Finishing a basement is a major home renovation project that can add valuable living space to your home. One of the most important things to consider when finishing a basement is handling water drainage. For example, if your basement has a sump pump, you’ll need to decide how to cover it up so it’s not visible in the finished space. This article wil discuss how to cover a sump pump in a finished basement.
Sump pumps pump excess water out of the basement and either outside or into a drainage system. How you cover your sump pump depends on where it is located, how much space you have to work with, and what materials you ultimately want to use.
Things You’ll Need
- Silicone Caulk
- Masking Tape
A Detailed Guide on How to Cover a Sump Pump in a Finished Basement
Step 1: Determine the Location of the Sump Pump.
Most pumps are installed in the basement corner near any low spot in your yard (like a sunken sidewalk, patio, or driveway). The reason for this is that water naturally runs downhill, and if it collects anywhere in your basement, you want the pump to be right here.
You don’t necessarily need to know where your house’s lowest point is (although it can’t hurt), but you do need to use some good old-fashioned common sense when deciding where to place your pump; look around for anything that might hold water.
Step 2: Select the Cover You Want to Use.
There are two main types of sump pump covers the grated cover and the solid, flat top cover. The grated cover is easy to spot, as it has holes punched throughout the metal grate so that water can flow through, but leaves enough room for you to attach a waterproof electrical cord underneath that pumps power into your home’s circuit breaker box or transfer switch.
The downside to these is that many are not very aesthetically pleasing, which you may or may not care about depending upon how much time you’ll be spending around the area where the pump will install.
The second type of sump pump cover doesn’t have any holes at all; instead, it usually has a handle on the top to help you pull it off (it’s easy to forget that this thing is here because it blends in so well with your siding or brick, but don’t worry; an hour or two of work now will save you thousands down the road).
These covers are typically less expensive than grated ones but do require more labor on your part.
Step 3: Place the Cover
Before placing the cover over the sump pump, you’ll want to measure for correct height and cut out/place any necessary support beams. There’s no need to spend $50 on a prefabricated corbel when you can buy some 2x4s, plywood, and caulk instead!
Next, cut out two pieces of wood to brace it in place (don’t forget to paint or stain them so that they’re not an eyesore), fasten them together with screws, then use caulk around all visible edges extra protection against leaks.
Step 4: Place the Sump Pump.
Before placing the sump pump, drill a hole underneath it large enough for your electrical cord to fit through (if you’re using a grated cover as I did, you’ll want to remove the grate off of this area first).
Then place your pump on top of its new, waterproof home and thread in any necessary wiring so that it can reach your main breaker box or transfer switch. This is a crucial step in how to cover a sump pump in a finished basement.
Step 4: Test the Cover With the Pump Turned on.
Please turn off the power to your sump pump and make sure it’s dry before doing this step! If something goes wrong, you don’t want a mess of water ruining floors or electronic equipment elsewhere in your home.
Once you’re all clear from electrical shock hazards, turn the sump pump back on and, using a mirror or camera if necessary, ensure that no leaks are present.
You’ll also want to check that the area around the sump pump is entirely free of standing water; if it is even after everything has been checked out and confirmed ok, there may be an issue with your yard sloping too much toward the house foundation.
Step 5: Run a Hose or Pipe From the Home’s Exterior to the Valve.
This is done to connect the interior of your home’s foundation with the exterior. A typical sump pump uses a large pipe known as a French drain, which allows water to be pumped out by gravity without worrying about electricity or any other outside factors; this method prevents any power outage from occurring inside your home.
Step 6: Turn on the Valve and Test It Again.
Once everything has been connected, you’ll want to turn the power back on (be very careful!) and test out your new system. After completing all work, ensure no standing water is visible before turning on any electrical equipment in the basement; if there are still problems, contact your local township for more information or solutions.
Step 7: Inspect for Leaks.
You’ll want to do this regularly, as it’s much easier to treat a small problem than one that has grown out of control.
The best time to check for leaks will be either during the dry portion of the spring or summer season or once your basement is finished and no other building work can cause any damage (you’ll want someone else to do this part if you’re not comfortable with climbing into confined spaces).
Step 8: Cover the Area Around the Pump
This will help prevent standing water by ensuring that all the ground around the sump pump is perfectly level and uniform (otherwise, high or low-pressure areas can cause leaks). You don’t strictly need to do this step; however, it’s a good idea for anyone who plans on living in their home for an extended period.
Otherwise: you’ll want to ensure that your cover is highly secure and fully sealed so that it won’t open even if some water does manage to seep under it while you’re not looking! These steps will help in how to cover a sump pump in a finished basement.
Tips and Warnings:
Additional Tips When Covering a Sump Pump in a Finished Basement:
- Use a high-quality pump that can handle the job.
- Make sure to read reviews about the pumps before you choose one!
- Keep in mind some pumps may require adapters/ories for them to fit into the pit.
- Always install the pump in an area where the ground is higher than the sump pit!
- Be sure to check your insurance policy for any requirements.
- Do not leave the pump on during dry weather for an extended period.
- Only plug in the sump pump when water is present.
- Be sure any debris does not obstruct the sump pump to prevent overheating and damage.
How Do I Know if My Sump Pump Needs to Be Covered or Not?
If you are building a new home or finishing your basement, you should consider covering the sump pump with drywall. If not, finished walls could be damaged by water.
Sump pumps are found in basements and lower levels of homes that sit on top of soil prone to flooding. These areas may include coastal regions, near rivers or creeks, or close to lakes with high water tables.
When installed correctly, they work just fine; however, damage can occur to drywall and other surfaces, likely resulting in costly repairs down the road if they aren’t covered up.
If you have already had some type of flooding due to rain or storms, it’s even more critical for you to cover the pump.
As mentioned before, water is damaging and will likely only continue to happen as you live in such a vulnerable area. Covering the pump won’t prevent future flooding if necessary; however, it will protect surfaces from further damage and save money in repairs later on.
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Covering a sump pump is a great way to add value and convenience to your home. If you’re looking for ways to get the most out of your finished basement, installing a sump pump is one of the best ways to do so! I hope this article has helped show you how to cover a sump pump in a finished basement. Please Check out other articles on this topic.