Basement flooding is an unfortunate reality for many homeowners, and it can cause extensive damage that can be very expensive to repair. For homes with basements that are prone to moisture or flooding, correcting the source of the moisture in the home is considered the best approach, but it is often very costly and time-consuming. If fixing the source of the moisture is not a realistic option, homeowners should consider installing a sump pump as an effective stopgap.
These pumps are based on a very simple premise, but they can be highly effective. They collect flood water and pump it outside the home, where it can safely go into the ground.
Installing a sump pump is not very complicated and is a task that most plumbers can carry out. However, if you are particularly handy, you may be able to install it yourself. Here is a look at the steps involved.
Gather The Materials
Before you can begin your DIY sump pump installation, gather the tools and materials you will need. These include the sump pump, PVC pipe or flexible discharge hose, a sledgehammer, a check valve, concrete mix, gravel, a paving stone, filter fabric, an electric drill, and weatherproof caulking.
If you are experienced with home projects, you may be able to complete the project in just a day. However, keep in mind that it will take extra time for the concrete that you pour around the pump to fully cure. Therefore, you will want to choose a day when the weather forecast shows several days of clear weather. You should also choose a day when the ground is already relatively dry for this task.
First, you need to find the correct location to install the sump pump and prepare it. This will ideally be the lowest point in your basement, which is where you will first start to notice moisture accumulating. Then, dig a hole that is wide and deep enough to accommodate your sump pump, keeping in mind that its top edge should sit flush with the floor. If your basement floor is made of concrete, a sledgehammer or jackhammer will be needed for digging.
Most sump pumps have weep holes that allow water to enter them from the sides as well as from underneath. If your model lacks these, you will need to drill some yourself. Then, wrap filter fabric around the outside of the basin to stop sludge and silt from entering and clogging it.
Next, spread two or three inches of gravel across the bottom of the hole and then cover it with a paver to give your sump pump a stable platform. Position the sump pump in the hole and backfill around its perimeter using excavated dirt. Try to gently push the pump and ensure it does not wobble.
Check The Float Valve
Next, you should double-check that the float valve is capable of moving up and down freely as this is what will turn the pump on when the water level rises. Move the float valve up and down with your hand to ensure nothing is preventing it from moving freely.
Run A Pipe To The Valve
You will need to run a span of PVC pipe or a flexible discharge hose from the check valve to the exterior of your home to allow water to drain away from the sump.
Make a hole at the place in the wall where you plan to run the pipe to your home’s exterior that is large enough to accommodate the hose or pipe. After running the pipe through this hole, be sure to caulk around it to fill in any gaps.
Test The Pump
Now, it is time to plug the pump in and test it out. Add water to the basin, filling it nearly all the way to the top. You should see the float rise and turn the pump on, and water should pump out of it to the outside of your home. After ensuring there are no leaks, you can place the lid on the basin.
Finish The Area With Concrete
Finally, you should cover the hole that surrounds your pump using concrete. Spread a small batch of freshly mixed concrete around the hole, covering everything except the lid of your sump pump.
Call the Professionals
You should only install a sump pump if you have advanced home improvement skills. If it is not installed correctly, your basement and home could end up flooding, leading to extensive damage and expensive repairs. Although hiring a professional might cost more than doing it on your own, it will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing it has been installed correctly and will work properly when you need it most.
Contact The Sump Pump Experts At O’Connor Plumbing
At O’Connor Plumbing, we help to protect your home from moisture and flooding with our sump pump services, which encompass everything from installation to testing and repairs. Call us today at (833) 744-4644 to discuss your concerns or set up an appointment online.