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An In-Depth Sump Pump Installation Video For You

IntroductionHello and we’d like to welcome you to theplumbinginfo.com. We thought that a re-cap should accompany our video so you could follow along at home or in your office.

All of our upcoming videos will have a printable recap with the tools and materials used so you can literally print it and take it to your local plumbing wholesaler or home center to get what you need.

If there are any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to leave it in our comments section or you can reach us @ theplumbinginfo@gmail.com We will attempt to address each issue as quickly as possible.

Just as a side note Jim the Plumber featured in the video is the actual real life plumber in our Stump the Plumber section. We hope you find the video informative and please stayed tuned because we have many more to come.


  • Sawzall or reciprocating saw
  • 2ft Level or Torpedo Level
  • Pipe Wrenches (Multiple Sizes) – You may need these and you may not. It really depends on the piping/fitting material. If PVC is being used as in the video channel locks are probably sufficient to tighten any threaded fittings that need tightening. The only reason you would need pipe wrenches is if more torque was needed to tighten or loosen cast iron, cooper, or steel fittings.
  • Tape Measure or Folding Stick Ruler
  • Hack Saw – If you don’t have a sawzall a hack saw/PVC saw works fine. Be careful when using a hacksaw, because of the narrow blade you run the risk of the saw cutting the piping on an angle.
  • Channel Locks – Channel Lock is a brand name but it is like Kleenex, that’s what most tradesmen would call them and that trickles down to the home centers as well.
  • Flat Head Screw Driver or Nut Driver – Most people have a flat head screw driver or a multiple head screw driver, the plumbing professional would use a nut driver to tighten hose clamps or the clamps on the check valve to save time. It’s a multi-head screw driver with a ratchet mechanism and some have a shield that fits around the screw head or nut so the tool doesn’t slip off.
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Safety Goggles or Glasses – We can’t reiterate how important it is to have safety glasses. While doing this project you are cutting PVC with a motorized saw or sawing with a hack saw, using dangerous chemicals in the PVC primer and cement and handling sump pit water. We don’t think it takes a PHD in chemistry or medicine to figure out a sliver of PVC or a splash of PVC primer in the eye can potentially cause severe irritation or sight loss. The sump pit water is usually fairly harmless but it is leaching from the ground and sitting in a pit.
  • Latex Gloves – Please see above, just put gloves on.


  • PVC Pipe – Most sump pumps are 1 1/2″ PVC, most basements have between  8ft and 10ft ceilings, sump pit depth varies. If you have 15ft of PVC pipe you should have plenty.
  • PVC Male Adapter – If it’s an 1 1/2″ pump you’ll need an 1 1/2″ fitting.
  • PVC Check Valve – As Jim pointed out check valves come in different shapes and sizes. We like the quite check valves, they have a small air chamber built inside to cushion the valve when it closes.


    1. Unplug the Pump – Electricity, water and saws don’t mix well.
    2. Loosen the Check Valve (Bottom Only) – The pump, pumps the water up and out but there is still a significant amount of water that is left in the discharge piping which causes the check valve to close so that water doesn’t enter back into the pit. The top half of the check valve is holding that water back. If you loosen the top of the check the water held back will evacuate and give you a bath. You’ve been warned.
    3. Remove Rubber Coupling – If you don’t remove the coupling you won’t be able to get the cover over it.
    4. Remove the Sump Pit Cover
    5. Remove Pump from Pit – When removing the pump from the pit grab the pump and not the piping if possible. You run the risk of breaking the piping or fitting. If a sump pump breaks off at the fitting or piping and lands on your foot or hits your shin you’ll know why we suggest doing it this way.
    6. Back Pipe and Fitting out of Pump Body – Use your channel locks or pipe wrench to back the pipe and fitting out of the pump. Put your foot on the pump to keep it from turning while you are trying to loosen.
    7. Measure for Discharge Piping – This is a simple way to measure for the discharge piping without doing a few relatively complicated measurements. Measure from the bottom of the pit to the check valve. You don’t have to be too accurate because you are measuring from the bottom of the pit so you’ll be long
    8. Cut PVC Piping – Have a clear space to cut the PVC using the sawzall or hack saw. Put on you safety glasses/goggles. Be sure cut the PVC
    9. Clean PVC Burrs Off the Inside of Pipe – When you cut PVC there will always be burrs on the inside of the pipe that need to be removed. You don’t want any PVC burrs getting caught in the check valve causing it to malfunction. Just run you (gloved) finger on the inside of the pipe and the burrs are easily removed.
    10. Glue PVC Adapter to Pipe – Use PVC primer on both the fitting and piping. Quite a few municipalities around the country require that plumbers use purple primer. You can see the primer at the joint as evidence of application. We’ve seen quite a few blogs where people say they’ve cleaned the pipe and fittings and they didn’t need primer. Primer cleans and softens the PVC preparing it for a proper seal. It takes about 2 seconds to apply so it’s a silly step to exclude from the job. OK so you’ve applied the primer now apply the glue in the same manner and insert the pipe into the fitting turning the fitting slightly as you go, this spreads the cement around the fitting evenly to ensure good fusion. Hold the fitting in place for a 10 seconds or so and you’re done. Please note, the larger the pipe size the longer you have to hold the fitting and piping together.
    11. Drill Weep Hole –  It is important to drill a sum pump weep hole facing down @ 4:00 in the discharge piping before the check valve. HINT: drill the hole before the discharge piping leaves the sump pit. The water that comes out of the hole will drain back into the pit and more importantly because it is facing down won’t shoot all over the basement or crawl. The sump pump weep hole is needed to allow water back in to the piping below the check valve to “prime the pump”. Think of putting your thumb on top of a straw and the straw is filled with air. The discharge piping is the straw and the check valve is the thumb. If water is not allowed back in to the straw (pipe) the pump runs continuously against air hence becoming air bound.
    12. Install Pipe and Fitting into Pump Body –  again put your foot on the pump body to steady the pump. It is super important to be careful while threading the PVC adapter into the pump body. If the outlet of the pump is metal and the PVC fitting gets cross threaded you’ll damage the threads. Tighten but don’t force it you can shear off the threads by tightening too much.
    13. Set Pump into Pit – Again pick pump up by the body and place in pit.
    14. Final Measure for Discharge Piping – put the discharge piping next to the check valve, make a mark right on the pipe under the bottom of the check valve and make your cut.
    15. Make Sure Float is Free – Just make sure the float isn’t hung up on anything in the pit.
    16. Thread Electrical Cord Through Sump Cover Hole with Elongated Slot– do this first
    17. Place Sump Cover Over Discharge Piping
    18. Put Rubber Coupling On – Make sure the coupling is on the pipe and check evenly.
    19. Tighten Hose Clamps
    20. Plug in Sump Pump
    21. Make Sure there are No Leaks – Upon plugging in the pump it will cycle automatically and may continue for awhile until the water is through being evacuated from the drain tile.

We hope the video was helpful to you and please come back and visit us at theplubminginfo.com

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