One of the joys of being a hands-on homeowner is maintaining your household in your own time while cutting on costs.
You might think installing a replacement primary sump pump is a challenge. Still, it is one of the most do-able tasks almost any homeowner could accomplish.
With just a few handy tools, and you’ll have your replacement pump working within an hour.
Table of Contents
Your home equipment and appliances came in with a user manual for a reason. While many people choose to ignore these sheets of paper, you must familiarize yourself with the different parts you’ll be encountering.
The manual will also provide useful information on the type of pump you have. This will give you an idea of the accessories you’ll need to prepare as well as the steps you need to anticipate.
It is also essential to familiarize yourself with the outlet: how far it is from you, and how high it is from the ground. Remember to use a dedicated circuit and never use an extension cord during this process.
Do not remove tags. Also, never let the pump run dry.
These simple tools can easily be found in your local hardware store, if not already in your toolbox:
* Drill with 3/16″ bit
* 1.5″ Schedule 40 PVC pipe (10 ft.)
* Primer & PVC cement
* Check valve
* Adjustable pliers
* Rubber boot
* Adjustable Pipe Wrench
* Zip ties
* Gloves and Rags or towels
Remove the Old Pump
Before beginning the process:
1. Remember to unplug the old pump from the electric outlet first.
2. Detach the check valve and allow the water to drain out.
3. Remove the old pump and quickly put the bucket in place to catch any remaining drainage
4. Clean out all the grime and debris from the pit and the pump.
Remember that the pit should have a stable and level bottom for the new pump to have a solid base. Bricks or concrete are good options for the base.
Avoid placing your pump directly on soil or gravel, as it will definitely result in jamming and wear on the impeller.
Step-by-step Guide to Installing a Sump Pump
You are now about to start the most important part of the task, replacing the old sump pump.
1. Attachment of the Check Valve to the Discharge Pipe.
Check valves are available as glue-ins, which are very convenient.
If unavailable, you can get the standard check-valve. You will just need an additional rubber coupling and a screwdriver to complete the process.
When using a glue-in check valve, remember to use a primer on the interior of the fitting and the exterior of the discharge pipe. This will allow for a tougher bond between the two materials.
Slide the coupling over the piping, then attach the fitting to the pipe. Twist the fitting to securely lock it into place. Attach the check valve onto the coupling.
To secure the materials, make sure that you use PVC cement inside the fitting when attaching it to the discharge pipe.
2. Bring Out the Tape Measure
The pit should have a diameter of at least 14 inches to 18 inches (recommended size). This will ensure that the float switch will not be in contact with the pit, the pump, or the piping.
An improperly sized pit will not activate your pump.
To accurately measure the pit, measure its depth from the base until the opening. It should be more than 22 inches deep.
Next, take the measurement from the bottom of the check valve up until the pit’s base.
Then, measure the height from the ground up until the center of the discharge pipe threading.
3. Attachment of Male-Threaded Adapter to PVC pipe
Use a little bit of primer before adding glue to the fitting and the edge of the pipe.
Slide on the fitting and twist to secure. Thread this side into the pump using a wrench to tighten.
Be careful not to overtighten. This will cause the fighting to crack.
4. Test the Parts
Before replacing the parts, ensure that both the pump and float are in working condition.
To complete the initial test, insert the pump plug into the float plug. The float plug will control if the pump should turn on and off.
Then plug the float plug into the outlet.
To check if the parts are working, test the float by flipping it over a few times, and let the pump run for a few seconds only to see if it activates. The pump should never run dry.
If the pump is working, switch off the float.
5. Drill the Weep Hole
This step is critical to prevent air-lock in the pipe. This will result in your pump running dry.
To get started, lean the pump at an angle.
This will make it easier to drill the hole. Locate the adapter of the pipe and measure approximately 2 finger-widths above it. This is where you should drill the weep hole.
Use a drill with a 3/16″ bit. Drill down first, then at about a 45-degree angle. This will create a downward-facing weep hole for efficient water drainage.
6. Cut the PVC Pipe
To make this step a little easier, you can pre-cut a PVC pipe a few inches longer than the measurement you got in Step 2.
Make the final measurements to ensure that the discharge pipe will fit properly under the check valve. Using a hacksaw will make adjustments easier after the pump has been lowered into the pit.
Cut the pipe on a raised surface, such as a milk crate or a table.
Make sure to deburr the frayed edges of the pipe using a utility knife. This is to prevent water from leaking through the irregular surface.
7. Drop the Pump Into the Pit
After the final adjustments have been made, get ready to drop the pump and load it into the pit. Make sure to add a few rags near the pit to catch overflowing water.
8. Attach the Discharge Pipe to the Check Valve
Use primer and glue to securely attach the adapter for the bottom of the check valve to the top discharge pipe. Slide the coupling down the pipe, then secure over the adapter with a few twists until hand-tight.
Make sure not to overtighten. Otherwise, the materials may crack.
9. Test the System
Make sure that everything has been securely tightened and the float can move freely around the pit. After these final checks, you may now plug in the float plug with the pump plug to a power source.
You may add more water to the pit to fill up the pit. Make sure that water can flow through the check valve and that the check closes completely when the system is switched off.
10. Secure the System
Once everything is working well, use zip ties to secure the pump and float electrical cords separately to the discharge pipe. Make sure that these cords do not make any contact at all.
Also, make sure that you have secured the wirings ways below the power outlet. This will prevent water from entering the outlet in case of water leaks.
You have now successfully installed your home’s pump system! Before rewarding yourself with a cold beer, consider these additional steps that will make it easier for you to monitor the system you just installed:
Sump Pump Alarm
These alarms notify you when problems with the pump system arise, such as when the water is too high or when the system cannot pump water fast enough.
A very convenient phone application is a smart sump pump alarm, which automatically sends notifications to your phone in case of issues.
A back-up battery-operated sump pump provides extra efficiency when it cannot catch up with pumping requirements.
Households with flooding issues should seriously consider installing a combination system that uses a primary pump and a back-up pump.