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How to Install a Sump Pump

How to Install a Sump Pump: The Complete Guide

A sump pump is a device that helps remove water from a basement or crawl space. If your home is at risk for flooding, it’s essential to know how to install a sump pump and its function.

Thousands of homeowners experience flooding in their basements and crawl spaces every year. Various factors can contribute to this, including heavy rains, melting snow, and faulty plumbing.

In this article, we will provide detailed instructions on how to install a sump pump. If you don’t want to do it yourself and want to hire a professional, this will give you an idea of what to expect from the entire process.

So here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install a sump pump.

sump pump diagram

Step #1: Select and prepare the place to install the sump pump pit.

The first step in installing a sump pump is to select a place to put the pump pit. It’s helpful to go underground for this, though you can also make a sump pit above ground. Before you start digging, make sure that your selected spot is dry and has enough room to hold a watertight container.

Step #2: Dig a hole for the sump pump pit.

Sump pump pit

Start by digging a hole about 30 inches deep and make it 20-24 inches wider as you work your way around. Make sure that it’s large enough to accommodate the container you’re using, as well as the pump and other components.

Step #3: Place the watertight container in the sump pump

After you’ve dug the hole, place a waterproof watertight container inside it. If you’re using a plastic bin, make sure that it’s designed specifically for this use and is not an industrial storage bin (that may not be completely watertight).

Remember that if you install your sump pump at a lower elevation than your basement, you will need to install a check valve to prevent water from flowing back into the pump.

Step #4: Secure the sump pump in place.

Once the sump pump is connected to the discharge pipe, secure it in place with a brace. Make sure that you add a little slack on either side of where you attached it to ensure there’s enough room for everything to move if it gets wet.

Step #5: Install the check valve.

If you want to prevent the water from flowing back into the sump pump, you’ll need to install a check valve before connecting the discharge pipe. This allows fluid or air to flow in one direction (from the sump through the discharge pipe).

Step #6: Connect the discharge pipe to the storm sewer system.

install sump pump check valve

Attach your pump’s discharge pipe to either an exterior wall or a storm sewer system. You can connect it directly to an exterior wall, but if you do so in the winter, make sure you put something inside it like foam insulation. This will prevent freezing, leaks, and damages.

Step #7: Test your sump pump to ensure it works properly.

Before you seal up your watertight container or sump pit, test your sump pump to ensure that it’s working correctly. To do this, add about five gallons of water into the pit and see if it can successfully remove all of the water within a few seconds.

If it cannot, check to ensure there are no leaks or issues with your pump, or adjust the float if necessary.

Step #8: Seal up the sump pump pit.

seal sump pump lid

Once you’ve successfully tested your sump pump, seal up the sump pump pit with concrete or a stable lid. After doing this, make sure that no water can enter the pit through any cracks. If it does, you’ll need to seal them up or add a grate so that the water doesn’t build up and damage the pump.

Step #10: Clean up the excess water in the pit.

Once you have sealed off the sump pump pit, wait for it to dry out and clean up any excess water that may be there from digging or cleaning. Once the area is arid, add a layer of gravel if needed so that you can safely walk on top of it without damaging your tools or watertight container.

Tips in Maintaining Your Sump Pump

After you install your sump pump, you can take a few steps to ensure that it runs properly and doesn’t have issues.

Tip #1: Keep the area around the sump pump clear.

You should keep your sump pump’s area clear of debris and items that may cause damage if they fall into your pit. This is because if something does get stuck in there, your sump pump will stop working properly. This can cause your basement to flood, so it’s essential to take the necessary measures beforehand.

Tip #2: Keep an eye on the discharge pipe.

If you have a check valve installed, you should regularly inspect the discharge pipe for any damage. This is because if it’s damaged, the check valve won’t work properly, and you’ll have issues with your sump pump in the future.

Tip #3: Test the sump pump throughout the year.

Another critical factor in maintaining your sump pump is testing it regularly through all seasons of the year. Since water levels change throughout the year, it’s essential to make sure that your sump pump is still able to handle whatever water levels are in your local area.

Tip #4: Make sure your sump pump is accessible.

Finally, you should make sure that it’s easy to access and use your sump pump at all times to be maintained and fixed if something goes wrong with it. If it’s located in a hard-to-reach location and isn’t accessible, then you could have issues with your pump in the future.


Sump pumps are an essential safeguard against wet basements and foundation damage. Following these steps will give you an idea of how to install a sump pump and what you’ll need to do to get it up and running.

If you live in the Lower Mainland and don’t want to install a sump pump yourself or are unsure about doing it, you can contact us for more information. With our expert team at Your Guy Plumbing, we can do it for you and ensure that your basement is safe from any water damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a sump pump cost?

The average price of a sump pump unit is between $200 and $600. The cost of a sump pump installation can vary between $1,000 and $3,000 for labor and materials.

What is a sump pump installation service?

A sump pump installation service is when a company comes to your home and installs a sump pump for you within 24 hours. If you need sump pump installation or repair services, make sure to contact us as we provide services for the entire Lower Mainland and Greater Vancouver area.


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