How to Prepare Your Basement for a Sump Pump

How to Prepare Your Basement for a Sump Pump


Basement sump pump installation

If you have an older home that was built without a very good basement waterproofing system, then a great way to eliminate the whole wet basement problem or at least reduce it, is with sump pump installation. There’s always the option of well digging or well drilling services but if you are not a plot of land that would support a well then you’d have to look for other options. That’s where the sump pump comes in. For a job as big as this, with the water tanks and all the other things that have to be included, you probably want to hire a professional to take care of your basement sump pump installation. However it is possible to diagnose and determine whether or not a sump would work for you.

  1. Many times having water in your basement isn’t actually a problem with the basement but actually a problem with the outside drainage. Make sure that your gutters are clean, your downspouts are carrying the water far enough away from the house and that the soil around the slopes is also a few feet from the house. Take a look at these alternatives before you go tearing up your basement for the sump pump installation.

  2. Next, you’ll need to check if the foundation is concrete. A lot of the houses that were built in the last three decades were built on a foundation that has a certain amount of gravel. If you know who built the home then you may be able to just ask them but if not your neighbors may know because their homes will be the same. You don’t want to find this out once you’ve already broken through the floor.

  3. Find a good location for your sump pump installation. It should be near a wall because the sump pump needs to discharge outside of the basement. That line is only about 10 feet. The wall that you choose needs to be able to have a whole putting it in order to reach all the way outside. You should stay a minimum of eight inches away from the foundation wall so that you don’t hit any footings. Also ensure that you’re not cutting into any waterlines. Check building codes to find out where the line comes into your home.

  4. The last thing that you’ll need to do before you start any work is to trace the outline of the liner onto the floor. You should leave about a 4 inch gap around the liner to make sure that you can actually fit it in the hole. Once all of the above steps are complete then you can get to work.

  5. You’ll have to remove the concrete floor. And electric jackhammer will do that job. Try not to shred the concrete but cut them into manageable pieces so that you can remove them more easily. You can also use the jackhammer to pull up the pieces so that you can get rid of them. If the electric jackhammer working on it then you’ll need to get a sledgehammer and probably a chisel. You’ll have to keep on hammering and drilling until you can remove it all. This step is very important.

  6. Dig a hole about 12 inches deeper than the liner. Put some gravel at the bottom of the hole. Remember that as you dig this hole, it will be easier if it is dry. If you have a problem with water infiltration then you’ll need to figure out how to dry it out and keep it dry for long enough to get the sump in. You might then have to drill a few holes in the liner to help the pump start pumping.

  7. Once you have gravel at the bottom of the hole, you’ll need to put the liner in the hole and put gravel around the sides until it comes about 6 inches below the floor. On top of this you’ll need to pour about 6 inches of concrete that you have recently mixed up. Once the concrete has set then you can keep working.

This is just the preparation. You haven’t even installed the sump pump yet at this point. This is why a professional might just be your best bet!