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How to Install a Sump Pump

Crawl Space Repair

05/24/2024

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Installing a sump pump in your crawl space or basement is an excellent way to remove unwanted water. While it’s best to leave sump pump installation to the professionals, it helps to have an understanding of what’s involved in the process. Below is an outline of the main steps necessary when installing a sump pump:

  1. Create a hole in the foundation floor to house the sump pump.
  2. Install a pipe that leads from the sump pump to the outside of the home.
  3. Attach the pump to the pipe.
  4. Install a check valve in the pipe.
  5. Test the pump by turning it on.

The list above provides you with an outline of the main stages of the sump pump installation process. However, there is a lot more to learn about sump pumps and how they can benefit your home. Read on to learn the components of a sump pump, its primary function, signs you might need a sump pump, and more.

Components of a Crawl Space Sump Pump

Below is a list of the main components that comprise a sump pump:

  1. Sump Pit: This reservoir exists in your foundation floor, houses the sump pump, and stores water.
  2. Pump: The pump rests in the sump pit. When water fills the sump pit, the pump activates and pushes the water up the pipe.
  3. Discharge Pipe: The pipe conveys water from the sump pump to the outside of the home to ensure it does not cause damage to the foundation.
  4. Valve: Check valves are essential to the function of a sump pump system. These valves allow water to travel up the pipe while preventing it from falling back into the sump pump.
  5. Cover: While not essential to the sump pump’s main function, covers make sump pits more visually appealing and discourage odors from spreading.
  6. Power Supply: Without a power supply, sump pumps cannot operate. In many cases, sump pumps connect to a building’s electrical system.
  7. Battery Backup: Battery backups ensure that your sump pump can continue working even when the main power supply is not available.
  8. Float Switch: The float switch allows you to turn the pump on and off automatically.

How Does A Sump Pump Work

Basic Function of a Sump Pump

Here is an explanation of how the sump pump system collects water and conveys it out of a building.

  1. The sump pit collects unwanted water. Often, these pits connect to another drainage feature, like a drain tile.
  2. The pump activates when the water reaches a certain level, forcing the water up the pipe.
  3. The discharge pipe directs the water to a location outside of the home.

Signs You Need a Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump in your crawl space or basement is an excellent way to remove unwanted water. While it’s best to leave sump pump installation to the professionals, it helps to have an understanding of what’s involved in the process

Sump pumps are useful in specific situations. For example, if you notice any of the following, there is a strong chance a sump pump will benefit you.

  1. High relative humidity levels: High humidity can indicate the presence of standing water that a sump pump can help eliminate.
  2. Poor air quality: Another result of high humidity is poor air quality. Again, this can indicate a larger drainage-related problem.
  3. Bad smells: When moisture accumulates, it can cause foul odors to fill your home.
  4. Puddling water: When water puddles in your home, you must find a way to deal with it. A sump pump is one of the most effective options.
  5. Mold and mildew: Moisture encourages the growth of mold and mildew. These substances are hazardous to human health and may indicate the need for improved drainage.
  6. Water damage: When drainage systems fail, water damage often follows. Sump pumps help remove water before it causes water damage.

Can You Install a Sump Pump On Your Own?

Some people want to install sump pumps independently. While this is technically possible, we do not recommend attempting this type of project.

When inexperienced people attempt to install sump pumps, it is common for the process to unfold incorrectly, at times making the initial problem worse. A better approach is to contact a professional who can install a sump pump for you.

More Ways to Improve Foundation Drainage

Adding a sump pump is not the only way to improve the drainage system in a foundation. Here are a few other ways to ensure your foundation damage is complete and fully functional:

  1. Install drain tiles: Drain tiles consist of a linear trench full of porous material and a perforated pipe. When the water reaches the trench, it filters into the pipe, which conveys it to safety. You can install a drain tile inside your foundation, outside of it, or both.
  2. Waterproof your foundation: Waterproofing a foundation is a thorough process that helps prevent water from entering the foundation.
  3. Install floor drains: Floor drains are excellent at collecting pooled water in a foundation and directing it outside of the home or to another drainage structure such as a sump pump.
  4. Regrade your landscape: When the land around your home is flat or pitched towards the home, it encourages water to enter the foundation. Regrading the land so that it slopes away from the home helps improve overall drainage.
  5. Clean gutters: Clogged gutters can overflow and drop water onto the ground around your foundation, making it more likely that the water will seep into your home. Cleaning your gutters makes this issue less likely.
  6. Install downspout extensions: When downspouts are too short, they can deposit water next to a foundation. Extensions move the water away from the home where it cannot cause damage to the foundation.
  7. Consider crawl space encapsulation: If you have a crawl space, one of the most comprehensive services you can choose is crawl space encapsulation. This service creates a complete seal for your crawl space that prevents water from entering. It also involves dehumidification to ensure air moisture remains at the ideal level.

Ways to Improve Foundation Drainage

Hire a Professional to Install Your Sump Pump

Although we have shared information about how to install a sump pump, you should not attempt to perform this installation on your own. Instead, you should reach out to a qualified professional in your area who can perform this project.

At Regional Foundation & Crawl Space Repair, we have the knowledge and experience to resolve many foundation drainage problems. If you live in the Triangle, Triad, or Eastern North Carolina, contact us today to learn more about our services.