sump pump discharge line underground:

The discharge line is the main part of the sump pump. It carries out water from the sump pump to the outside of your basement. The design of a sump pump discharge line underground is elementary in deciding whether the line would work swiftly or get clogged. There are different sump pump discharge options that render consumers confused about the correct usage of the pump. We’re here to make it easy for you.

The performance and the sustenance of the sump pump mostly depend on the discharge line. Most of the people don’t care about the line since it’s underground. But we’ll talk in detail about the problems and dangers associated with the discharge line and how to solve those problems.

The Basics of Sump Pump Discharge Line

Your basement water pump collects water from the underground of the basement and prevents water from clogging in the foundation of the home. The discharge line collects water from the pump and releases it to a safe distance away from your house. But when taking the water out, the sump pump may cause several problems to the adjacent areas.

If the discharge line isn’t installed properly or is used all year long, it will result in potholes on the paved roads, water clogging on the unpaved lanes, and problems in the local streets or sidewalks. We’ll talk about the different sump pump discharge ideas in the coming sections.

Installing the Sump Pump Discharge Line Underground

Correct installation of the underground discharge line is essential for the performance of the line and the pump. Though the installation process varies with the types of sump pumps, you have to know the basic things like how deep should a sump pump discharge line be and how to route sump pump discharge.

At first, check for the frost line depth in your area so you can install the discharge line below the frost line. Now follow these steps thoroughly:

  • Dig a 2-feet wide trench. The depth of the trench should be three times the depth of the frost line
  • At the trench’s beginning, create a slope. Attach two takes at the two points of the trench with a string. Level the string
  • Make a 1-inch slope for every 8 feet of the string. Move down the string on the trench’s end for making the slope
  • The distance between the surface of the trench and the string must be the same throughout the whole trench
  • Connect the discharge line to the sump pump machine
  • Connect additional flexible line with the original discharge line
  • Cover the dug area with the same sod and walk on it to level it

Sump Pump Failure

1. Sump Pump Discharge Line Freezing

Sump pump discharge freezing is one of the most common problems with sump pumps. But with some simple tricks, you can easily avoid confronting this problem.

  • The water’s exit point must be 10-20 feet away from your house
  • Connect the freeze-resistant pipe to the discharge line’s end
  • The exit point must be lower in position than that of the sump pump. This will let gravity do the work of clearing out water and will prevent pipe freezing
  • Bury the line as below as you can, so it’s below the line of frosting on the ground
  • Insulate the line’s exterior part with straw and tape
  • Use a pipe that’s larger in diameter than the existing one and surround the existing line with it
  • Use a protector for the discharge line’s exit pipe
  • The ground level of the house should be as such that water will automatically flow away in cases of precipitation or snow melting
  • Keeping a backup sump pump will help with the water flow. Thus, water won’t build up or freeze in the pipe

2. Not the Right Size of Pipe

A good sump pump depends on its construction, float switch, and horsepower but its pumping capacity is the most important thing while considering its performance. The same thing can be said about the size of the sump pump discharge pipe. The usual diameter of the discharge pipe is 1.25” to 1.5”.

Anyone with basic knowledge on how sump pump works, knows that, sump pump works the best when the discharge line diameter is large enough to carry the water out. With reduced size comes less efficiency. This is because the pump can’t push the water out of the pipe due to the back pressure created by the intense friction inside the pipe. This delay in discharge makes the pump run more frequently and creates a heavy load on the machine. As a result, the machine’s overall lifespan gets reduced.

The correct sump pump discharge pipe size will let you avoid these problems and you wouldn’t face any issues during the rainy season or winter.

Proper Sump Pump Discharge Ideas

While using a sump pump, the user often doesn’t care about the discharge line’s direction. But for the betterment of the environment and the longevity of the sump pump, you need to follow some rules of sump pump discharge.

1. Position the End Point of the Pipe Correctly

The sump pump discharge line has a weather-proof tube attached to the pipe’s end. This tube is like a hose and is flexible. The end-point of the sump pump discharge hose should be 10 feet away from your home. It’s better if you can make it 20.

If you keep the end-point at a lesser distance than this, the discharged water will get absorbed by the same soil that originated it. Thus, your sump pump will overwork for nothing and the soil around your foundation will get damp. The repetition of this will result in foundation damage and even collapse.

2. Avoid Septic Tank on the Discharge Location

After getting the distance right, make sure there’s no septic tank around the discharge location. Since the septic tank already deals with the water overload, putting the pipe there will just add to the existing load. This will again result in the overflow of water on top of the surface.

3. Make Sure There’s No Sewer System Around

If there’s a sewage line near your sump pump discharge line underground, it will be a mess and there are chances of sewage flooding. Most of the city ordinances won’t even allow it in the first place. Check with your local city codes and try to avoid the sewage areas for discharging the sump pump water.

4. Check if the Hose is Correctly Attached

The main discharge line of a sump pump is a PVC pipe and you need to attach a hose or a tube to it. Make sure the hose is correctly attached to the PVC pipe, or water will leak and flow into the foundation of your home. Also the material of the hose should be made from anti freezing materials so water wont get clogged during winter.

This will also corrode the discharge pipe and put the sump pump through overwork. This will add extra maintenance costs and lessen the lifespan of your sump pump.

5. Install an Additional Drainage System

For this, you’d have to dig soil beside the walls of the basement. Install boards and drainage pipes along the lines of the wall. If you can do this, you’ll be able to successfully separate the surface water from the basement wall. Since this method is expensive, only install an additional drainage line if you have walls that go beneath the ground.

Sump pump discharge line underground is a vital part of the sump pump. The performance of the discharge line dictates how the pump is going to perform or how long it’s going to last. Try to maintain the line, at least, on a half-yearly basis. If the line gets clogged, frozen or dysfunctional, your sump pump will become useless sooner or later. We’ve introduced the problems and mentioned the ways to solve them, so you can avoid getting into any trouble regarding your sump pump.


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