Outlet in Basement for Sump Pump & Grounding of Outlet


Old 03-10-12, 07:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
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Outlet in Basement for Sump Pump & Grounding of Outlet

Two questions:
So I don't get taken for a ride by a contractor...

What amp outlet do I need in the basement for my sump pump installation project?

How much (ballpark) should it cost?

Should there be a giant overhaul of my electrical system to accomodate the extra outlet in the basement?

Also, I need an outlet on the first floor grounded. How much should that cost? Is that a gigantic task?

I am also worried that since I have an older house, going into the electrical system will open pandora's box of costly upgrades and rewiring especially to marry new electrical work with the existing infastructure. How worried should I be?
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Old 03-10-12, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
Ideally, assuming a run-of-the-mill pump, I would want a 20A circuit for the primary pump. Possibly a separate 20A circuit for the backup pump. But that might depend on the controller configuration. In any case the circuit should be sized based on the pump and controller manufacturer's specs and nameplate info.

Also some codes (I'm not sure about NEC) may allow you to use a non-GFCI circuit, and I would do that if allowed.

Any modifications would be dependent on your current load center configuration, and what type of wiring and raceways you have or are required. (For example some jurisdictions might require metal raceway for a circuit like this.)

If you want some opinions, post clear, well-lit photos of your load center (service panel) and the area around it and estimate the distance between it and the pump location.

But everything in electrical work is dependent on three things: 1) Code requirements, 2) Customer and equipment requirements, and 3) Site conditions. You may get some ballparks online, but usually a firm bid requires a site visit.
Old 03-10-12, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,128
Having a sump pump on a dedicated circuit is a very good investment. By doing that, you do not run into the situation where something elsewhere kicks out the sump pump and leaves you with a flooded basement requiring a new furnace after storm. - Just do it right, since it is better in the end. Unfortunately, you do not always know what was done earlier and cannot see behind the walls.

I bought an older townhouse/quad-home that had been owned by a realtor and her father was an amateur DIYer. He wired the walk-out level area by coming off the 20A GFI in the kitchen above. We had a ground lightning strike about 300 feet away and the TV in the walk-out level went out and started to smoke. - No big deal because I wanted an excuse to replace it. It turned out that the cable system was not properly grounded and the surge blew the TV, that was plugged into a daisy-chain that led back to the kitchen GFCIs and popped them. The only clue to lead us to the cause and sequence was the fact that the next day, the kitchen outlets were dead. - The bottom line is to isolate as much as possible, so you can determine the conditions, reliability and what is going on.

Old 03-10-12, 10:19 AM
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Location: Maryland
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You should be able to install a 120 volt 15 or 20 amp circuit for the sump pump. GFI protection is now required under the latest electrical codes.

As far as cost it is anyone's guess. Can you get breakers for the panel? How accessible is the panel? As others said an on-site estimate is best.

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