Installing a sump pump in your basement will help you keep the water levels in your basement manageable. By installing a sump pump, you will be able to remove any water that’s been accumulated in a sump basin.
Sump pumps are largely helpful especially if your basement is prone to flooding during heavy rain. In order to ensure that your sump pump will work properly, you’ll need to take some measures in installing it in your basement. Before that, you also have to prepare your basement for the installation. So what do you need to know?
The first step to installing your sump pump is to determine where the water is and how it can reach your pump. In order to do that, you’ll need to see how well the excess water will reach the well where your pump will be installed. You can do this two ways: via a French drain below your basement’s floor, or to make your basement floor slanted so that the water collects inside the well.
Prior to installation, determine if any existing electric lines will be affected. Since you’re going to be dealing with water, make sure to disconnect all electrical connections in your basement.
If you don’t already have a sump well installed, then you’ll need to install one to have your sump pump drain the water more effectively. Determine where to best place both the well and pump, as well as where the pump leads. So you’ve collected the water, where will you drain it to? You can opt to send it outside to your garden, a ditch, or your lawn. You can also have it routed to a sewer drain. Wherever it goes, make sure that it routes away from homes so that it doesn’t become a bother to you or your neighbors.
Basements have varying sizes, so your pump’s size will also vary depending on the amount of free space you have in yours. Measure the following:
- Height of pump discharge to the discharge pipe
- Length of required discharge pipe
Once you have these measurements, you’ll have an idea of what size of pump you’ll need to get. Once you have a pump, the hole you’ll dig in your basement needs to be 10 inches wider and 6 inches deeper than the size of the pump. The half of those six inches should be filled with gravel. Secure the pump with more gravel around it, until only a few inches at the top are visible.
The next important thing is that your sump pump needs to be located near an electric outlet to keep it running. If there are no outlets near where you’re planning to install your sump pump, have a professional electrician install an outlet. There is a recommended distance between a sump pump and the necessary outlet, so make sure that any available outlet fits the requirements. If not, have a new one installed.
Another important thing to note is that heavy rains come with the risk of a power outage. In that event, make sure that your sump pump has a backup power source as that’s when you’ll need it to be working the most.
Here are some more tips to prepare your basement for a sump pump installation:
- Plan where the pump will discharge the water. If necessary, prepare any pipes or holes where these pipes will go to.
- Routinely make sure that your sump pump is working properly by checking if the water distance from the top of the pump is 6 inches or more. If it’s at that level, you’ll need professional help.
- Check any potential blockages between your pump and where the water will be discharged.
- Route the discharge away from your house or the water will just go back to your basement.
Preparing your basement for the installation of a sump pump may require a bit of renovation, depending on what measures to prevent flooding you already have in place. If you have a sump well installed already, then you’ll need to prepare less. But a sump pump will not work without a well, so make sure to have one installed too. Don’t forget to plan carefully to prevent any more renovation for your basement than is necessary.