April 24

What Is In The Sump Pump Pit?


A sump pump pit is a low space that collects any often-undesirable liquids such as water. A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in the water collecting sump pump pit, commonly found in the basement of homes. The water may enter via French drains of a basement waterproofing system or be independent. The sump pit is where many homeowners look to drain unwanted liquids so the sump pump can pump them away.

How does the sump pump pit water exit the house?

There is usually one pipe coming up and out of the sump pit. That pipe is called the discharge pipe. A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in the water collecting sump pit, commonly found in the basement of homes. The sump pump will take whatever water is right there in the sump pump pit and pump it out. The sump pump typically uses a 1½” PVC pipe discharge the water from the basement. You should see this pipe going through the foundation wall to the outside of the house. What else is in the sump pump pit?

In older homes sump pumps may be connected to the sanitary sewer system. Today this practice may be against the town’s the municipal code because it can overwhelm the municipal sewage treatment system. Many homeowners have inherited their sump pump configurations and do not realize that the pump discharges to the sanitary sewer. If the discharge is fed to a sink in the basement it’s probably going into the sewer. Homeowners must disconnect and reroute sump pump discharge away from sanitary sewers. Fines may be imposed for noncompliance.

Other pipes that may be coming out of or going into your sump pit.

Sump Pump System

  1. HVAC: Furnace condensation is sometimes brought to the sump pit by a 3/4″ PVC coming directly from the HVAC unit. This is different than the 3/8” plastic tube from a condensate pump.
  2. Radon: Radon is a gas that enters your building from the soil beneath and around your house that is connected to the sump pump in your basement. Using a 4” PVC pipe, a radon system collects radon from the soil below a house via the sump and pumps it out.
  3. Dehumidifier Drip: Many dehumidifiers come with a hose fitting that allows you to hook a drip hose directly from the dehumidifier bucket directly into the sump pit so there is no need to empty it.
  4. Backup pump discharge: Whether you use a 7 Day Battery Backup sump pump or a water powered emergency sump pump, the water needs to be removed from the house. Like the regular sump pump, the backup pump should have a 11/2” PVC discharge pipe.
  5. Washing machine overflow: A washer tray under the washing machine on an upper floor can be delivered to the sump pit. If the washing machine leaks, the water will be safely drained away. Washer trays are available at home centers.

Discharging anything into the sump pit could present problems.

Any liquid you introduce into the sump adds moisture to the below slab area.

Requires more electricity to cycle on and off.

The sump pump discharge should only have clean water with nothing added since it ultimately goes into the stormwater drains or back into the earth.

If you have any questions, have a basement waterproofing specialist look at your sump pit. Should I get my Sump Pump Inspected?

A-1 Basement Solutions provides free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.

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