Sump Pump Output & Discharge Mistakes to Avoid

Construction & Contractors Articles

If your basement is always wet, then you should make sure that you deal with the water. Wet basements can lead to the deterioration of your foundation, the growth of mold in the space, and the creation of a humid space that can damage your heating system and water heater.

One of the easiest ways to get rid of water is to install a sump pump. You do have many options when it comes to sump pumps and you should do your best to make sure that the device outputs the water correctly. This means avoiding certain discharge installation mistakes like the following. 

Mistake: Using a Short Discharge Pipe 

Your output pipe will need to travel from the sump pit, through your exterior wall, and into a safe area of your lawn. When choosing the discharge pipe, you should look at the size of the discharge opening on the sump pump itself. This will help you to figure out the diameter of the pipe. The basic height of the pipe will need to be considered as well. This is referred to as head height and the pump should list the head height in the manual or on the label attached to the pump itself. The head height depends on the strength of the sump pump and its horsepower. The more horsepower, the greater the head height and the more force that is exerted against the water in the sump pit. 

While head height can vary, most general use and medium sized pumps will have a height of 10 feet. In other words, water can be forced up 10 feet from the pit and thus the outlet pipe should be a maximum of 10 feet high before it travels outside the home. 

While it is pretty clean how high the outlet pipe should be, you may make the mistake of using a short discharge pipe outside the home, since this is not so clear. The discharge pipe should attach directly to the outlet opening created through the exterior wall of your home. The pipe should be a corrugated polyethylene hose. The length of the hose can vary, but it should be between about 15 and 25 feet. 

While the long discharge pipe may not look aesthetically appealing, a short hose will allow water to seep into the earth close to the foundation. The fluid will then seep back into the basement. This creates a cycle of discharge and reentry, where water is never really forced out of the basement. Longer hoses prevent this.

Mistake: Forgetting the Check Valve

If you figure out the head height of the outlet pipe, then you may be tempted to purchase a PVC pipe that matches this height exactly. However, this is not something that you want to do. You want to buy two separate pipes instead in equal lengths. For example, purchase two five foot sections of pipe to match the 10 foot head height of your sump pump. You should also purchase a check valve to sit in between the two pipes.

A check valve is an important feature that allows water to move up and away from the sump pit, but prevents fluid from traveling back down into the pit once the pump turns off. This allows for one-way movement so your sump pump does not continually try to cycle on to get rid of the water that flows back down into the pit.

Check valves are made to fit in the middle of the sump pump discharge pipe. The ends of the valve can be slipped over the ends of the pipes and hose clamps can then be tightened to secure the valve in place. 

To learn more about avoiding these and other mistakes, contact companies like Rite-Way Waterproofing.


2 May 2017

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