Sump Pump Replacement: 5 Tips

Sump pump
  • 1-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-500

Sump pump replacement is about as much fun as it sounds—that is to say, it’s not. There’s nothing glamorous about replacing a malfunctioning pump for run-off water. Unfortunately, it may be a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.

On the bright side, what the task lacks in glamor and fun it sort of makes up for in terms of relative ease; replacing the sump pump is a fairly fast and simple job you can do on your own with minimal effort and cost. Of course, as with any DIY job, it pays to do a little research before undertaking a sump pump replacement so you can know what you’re getting into.

1. Cut the Juice

The first thing to remember is to unplug the sump pump before you do anything else, so as to avoid dangerous electric shock. Undo all and any electrical connections.

2. Buy Exactly the Same Sump Pump

You should try your best to replace your sump pump with the exact same model as the old one, so you don’t need to worry about the compatibility of a new part with the rest of the system. To make sure you get exactly what you need, you may just want to bring in the entire old pump with you to the hardware store.

Start by disconnecting the old pump from the drain line by unfastening the clamp or screw fastenings, allowing the pump to drain and making sure to save all the fittings. Take them with you in a bag to the hardware store so you can match the original pump to its exact model, or at least find a comparable model of the same size and with the same electric needs.

3. Test the Pump with Water

sump pump

When you’ve brought the new pump home and have reconnected it to the water outlet opening and the drain line, you can test it to make sure it works, and there aren’t any leaks in the system. Simply plug it back in, and test the system by dumping water into the sump pit.

Make sure to observe all the fastenings and connections to ensure everything is water tight, to avoid any smelly, leaky surprises in the future.

4. Try Teflon Tape

To be doubly certain all joints are water safe, try sealing the threads with some pipe joint compound or, even more conveniently, with some Teflon tape.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

sump pump

If something goes wrong at any point in the replacement process, or you suddenly realize the problem with your sump system is more far reaching than just a minor problem with the pump itself, don’t be afraid to call in the big guns. Call a professional plumber as soon as you feel you’re in over your head.