Skip to content

How To Install A Sump Pump Outside (13 Easy Steps)

How To Install A Sump Pump Outside

How To Install A Sump Pump Outside, Dig a hole in the ground, place the pump inside, and connect the discharge pipe. Installing a sump pump outside is essential for preventing a flooded basement or foundation damage during heavy rains or floods.

By effectively redirecting groundwater away from your home, you can keep your basement dry and reduce the risk of water-related issues. The installation process involves digging a hole in the ground, placing the sump pump inside the hole, and connecting it to a discharge pipe.

Proper installation and maintenance of a sump pump outside can provide peace of mind and protect your property from water damage.

How To Install A Sump Pump Outside

A sump pump is a vital component of any basement waterproofing system, designed to prevent water accumulation and flooding. While most sump pumps are installed indoors, there are cases where installing a sump pump outside can be more efficient and effective. This guide provides a comprehensive step-by-step process How To Install A Sump Pump Outside your home, ensuring proper drainage and protection against potential water damage.

Materials Needed: Before you begin the installation process, gather the following materials:

  1. Sump Pump: Choose a reliable submersible or pedestal sump pump suitable for outdoor use.
  2. Sump Basin: A durable sump pit or basin that collects water for the pump to discharge.
  3. PVC Piping: Sufficient length of PVC piping and fittings for creating a discharge line.
  4. Check Valve: A one-way valve that prevents water from flowing back into the sump pit.
  5. Gravel and Sand: For proper drainage and support within the sump pit.
  6. Landscaping Fabric: To prevent soil and debris from clogging the sump pit and discharge line.
  7. Concrete or Pavers: Base for the sump pump and pit to rest on, ensuring stability.
  8. Digging Tools: Shovel, pickaxe, and other tools for excavating the installation area.
  9. Pipe Clamps and Fasteners: Secure the PVC piping and components in place.
  10. Silicone Sealant: Seal connections and prevent leaks.
  11. Electrical Wiring: Suitable electrical wires and connectors for powering the pump.
  12. GFCI Outlet: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet for electrical safety.
  13. Waterproof Sealant: Protect connections and the pump from the elements.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide: How To Install A Sump Pump Outside

Step 1: Choose the Installation Location

Select a suitable location outside your home where water naturally accumulates. Ensure the spot is at a lower elevation compared to your basement and offers proper drainage.

Step 2: Check Local Regulations

Before starting, check local building codes and regulations regarding sump pump installation to ensure compliance.

Step 3: Digging the Hole

Use the digging tools to excavate a hole deep and wide enough for the sump pit. The pit’s size should accommodate the pump and allow space for water collection.

How To Install A Sump Pump Outside

Step 4: Create the Base

Pour a layer of gravel or sand into the bottom of the hole to create a stable base for the sump pit. Place the sump pit on the base and check for levelness.

Step 5: Install the Sump Pump

Place the sump pump inside the pit. For submersible pumps, position the pump according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pedestal pumps have the motor above the water level and should be installed accordingly.

Step 6: Attach the Discharge Pipe

Connect the PVC discharge pipe to the pump’s outlet. Use pipe clamps to secure the connection, and ensure the pipe slopes away from your home to facilitate water drainage.

Step 7: Install the Check Valve

Position the check valve on the discharge pipe. This valve prevents water from flowing back into the sump pit after the pump shuts off. Secure it in place using pipe clamps.

Step 8: Create the Discharge Line

Extend the PVC piping to a suitable area for water discharge, preferably downhill and away from your property’s foundation. Bury the piping a few inches underground for protection.

Step 9: Secure the Pipe and Pit

Fasten the PVC piping along the chosen route, using pipe clamps and fasteners as needed. Ensure the piping is properly supported and won’t shift over time. Backfill soil around the sump pit to secure it in place.

Step 10: Install Landscaping Fabric

Cover the sump pit and surrounding area with landscaping fabric to prevent debris from entering the pit and clogging the pump or discharge line.

