How to Install a Sump Pump: A Beginner's Guide to Protect Your Basement

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If you live in an area with a high water table or are prone to heavy rainfall, installing a sump pump is an essential step in protecting your home from water damage. A sump pump is a device that helps remove excess water that accumulates in your basement or crawlspace.

Without a sump pump, the water can cause structural damage to your home, create a damp and musty environment, and even promote the growth of mold and mildew.

If you’re a beginner and want to know how to install a sump pump, this guide is for you. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of sump pumps, the tools and materials you’ll need, and the step-by-step process of installing a sump pump.

What Is A Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a device used to remove water that has accumulated in a sump basin, commonly found in basements or crawl spaces of buildings. It is designed to prevent flooding and water damage by actively pumping out water from the sump pit or basin to a suitable location, such as a storm drain or a well.

The sump pump typically consists of a motorized pump and a float switch. The pump is submerged in the sump pit, and as water accumulates in the pit, the float switch is triggered, activating the pump. The pump then pumps the water out of the pit through a discharge pipe or hose, diverting it away from the building’s foundation.

Types of Sump Pumps

Before we dive into the installation process, let’s first discuss the different types of sump pumps. There are two main types of sump pumps: pedestal and submersible.

Pedestal Sump Pumps

Pedestal sump pumps have a motor mounted on top of a pedestal, which sits outside of the sump pit. These types of sump pumps are typically less expensive and easier to access for maintenance, but they’re also louder and less powerful than submersible sump pumps.

Submersible Sump Pumps

Submersible sump pumps, on the other hand, are completely submerged in the sump pit. These pumps are typically more expensive and harder to access for maintenance, but they’re also quieter and more powerful than pedestal sump pumps.

When choosing between a pedestal and submersible sump pump, consider factors such as your budget, the size of your sump pit, and how often you’ll need to access the pump for maintenance.

Tools and Materials You'll Need

Now that you know the different types of sump pumps, let’s talk about the tools and materials you’ll need to install a sump pump.


  • Power drill
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pipe wrench
  • PVC saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Bucket
  • Shovel


  • Sump pump
  • Check valve
  • PVC pipes and fittings
  • Gravel
  • Sump pit liner
  • Concrete or mortar mix

Now that you have all the necessary tools and materials, let’s walk through the step-by-step process of installing a sump pump.

Step 1: Choose the Location
The first step in installing a sump pump is to choose the location for the sump pit. The sump pit should be located in the lowest point of your basement or crawlspace, where water tends to accumulate.

Step 2: Dig the Sump Pit
Using a shovel, dig a hole for the sump pit. The hole should be deep enough to accommodate the sump pit liner and leave at least 12 inches of space around the liner.

Step 3: Install the Sump Pit Liner
Place the sump pit liner in the hole and make sure it’s level. Surround the liner with gravel to help with drainage.

Step 4: Install the Sump Pump
Place the sump pump in the sump pit and attach the check valve to the pump’s discharge pipe.

Step 5: Install the PVC Pipes
Connect the PVC pipes to the check valve and extend them above ground level. The pipes should be sloped away from the sump pit to ensure proper drainage. Use PVC glue to secure the pipes and fittings together.

Step 6: Seal the Sump Pit
Mix concrete or mortar mix and use it to seal the sump pit around the liner. Make sure the lid of the sump pit fits securely on top.

Step 7: Test the Sump Pump
Fill the sump pit with water and turn on the sump pump. Make sure the water is being pumped out of the pit and away from your home. If everything looks good, congratulations! You have successfully installed a sump pump.

Pedestal Sump Pump
Submersible Sump Pump


  1. How often should I check my sump pump?
  • It’s recommended that you check your sump pump at least once a year to ensure it’s functioning properly.
  1. Can I install a sump pump myself?
  • Yes, you can install a sump pump yourself if you have the necessary tools and knowledge. However, if you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s always best to hire a professional.
  1. How long do sump pumps last?
  • The lifespan of a sump pump depends on factors such as usage, quality, and maintenance. On average, a sump pump can last between 5-10 years.


Installing a sump pump is a great way to protect your home from water damage. By following this beginner’s guide, you now have the knowledge and tools necessary to install a sump pump yourself.

Remember to choose the right type of sump pump, gather all necessary tools and materials, and follow the step-by-step process. With a functioning sump pump, you can enjoy a dry and healthy living space.

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