Owning a home is something to be proud of. You worked hard to become a homeowner, and you’re living the dream. Unfortunately, in addition to many benefits, the dream of being a homeowner also comes with many challenges. There’s a lot of upkeep that goes into keeping a home in good condition and protecting it from damage.

If you are unfamiliar with what a sump pump is and how to replace one, it’s time to find out! When there’s a problem with your sump pump, it can lead to basement flooding, which means knowing how to manage it is pretty important!

What Is a Sump Pump?

Before breaking out the old toolbox and monkeying around, let’s start by explaining what a sump pump is and why it is so important for your home.

A sump pump is a specialized pump that is located underneath your home at the lowest point in your basement. Its purpose is to keep the area underneath your home free of water as it naturally seeps into the ground and accumulates.

If that water is left unchecked, it can cause basement flooding. No one wants to wake up to find their basement half-submerged in water. That’s why keeping your sump pump running efficiently is so important—your basement will flood relatively quickly without it.

where is the sump pump located illustration

What You Will Need to Replace a Sump Pump

When it comes to replacing a sump pump, you have to have the right tools and supplies. It won’t do you any good to start working on your sump pump if you have to run back to the store to grab something. By the time you get back, the flooding could be even worse than it was before you left!

If you’re worried about your basement flooding, be sure to call a plumber right away. AJ Alberts would be happy to help and we have the expertise to keep your basement dry and free from water.

Here’s a list of things you will need to replace on your sump pump.

  • Hacksaw
  • Screwdriver
  • ABS Glue
  • 90-degree long elbow – 1
  • 45-degree elbow – 4
  • Teflon Tape
  • 1 1/2″ male threaded end – 1
  • 5′ 1-1/2″ ABS pipe

Once you have gathered all of the items from this list, you will be ready to proceed! Before getting ready to replace your sump pump, take a shop vac and vacuum up all of the water in your basement to provide a clear working area if you are dealing with some flooding.

NOTE: The longer that water sits, the worse damage you can sustain from mold to rotting wood beams. Cleaning it up within the first 24 hours is critical to keeping your basement dry and free of any mold or mildew and protecting your belongings.

How to Replace Your Sump Pump, Step-by-Step

The first thing you will need to do when replacing your sump pump is to turn the power off at the circuit breaker.

Next, you will need to fasten the male threaded piece on your new sump pump. You should wrap the threads in Teflon tape going counter-clockwise. By wrapping the threads in a counter-clockwise motion, the tape will be less likely to slide around by the time you screw it into the fitting.

Gently screw the male threaded piece into the fitting on your sump pump. If you are too rough on it or use a pipe wrench, it could bust the fitting.

  1. Secure the Pipe By Glueing it

The next step will be to glue the ABS pipe into the fitting using ABS glue. Remember, ABS pipes are not the same as PVC pipes. PVC pipes are made from polymerized vinyl chloride.

It should take around 15 minutes for the ABS glue to dry. Make sure the water level is under control while you are waiting for the glue to dry.

  1. Take Out the Original Sump Pump

With the ABS pipe in place, you are ready to take the old sump pump out. The first thing you will need to do after accessing the old sump pump is to remove the check valve. Usually, there will be several pipe clamps keeping the check valve in place. Remove the pipe clamps to get the check valve off.

One thing that you should keep in mind is that when you remove the check valve, the sump pump will release a ton of water. The water present under the sump pump will likely have a foul and unpleasant smell. You can deal with this smell by wearing a mask and spraying some deodorizer but ultimately you’ll need to get rid of the water.

  1. Put Your New Sump Pump in Place

Sump pumps are situated in a space that is called a sump basin. You will need to center your new sump pump and align it in the sump basin. Start by placing it at the bottom of the sump basin.

You should try to keep it off the bottom of the basin if possible by placing it on top of a stand or a flat rock. The sump pump should be perfectly level. You may need to use plastic shims to make adjustments until it is level.

When installing the float, you will need to make sure that it has plenty of space. The float should not have contact with the sump pump or the basin walls.

  1. Attach the Discharge Line

Now you will need to attach the discharge line and reattach the check valve. If the new sump pump you bought does not have a check valve you should try using the old check valve that you removed previously.

Having a check valve attached to your sump pump ensures that water can only flow one way which is advantageous. It also helps prevent water from flowing into the sump pump when it is not running.

Check valves regularly to help sump pumps last longer. If you thought replacing your sump pump was difficult, you’ll want that check valve on there to make sure you won’t have to replace it again any time soon!

  1. Fire it Up!

Once you have all of the components attached and the new sump pump is securely in place, it’s time to plug it in and turn it on! Make sure you turn the power back on first and pour some water into the basin to test it.

When you pour water into the basin, you should be able to tell that it’s working because the water will activate the sump pump, causing the float to rise. Finally, stick around to see if the sump pump turns off when the water level falls below the float. If it does not turn off when the water level is below the float, turn the power off again and begin troubleshooting. Make sure you have everything connected properly and that it’s level.

  1. Cover it Up and Call it a Day

When everything is working properly, go ahead and cover up the sump pump basin. The sump pump basin should always be covered. Keeping it securely covered prevents children or pets from accessing the basin. It also helps keep the basin free of insects and keeps the smell away.

Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure you have a battery backup sump pump. You’ll need this if your primary one goes on the fritz again. Having a battery backup can help keep water out of your basement until you have the primary sump pump repaired or replaced.

Now that you know how to replace your sump pump, you will have the confidence of knowing that you can replace it whenever you need to. That said, not everyone feels comfortable tinkering with it. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumbing service and call in the cavalry.

Are You Still Having Problems with Your Sump Pump? Get in Touch with A.J. Alberts Plumbing!

If you are still having trouble with your sump pump or simply don’t feel comfortable replacing it on your own, the qualified plumbing experts at A.J. Alberts Plumbing can help! We would be more than happy to replace your sump pump for you in addition to addressing all of your plumbing needs.

Sump pump on the fritz? A.J. Alberts Plumbing can fix it in a jiff; call today!