Step 11: Electrical Connections

Consult a licensed electrician to connect the pump to a GFCI outlet. Use appropriate wiring and connectors to ensure safety.

Step 12: Test the System

Fill the sump pit with water and observe the pump’s operation. Ensure proper drainage and that the pump activates as intended. Adjust the float or sensor settings if necessary.

Step 13: Waterproof Sealing

Apply waterproof sealant to all connections, especially where electrical components meet the pump, to protect them from moisture and the elements.


Installing a sump pump outside your home can be a valuable investment in preventing water damage and maintaining a dry basement. By following this comprehensive step-by-step guide, you can ensure a successful installation that effectively manages water accumulation and safeguards your property against potential flooding. Remember to prioritize safety, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and consider seeking professional assistance for the electrical connections to ensure a reliable and efficient sump pump system.

Why Install A Sump Pump Outdoors?

Installing a sump pump outdoors can be a smart decision to safeguard your basement from flooding and protect your home’s foundation. Excessive rainwater can wreak havoc on your property, causing costly damages. By taking the necessary steps to manage rainwater effectively, you can prevent these issues and ensure the longevity of your home.

Preventing Basement Flooding

Basement flooding can lead to significant damage and create a host of problems. Installing a sump pump outside can provide an effective solution to prevent basement flooding. Here are the key points:

  • A sump pump is designed to remove water that has accumulated in the sump pit, which is typically located in the basement.
  • By installing the sump pump outdoors, it can efficiently divert excess water away from your basement before it has a chance to enter your home.
  • The sump pump is equipped with a motor that activates when water reaches a certain level in the pit. This mechanism ensures prompt water removal and prevents basement flooding.

Managing Excessive Rainwater

Excessive rainwater can overwhelm your property’s drainage system and cause water to pool around your foundation. By installing a sump pump outdoors, you can effectively manage the flow of rainwater. Here are the key points:

  • The sump pump acts as a barrier to excess rainwater, ensuring it is redirected away from your foundation to a designated drainage area.
  • It helps prevent the accumulation of water near your home, reducing the risk of foundation damage and potential water seepage into your basement.
  • Installing the sump pump outdoors allows for easy access and maintenance, ensuring that it remains in optimal working condition to manage rainwater effectively.

Protecting Your Home’S Foundation

The foundation is one of the most critical components of your home. Installing a sump pump outside can play a vital role in protecting its integrity. Here are the key points:

  • Excessive moisture can compromise the stability of your home’s foundation, leading to cracks, shifting, and other structural issues.
  • By installing a sump pump outdoors, you can prevent water from accumulating around the foundation and causing damage.
  • The sump pump helps maintain the moisture levels around your home at an optimal level, contributing to the overall health and longevity of your foundation.

Installing a sump pump outdoors is a proactive measure to safeguard your home from the hazards of basement flooding, rainwater damage, and foundation problems. By taking this step, you can ensure the protection and longevity of your valuable investment.

Choosing The Right Location For Your Outdoor Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump outside your home can be an effective way to prevent water damage and keep your basement dry. Choosing the right location for your outdoor sump pump is crucial to ensure its proper functioning. In this section, we will discuss important factors to consider when evaluating the slope of your yard, checking for underground utility lines, and avoiding areas prone to standing water.

Evaluating The Slope Of Your Yard

Before installing an outdoor sump pump, it’s important to understand the slope of your yard. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Aim for a downward slope: Look for areas that naturally slope away from your home. This will help facilitate the proper drainage of water away from your foundation.
  • Avoid low-lying areas: Installing a sump pump in a low-lying area may result in the accumulation of water around your home, leading to potential flooding issues.
  • Evaluate the existing landscape: Take note of any landscaping features, such as retaining walls or flowerbeds, that could affect the flow of water. Ensure that the placement of your sump pump does not interfere with these structures.

