Improving my sump pump set up

Old 04-02-24, 08:18 AM
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Improving my sump pump set up

Hi, All. I have a house in a high water-table area near CT shoreline. In the past 6 years, I haven't needed my sump pump once -- that streak ended sometime this past February/early March thanks to the insane rainstorms we've had.

The previous owner installed the sump pump -- it looks like a 5gallon bucket sitting just below the surface of the concrete floor. The basin never had a lid -- i always just kept a piece of wood over the top with a U cutout. The plumbing is a bit wonky -- lots of 90 degree turns, i think it used to navigate around a boiler that has since been relocated.

Two big issues -- one, the pump and pvc aren't fastened down well. Ive noticed sometimes that when the pump cycles, it jumps inside the basin and can pin the float sensor against the wall and in the "off" position. Second would be a need for a lid.

So I plan to simplify the plumbing such that it comes straight up from the pump, turns 90 degrees once and then exits the house in 3-4ft. Any tips for mounting the pipes or the pump? I will also replace the check valve since current one has a small leak. Anything particular with positioning the check valve (horizontal or vertical -- near pump?)

Any tips for a lid? I always assumed they should be tight to prevent moisture entering the basement. In the past, the basin was always bone dry but not so much now. Any tips for getting a lid for the 5 gallon pale? The concrete floor comes up to and just over the edge of the bucket so a standard pale lid will not snap on anymore.

If helpful, I can take some pictures this weekend.

Old 04-02-24, 08:50 AM
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Also. i am thinking about swapping out the float design for a switch like this electronic type....
any thoughts there?

Electronic pump switch


Last edited by PJmax; 04-02-24 at 02:14 PM. Reason: fixed link
Old 04-02-24, 09:00 AM
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We can't see the location so your on your own to figure out how to mount things. Sometimes you have to build a framework out from the wall, hanging from the ceiling or attached to the floor.

Generally you want the check valve near the pump and above the weep hole if you have on. They generally work best if mounted in a vertical section of pipe.

I have found traditional float switches to work fine if installed properly. Once you attach your piping so the pump doesn't jump around you may find that the float switch problem goes away. But, you can use one of the electronic level sensors to turn the pump on and off if you want. Just keep in mind that complexity is often the enemy of reliability and the electronics in a electronic switch can be their own failure point.
Old 04-02-24, 02:09 PM
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I've never had a float problem but if you use the electronic type.....
you need to fasten the float in the "pump on" position.
You cannot use both.
Old 04-02-24, 04:53 PM
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I live in SE CT and my sump pump has run every day since late December. Some days it is cycling every 30 or 40 seconds. Right now it's every couple of minutes but it just started raining again. We have lived here for nearly 40 years and the false water table has never been this high for so long.

With that said my sump is a perforated 20 gallon container. The check valve is attached directly to the pump discharge port. The drain is hard piped and it exits the basement just a couple of feet above the sump. I have a temp drain pipe leading the water 50' from the foundation. My biggest problem is that the pump is sitting on a 4" block and I want to lower it but right now I'm afraid to disconnect the pump to lower it with the water coming in so fast. I also have a back up pump because as things are now it this pump k=fails I think my basement would flood in minutes. By the way, I live on the top of a hill.

I would suggest that you install a larger sump basin and re pipe the discharge to get the water as far away from the house as possible .
Old 04-14-24, 10:25 AM
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Double check outside to be sure that water is not pooling up against the foundation. That needs to be corrected. Perhaps a gutter or downspout has broken.

Also you should not have a depression along the foundation filled with gravel or mulch. This will hold a "hidden moat" that will take its time soaking down to your basement floor level.

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