Sump Pump Installation Project

Within this account are processes involved in all sump pump installations.

Within this account are processes involved in all sump pump installations. The photographs displayed with in this article are of a sump pump installation project in Portsmouth, RI. The home was just a year old. It was built with the idea of using a french drain system and sump pump. However, the building plans did not reveal such a system. Therefore, the builder had to fill the sump pit in and cover it with concrete.

Though the sump pit was destroyed by burying it in concrete, the builder did add a drain tile. Installed with the sump pit was a circuit of 4″ drainage tubing as a French drain. The idea was to cover the sump pit, get the final inspection on the home in order for the family to move in and finish the sump pump system at a later time. When the time was to come, the french drain would be in place.

The misfortune for the new home owner was the French Drain System was unable to lead the ground water away from the foundation to a sump pit and be ejected, outside. In fact, this home owner was not aware of the sump pump situation. He was not aware of the home being built with a french drain. Therefore, the water surfaced and flooded the basement 6 times. He confronted the builder and then was able to discover there had been a drain tile installed under the slab in his basement.

For this home, the basement took on water a half dozen times in a six month period. Without the pump and discharge lines in place, the ground water had no where to go but up, into the finished living space of the basement. The home owner was finally at a point where he could unearth the pit and install a sump pump and discharge lines.

Beginning the effort, the sump pit had to be restored. Therefore, this installation was as if we began from nothing. This is step one in sump pump installation. Excavate the sump pit. Unearthing this existing pit was not an easy task. The builder had completely filled the pit with concrete and a few granite rocks. (See the following photo). Rock, concrete and damaged sump pit courtesy of Polte Homes.

After unearthing the pit, the condition may have been manageable with some modifications for a cover. However, the home owner made the smart choice and chose to have a new pit installed.

Once the damaged sump pit had been removed, the next step is to level the ground and set the replacement sump pit. This is difficult when the floor is already in place. The reason being, beneath the floor and around the old sump pit, there is a gravel sub-straight. When the damaged pit was removed, the gravel collapsed and continues to fall into the void as the ground is being prepared for the new sump pit.

Since the final inspection on the house did not expect to see discharge lines for a sump pump, the wall had to be penetrated to pass an 1 1/2″ pvc discharge line to the outside. This line was run under the porch and tied into the underground rain leader closest to the porch.

After leveling the sump pit, filling the void around it and ensuring the discharge line was successfully passing through to the outside, the pump itself was prepared for installation.

Finally, a vinyl cement mix was used to seal the surface around the sump pit. The home owner’s intent is to build a closet around the pit and provide a 120 volt, 15amp electrical outlet in the closet for the pump. (One final note on the electrical requirements for a sump pump: Be sure the electrical outlet is ground fault circuit interrupted protected) Discussion on the importance of sump pumps, click here.

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