Checking For Underground Utility Lines

Before digging to install your outdoor sump pump, it’s essential to check for underground utility lines to prevent any mishaps or damages. Consider the following:

  • Contact your utility company: Notify your local utility company about your intentions to dig in your yard. They can provide guidance on the location of underground utility lines.
  • Use professional services: Consider hiring a professional to perform a utility line locate service. They will use specialized equipment to locate and mark the underground lines, ensuring safe digging.
  • Exercise caution: Even with markings, exercise caution while digging. Hand dig around marked areas to prevent accidental damage to utility lines.

Avoiding Areas Prone To Standing Water

When selecting the location for your outdoor sump pump, it’s crucial to avoid areas prone to standing water. Take note of the following points:

  • Identify areas with poor drainage: Look for spots in your yard that tend to accumulate water after heavy rain. These areas may not be suitable for installing a sump pump.
  • Observe the natural flow of water: Determine the path that water takes during rainfall. Choose a location for your sump pump that aligns with the natural flow of water, ensuring optimal drainage.
  • Consider landscaping modifications: In some cases, minor modifications to your landscape can redirect water away from your foundation and sump pump. Consult with a landscaping professional for appropriate solutions.

By carefully evaluating the slope of your yard, checking for underground utility lines, and avoiding areas prone to standing water, you can choose an ideal location for your outdoor sump pump. Next, let’s move on to the installation process to ensure your sump pump functions effectively and protects your home from potential water damage.

Gather The Necessary Tools And Materials

Installing a sump pump outside can help protect your basement or crawl space from flooding and water damage. One of the first steps in this process is gathering the necessary tools and materials. By having everything you need on hand, you can ensure a smooth and efficient installation.

Here are the key items you’ll need:

Sump Pump:

  • Main component of the system that pumps water away from your home’s foundation
  • Available in different sizes and horsepower options, so choose one that suits your needs

Pvc Pipe And Fittings:

  • Used to create the discharge line for the sump pump
  • Durable and resistant to damage from water and moisture
  • Ensure you have the proper pipe diameter and fittings for your specific sump pump model

Landscaping Fabric:

  • Helps provide protection and prevent clogs in the discharge line
  • Placed around the pipe to filter out debris and prevent it from entering the pump or clogging the line

Shovel And Digging Tools:

  • Needed for excavation to create a hole for the sump pump basin
  • Ensure you have a sturdy shovel and other digging tools to make the process easier

Gathering these tools and materials before starting the installation will save you time and ensure you have everything you need to complete the project efficiently. With the right equipment in hand, you’ll be well-prepared to move forward with the installation of your sump pump.

Step-By-Step Installation Process For An Outdoor Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump outside your home can help prevent basement flooding and water damage. If you’re facing issues with excess water accumulation, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to install a sump pump properly. In this blog post, we will guide you through the step-by-step installation process for an outdoor sump pump, ensuring the effective removal of water from your property.

Digging The Sump Pit

  • Begin by selecting an appropriate location for the sump pit. Look for an area where water tends to accumulate or near a perimeter wall in your basement.
  • Using a shovel, dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the sump pump basin. The pit should be wide enough for you to work comfortably and provide easy access to the pump for maintenance.
  • Take care to create a level base for the sump pump basin. This will prevent any movement or tilting once it’s installed.

Setting Up The Sump Pump Basin

  • Place the sump pump basin in the pit, ensuring it sits level on the base you created. It’s essential to position the basin in a way that allows for easy access to the pump and its components.
  • Connect the necessary pipes to the sump pump basin. This includes the intake pipe that will collect water from the pit and the discharge pipe that will carry the water away from your home.
  • Make sure the pipes are securely connected and properly sealed to prevent any leaks or water damage.

Installing The Pvc Discharge Pipe

  • Determine the ideal path for the pvc discharge pipe to carry the water away from your home. Ensure it leads to a suitable drainage area, such as a storm drain or a designated spot in your yard.
  • Dig a trench along the chosen path to bury the pvc pipe. The trench should be deep enough to accommodate the pipe and allow for proper drainage.
  • Place the pvc pipe in the trench, ensuring it has enough slope to promote efficient water flow. Use fittings and connectors as needed to create a continuous and secure pipeline.

