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Use a Sump Pump Outside?

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  • Use a Sump Pump Outside?

    First, I live in PA (just outside of Philly). I have had issues with water entering our basement (finished portion) due to erosion under our deck. Our deck has VERY low clearance (less than a foot) underneath, so adequately fixing the erosion without tearing the whole deck up is very difficult. I was able to burrow under the deck, do some mild grading, and spread a 8 mil sheet of plastic sheeting under the deck (attached to the house) to drain water away. I also tore down the finished wall along the deck side and re-drylocked the wall. That has worked well with one exception. The water on the one side of the deck now accumulates to the side of the deck in a depression. The depression is such that further grading would grade the water back under the deck. There is also a huge silver cut leaf maple nearby which prevents diverting the water elsewhere (using gravity).

    So, my thoughts have been to dig a "sump" pit and place a sump pump in the depression to pump water to the front yard. I would like to know if I can use a sump pump outside, if it is properly sunken in (to help prevent freezing). Or if anyone has any further suggestions for moving water away (up hill).


  • #2
    Re: Use a Sump Pump Outside?

    a sump pump installed outside is better than taking outside water back inside to pump out

    confused, so am i.

    you never want to drain outside water back insise the house. the power or pump fails and you have a mess.

    i always install a 2'' sewer ejector when there are leafs that can get into the pump. make sure you follow the directions and check valve.

    phoebe it is


    • #3
      Re: Use a Sump Pump Outside?

      Thanks for the reply Rick. I didn't mean to imply that I wanted to send the water back inside to pump out. I just want to get it away from the house. Is there anything I should (can) do to prevent the sump pump from freezing if it gets cold at nights? Are there special sump pumps for this type of application, or should all be able to handle it?



      • #4
        Re: Use a Sump Pump Outside?


        I really think you'll have freezing problems during the winter. Philly does have long periods of sub-freezing temps during the coldest parts of winter. You might think hard and setup a way to remove the sump pump from the sump, but yet be able to put it back and connect it quickly as needed.

        Try real hard to do any grading you can so water runs away from your house. Be sure to connect down spouts to under ground lines and drain them where you can. You might want to get a roll of 3/8 clear PVC tubing and some food color. Mix it up with water and fill the tube part way and plug the ends. Lay that out in your yard and you'll have an easy way to see high and low spots.

        Is the water coming through a wall and then into your basement? Stairwell? Up through basement floor or lacking of a good floor? Please add as much info as you can and I'm sure more people will have good ideas for you.

        You might be able to add some electric heat to the sump, but then you'll need to heat the discharge piping too. This would get pretty wild at best.


        • #5
          Re: Use a Sump Pump Outside?

          You need a deep pit, best if 36" or more. Discharge should exit through the wall of the pit not through top if possible. Drill a 3/16" hole just above the check valve to allow any standing water in the verticle pipe to drain back into pit. Hopefully there won't be enough water to cause the pump to cycle back on. Any trapped water in discharge line will definitely freeze. Glue a piece of 2" thick styrofoam to the lid to keep out the cold.


          • #6
            Re: Use a Sump Pump Outside?

            I am installing a basement door and stairwell. My contractor wants to bring water from the stairwell into my perfectly dry basement sump. The house is 9 years old and the sump has never had a drop of water in it. Is there a way to put a sump outside under the steps and avoid the freezing issue? I live outside of Philadelphia.