How To Install A Sump Pump

Hoping to add some more living space to your home by finishing your basement? Then you probably know it’s critical to install a sump pump first. It’s a great idea – even if you’ve never had a flooded basement! Get the facts with some of our tips below and discover the ins and outs of having a properly functioning sump pump.


Find the lowest point. Put the basin in the lowest part of your basement where the water typically collects, if possible. Your installer can use a laser level to find that spot. 

Check the circuit. Make sure the plug for the pump is connected to a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet in order to protect it against short circuiting and fire. 

Size it up. Don’t get too large, too small or too deep of a basin. The sump pump should only pump water that comes into your basement and at a steady rate rather than in short bursts. 

Consider the extras. French drains–a gutter that runs around the edge of your basement feeding into the sump basin—is a good addition to basements that have a lot of water weeping in from the foundation. 

Cover for cleanliness. Place a cover over your sump basin in order to keep it free of debris.

Aim smart. Make sure the discharge pipe directs water away from the foundation. 

Mind the gaps. Seal the hold around the pipe to keep out dirt, mice and other unwanted critters. 

Prevent overflow. Install a sewer backflow check valve if sewage has ever backed up through the floor drain. 

Stay proactive. Install a back-up battery so the sump pump will run even when the power goes out. Oh – and it’s worth a quick email or call to your American Family agent to see if your current homeowners policy covers flooding. If not – they can help make sure you’re protected!

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Related Topics: Home DIY