Securing The Sump Pump And Connecting The Wiring

  • Install the sump pump inside the basin, securing it tightly to prevent movement. Ensure the float switch is unobstructed and can move freely to activate the pump when water levels rise.
  • Connect the sump pump to a proper electrical source, adhering to local electrical codes and safety guidelines. Use a dedicated GFCI outlet for added protection against electrical hazards.
  • Test the sump pump by pouring water into the pit. Verify that it activates and effectively pumps water out through the discharge pipe.

Installing a sump pump outside your home involves several crucial steps. By diligently following this step-by-step process, you can safeguard your basement from potential water damage and keep your property dry and protected. Remember that seeking professional guidance is always advisable, particularly if you lack experience or encounter any challenges during installation.

Ensuring Proper Drainage For The Sump Pump

Installing an outdoor sump pump is an important step in preventing water damage to your home’s foundation. However, it is equally vital to ensure proper drainage for the sump pump to effectively redirect water away from your house. Here are a few key factors to consider when it comes to ensuring proper drainage:

Creating A French Drain

  • A French drain is an excellent way to control water flow and prevent water from collecting in areas around your home.
  • Dig a trench around the perimeter of your house, directing it away from the foundation.
  • Line the trench with gravel and lay a perforated drainage pipe, angled away from the house.
  • Cover the pipe with additional gravel and top it with a geotextile fabric.
  • This setup will help redirect water from the sump pump to the drain and away from your home.

Extending The Discharge Pipe Away From The House

  • After installing the sump pump, it is crucial to extend the discharge pipe away from the house to prevent water from seeping back near the foundation.
  • Use solid pvc pipe to extend the discharge pipe at least 10 feet away from your home.
  • Ensure that the pipe slopes downward to allow water to freely flow away from the foundation.
  • It’s also a good idea to install an elbow joint at the end of the extension to prevent water from pooling near the discharge area.

Installing A Splash Pad Or Gravel Bed

  • To further enhance drainage and protect your landscape, consider installing a splash pad or gravel bed at the end of the discharge pipe.
  • A splash pad is a concrete or plastic pad designed to disperse water evenly and prevent erosion.
  • A gravel bed can also act as a natural alternative, allowing water to seep through the gravel and gradually absorb into the soil.
  • Whichever option you choose, ensure that water is distributed evenly and does not flow directly toward your home.

By following these steps and ensuring proper drainage for your outdoor sump pump, you can effectively protect your home from potential water damage. Remember, it is essential to consult with a professional or follow local guidelines for proper installation and drainage techniques.

Testing And Maintenance Of Your Outdoor Sump Pump System

Installing a sump pump outside your home is a smart decision to protect your basement or crawl space from flooding. However, installing the pump is just the beginning. To ensure its proper functioning and longevity, regular testing and maintenance are essential.

By following these steps, you can keep your outdoor sump pump system in optimal condition.

Running A Test To Ensure Proper Operation

To verify that your outdoor sump pump system is working effectively, it’s crucial to run periodic tests. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Pour a bucket of water into the sump pit until the float activates the pump.
  • Observe the pump as it pumps out the water and check if it turns on and off automatically.
  • Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations during the pumping process.
  • Ensure that the water is being discharged away from your foundation and the designated drainage area.

Remember, if your sump pump fails the test, it might be an indication that maintenance or repairs are necessary.

Regularly Cleaning The Sump Pit And Pump

Keeping your sump pit and pump clean is vital for optimal performance. Here are the key steps to follow:

  • Disconnect the power to the sump pump system before starting any cleaning procedures.
  • Remove any debris or sediment from the sump pit using a shovel or a small bucket.
  • Clean the sump pump impeller, float, and discharge pipe using a brush or a cloth to eliminate any accumulated dirt or debris.
  • Check the pump’s inlet screen for clogs or blockages and clean it if necessary.
  • Once cleaning is complete, reconnect the power and ensure the system is functioning properly.

By regularly removing debris and dirt, you can prevent clogs and extend the lifespan of your outdoor sump pump system.

