sit in place above the sump pit.

Note that sump pumps require a lot of electricity, so you might need to have a circuit dedicated to the sump pump. Learning how to install a sump pump is not easy when it comes to dealing with electrical circuits.  So, if you're not comfortable installing electrical ciruits, it's best to contact a professional electrician for this step.

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