The sump pit is basically a trench in your home that houses the sump pump. This pump is designed to remove water in a flooding situation, effectively preventing the house from becoming flooded.
That’s why if you’re considering any type of dewatering pumps, you need to make sure you get the very best quality pump and have it serviced regularly. This of one of those appliances that should be rarely used but, when needed, you don’t want it to fail!
The good news is that it’s surprisingly easy to install your own sump pump, but, it is essential that you get the sump pit water level right.
Locating The Sump Pump
The sump pump sits in the sump pit which is at the lowest point of your home. Choose a suitable spot in your basement, either a corner that the water runs towards or your preferred spot.
You’ll need to have power to the area in order to run the pump and you’ll need to have access to outside, the water being pumped out of your home needs to go somewhere. That somewhere should not be where it can simply come back into your home.
Once you’ve created the pit you can secure your pump into position. You’ll now need to test it and make sure the water level is right.
Don’t forget that the best pumps for these situations are those that can work effectively when submerged. A pump that is designed to remove flood water should still be able to work if it is covered with water. If it can’t then you may find a flash flood that causes a lot more issues than it needs to.
Setting The Right Water Level
Setting the water level is important, it needs to be low enough that the pup can rest between surges of water, this will help to prevent the pump from burning out earlier than It should.
The first thing to note is that all of the pump should be inside the sump pit, drainage points from around the house can be fed into the top of the sump pit or you can simply rely on gravity pulling unwanted water to the right spot.
The exit pipe should come out of the top of the pump and head out of the house. This can be high in the wall of the sump pit or even out the top of the sump and across the ground. But, the most important thing is that the water level doesn’t reach the exit part of the pump.
In fact, you’ll need to set the water level in your pit according to the float valve. The float valve is what tells the pump to come on. In order for it to work properly, you’ll need to have water at the bottom of your pit. However, set the water too high and the pump will not have time to pump excess water out before it seeps into your home.
The water in your sump pit needs to be no more than 2-3 inches, this is enough to keep your pump happy and make sure it works properly when you need it to.
Equally, the pump should start to work when the water level is still 6-7 inches below the level of your floor. This means the sump pit should be approximately 10 inches deep. Of course, it can be deeper than this, it will provide a greater cushion in case of an issue. But, you must be able to access the pump easily for maintenance.
Keeping the water at least 6 inches below the floor surface means you have a safety cushion if you do have a flash flood. But, it also ensures the water does not wick upwards, giving you a damp floor.
But, you do need to test it regularly to ensure it works, you can do this by pouring a bucket of water into your sump pit.
Keeping Air Out
This is the real balancing act. The inlet pipe of your pump should be in the water with the float set to start the pump when the water rises to 7 inches below the floor level. This prevents the pump from sucking in air which is not good for it.
If you don’t have water in your pit all the time then it is essential that the inlet pipe is fully submerged before the float tells the pump to start working.