Inspecting The Discharge Pipe For Clogs Or Damage

The discharge pipe is an essential component that carries water away from your property. Regular inspections are vital to identify any clogs or damage. Here’s what you should do:

  • Visually examine the entire length of the discharge pipe, looking for any visible signs of clogs, debris, or damage.
  • Remove any obstructions or clogs using a plumbing snake or a jetting tool.
  • Check for any cracks, leaks, or loose connections along the pipe. If any issues are detected, promptly repair or replace the affected section.
  • Ensure that the discharge pipe is angled away from your foundation and directs water towards an appropriate drainage area.

Regularly inspecting the discharge pipe ensures uninterrupted water flow and prevents potential flooding issues.

By following these maintenance practices, you can ensure that your outdoor sump pump system operates efficiently, protecting your home from water damage. Regular testing and cleaning, along with vigilant inspections, will keep your sump pump ready to handle any inclement weather or potential water threats.

Safeguarding your basement or crawl space has never been easier, thanks to proper sump pump maintenance.

Troubleshooting Common Issues With Outdoor Sump Pumps

Pump Failure Or Malfunction

If your outdoor sump pump is not functioning properly, it can lead to water damage and flooding in your basement or crawl space. Here are some common issues you may encounter with your pump and troubleshooting steps to address them:

  • Pump not turning on:
  • Check the power supply and ensure the pump is plugged in correctly.
  • Inspect the circuit breaker or fuse to see if it has tripped or blown.
  • Examine the float switch and make sure it is not stuck or blocked by debris.
  • Check the outlet pipe for any obstructions that may prevent water flow.
  • Pump running continuously:
  • Inspect the float switch for any damage or misalignment that may cause it to remain in the “on” position.
  • Check the check valve to ensure it is functioning correctly and not stuck open.
  • Verify that the pump is the appropriate size for your needs; an undersized pump may struggle to keep up with the water volume.
  • Consider installing a high-water alarm to alert you of excessive water levels.
  • Pump not discharging water:
  • Check the discharge pipe for clogs or obstructions, and clear them as necessary.
  • Inspect the check valve to ensure it is functioning properly and allowing water to flow out.
  • Ensure that the discharge pipe is sloping away from your house to prevent water from flowing back into the sump pit.

Alarms And Warning Signs

Installing a sump pump alarm system can provide an extra layer of protection and alert you to potential issues. Here are some considerations when it comes to alarms and warning signs for your outdoor sump pump:

  • High water alarms:
  • Install a high water alarm in your sump pit to notify you if the water level rises above a certain point.
  • Ensure the alarm is functioning properly and test it regularly to guarantee it will work when needed.
  • Consider opting for a system with remote notification capabilities, allowing you to receive alerts on your phone or email.
  • Battery backups and power failure alarms:
  • Invest in a battery backup system to ensure your sump pump continues to operate during power outages.
  • Install a power failure alarm that alerts you when the primary power source fails, prompting you to take action.
  • Regular maintenance and testing:
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for regular maintenance of your alarm system.
  • Test your alarms periodically to ensure they are operational and replace batteries as needed.

Dealing With Freezing Temperatures

Freezing temperatures can pose a challenge to outdoor sump pumps. To prevent freezing and potential damage, consider the following measures:

  • Insulate the discharge pipe:
  • Apply insulation around the discharge pipe to help prevent freezing.
  • Use materials such as foam sleeves or heat tapes designed for this purpose.
  • Ensure proper installation without any exposed areas susceptible to freezing.
  • Consider a freeze-resistant pump:
  • Invest in a sump pump specifically designed to withstand freezing temperatures.
  • These pumps often feature freeze-proof casings and internally heated components.
  • Create a slope for drainage:
  • Ensure the discharge pipe slopes downward to allow water to drain completely.
  • Remove any low points or standing water that may freeze and obstruct the flow.
  • Disconnect and drain the pump:
  • In areas where extreme freezing is expected, consider disconnecting and draining the sump pump for the winter.
  • Store the pump in a dry location to avoid damage.

