≡ Menu

Sump Pump Installation: What You Need To Know!

If you have a basement and live in an area with either high water tables or with increased chances of flooding, it is likely you already have a sump pump.  And if you don’t there are many benefits for getting one.

This article will provide an overview of sump pump installation, so that you get a feel for whether you want to make it a DIY project or hire a specialist.

The Benefits of Sump Pump Installation

  1. First and foremost is simply keeping you basement dry.  A dry basement means no mild. No mold means less illnesses that accompany a moldy living environment.
  2. Second, having a sump pump will give you more living space.  Without the fear of water in the basement you can furnish it and make it livable.  Having more square-footage of living space also increases your home’s value.
  3. Third, you can sleep while on vacation.  With systems that have backups and alarms, you won’t have to be worrying about your home when you find out a huge storm is approaching your home while you are laying on the beach somewhere.

Choosing the pump

sumppumpsystemHere are your options:

  • submersible
  • pedestal
  • water-powered
  • battery backup
  • ejector pump

The best is typically a submersible sump pump as the primary and either a 12 volt battery-powered backup or a water-powered backup.  The water-powered pump uses the water pressure of the home.  You need to check if your house has enough for that pump.

The ultimate option would be to get a combination sump pump system.  This would be a unified system of both primary and backup pumps.  This is not only ideal for the sake of compatibility, but also because the warranty could cover both pumps together as a unit.

Basement or Outdoor Sump Pump?

It could be that you just need to move water in one area of your yard away from your home to keep the basement dry.  You will then have to lay cable to that location in order to supply electricity to it.  Keep also in mind that you may also just need to adjust you gutter system to discharge the rainwater away from you home more effectively.  This could even eliminate your need for a sump pump.

Plumbing Codes

The discharged water will likely go into the local sewage treatment system.  There are specific requirements that your city has about what goes into them.  You will need to contact a plumber to figure that out.  Asking a neighbour with a sump pump may also be beneficial.

Power Source

A submersible or pedestal sump pump needs a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), which is a special outlet. You need to install the pump at the lowest part of the basement, so there must be one of these nearby. Otherwise an electrician needs to install it.

The water-powered sump pump just needs a minimum of 100 psi to provide a powerful-enough discharge of water.  You will similarly need a plumber to help you position the pipes near the sump basin.

Sump Pump Basin

sumppumplinerAlso known as a liner, this plastic tub needs to have a hole deep and wide enough in the basement floor to fit.  This is no easy task because you have to break through the concrete floor with a jack hammer and then dig out the dirt or gravel underneath you home.  You also need to worry about any water lines running under the house.  One wrong move and you could bust a pipe and really get your cellar damp.

Discharge of the unwanted water

You will naturally need PVC pipes but also what is called a check valve which doesn’t allow the water to go back into the pump.  You will also need a heavy-duty drill to break through the wall of your home so that the pipe can have a way out.


Alarms dont’ have to be apart of the pump.  There are many cheep alarms for as low as $15  that run on battery that can be placed in the sump basin.  As soon as the water levels reach the sensor the alarm sounds much like a smoke detector. Wireless models are more expensive, but they allow you to have the alarm output placed upstairs to ensure audibility.

Cost of Installation

It is fair to say that you need at least $1000 to do all of this on your own and a ton of time.  This is no weekend project unless you have adequate man power (just think of the digging)  But if you hire a sump pump installation professional, you are looking at about $2000-$5000.

Sounds like a lot, but remember what you are getting out of it. A more valuable home, extra living space, and fewer places for bacteria to have a home.

Hope this helps you to make further considerations in you sump pump installation.