By troubleshooting common issues, understanding the importance of alarms, and taking appropriate measures to combat freezing temperatures, you can ensure your outdoor sump pump functions optimally and protects your basement or crawl space from water damage. Remember to consult a professional if you encounter complex problems or are uncertain about any steps.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Install A Sump Pump Outside

Can sump pumps be installed outside?

sump pumps can be installed outside, especially to mitigate flooding in outdoor areas like yards. However, when installed outside, they should be properly protected from elements like freezing temperatures, debris, and excessive rainfall to ensure their longevity and effectiveness.

How deep should an outdoor sump pump be?

The depth of an outdoor sump pump pit depends on the water table, soil conditions, and the source of water intrusion. Generally, the pit should be between 18 to 24 inches deep, but it might need to be deeper if the water table is high or if water is coming from deep sources. The pit should be deep enough to gather water effectively but not so deep that it reaches the frost line, which can cause freezing issues.

Where should a sump be installed?

A sump should ideally be installed in the lowest point of the area you’re trying to protect, as this is where water will naturally accumulate. For basements, this is usually in a corner. For outdoor installations, it might be in a low spot in the yard or near a downslope where water tends to collect.

Should sump pump sit in water?

A sump pump is designed to sit at the bottom of a sump pit, where it can be submerged or surrounded by water when the water level rises. However, it’s essential to ensure that the pump doesn’t run dry for extended periods, as this can wear out the pump faster. Ideally, the pump should be placed on a solid base or a few bricks within the sump pit, preventing it from sucking up debris from the bottom. Still, during operation, it’s entirely normal for the pump to be submerged in water.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Sump Pump Outside?

The cost of installing a sump pump outside can vary depending on factors such as the size of the pump, the depth of the excavation, and the complexity of the installation. On average, you can expect to spend around $1,500 to $3,500 for the installation.

What Are The Benefits Of Installing A Sump Pump Outside?

Installing a sump pump outside helps protect your basement or crawl space from flooding by effectively diverting excess water away from your home’s foundation. It prevents water damage, reduces the risk of mold growth, and helps maintain a dry and safe environment.

Can I Install A Sump Pump Outside By Myself?

While it’s possible to install a sump pump outside by yourself, it’s recommended to hire a professional. They have the knowledge and experience to select the right pump, handle proper excavation, and ensure proper installation for optimal functionality.

How Deep Should The Sump Pump Hole Be When Installed Outside?

When installing a sump pump outside, the hole should typically be excavated to a depth of at least 2 to 3 feet. This allows for the placement of the sump pump and proper drainage of water away from the foundation.

How Often Do I Need To Maintain The Sump Pump Installed Outside?

Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring the proper functioning of a sump pump installed outside. It is recommended to inspect and clean the pump, check the discharge line for clogs, and test the pump at least once a year. However, specific maintenance requirements may vary depending on the pump model and manufacturer’s instructions.

Can I Use An Indoor Sump Pump Outside?

Indoor sump pumps are not designed to withstand outdoor conditions and can quickly become damaged if used outside. It’s important to use a sump pump specifically designed for outdoor installation, as it will have the necessary features and durability to withstand outdoor elements and effectively manage water drainage.


Installing a sump pump outside can be a beneficial addition to your home’s waterproofing system. By directing water away from your foundation, you can prevent basement flooding and potential water damage. Start by selecting the right location for your sump pump and ensuring proper drainage.

Dig a hole for the sump pit and install it securely. Connect the discharge pipe and redirect the water away from your foundation. Finally, test your sump pump to ensure it is functioning properly. Regular maintenance and monitoring are crucial for keeping your sump pump in good working condition.

Remember to check the pump’s motor and clean the sump pit regularly. By following these steps and taking preventive measures, you can keep your basement dry and protect your home from costly water damage. Keep in mind that professional assistance may be necessary for more complex installations.

Stay prepared and make the necessary adjustments to keep your home safe and dry.