Removing sump pump

macgyvers2000March 3, 2008

I'm remodeling the basement, half of which was framed by the prior owner about 10 years ago. In the unframed portion, there's an ancient pedestal sump pump that I would like to get rid of (I have not gotten around to testing it yet), but I'd like some opinions on if that is a wise choice.

The front yard is at first-floor level, sloping down to basement level by the time it becomes the backyard. The yard continues to slope away, so the front yard is probably the highest point for quite some distance. In the nearly 10 years we've occupied the house, the basement has never flooded due to natural causes (a single, minor flood was due to poor workmanship on a sweated joint when the local water company installed a new wireless meter), not even a trickle of detectable water.

Other than flooding due to burst pipes (which could happen on any house level, not just basements), has anyone removed a sump pump if it appears unnecessary? The current location would put it inside of a bedroom, and relocating the pit and drainage lines would be a significant expense for what I currently perceive to be a low return on investment (until a pipe breaks, of course). I would like to remove the pump, cover the pit and drainage pipe, and fully frame/enclose the room.

Another possibility that seems reasonably acceptable would be to place a heavy-duty grate over the pit, which would allow padding and carpet to be placed over it. A submerisible pump would replace the pedestal type, and some slightly creative piping would allow me to use the same drainage hole out of the wall. This would keep the sump in operation should the unfortunate natural disaster happen, but I don't know what effect the carpet and padding might have on drainage should a pipe burst. that said, it's probably better covering my butt for at least some of the cases, no?

Your thoughts?

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First of all, what's the clear purpose of the pump? Is it really just for basement "surface" overflow, or possibly for foundation drainage of some sort (or even window well drainage or other?) If it's truly just for water on the basement floor, sure, maybe you could do without. But it could also be getting rid of rising ground water or something like that. In my area there are lots of situations where the water wells up from below. I'd say if to keep it right where it is just to be safe.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 11:49AM
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Thanks for replying. Due to the drain pipes leading into the pit, I assume it's purpose is double-duty... keeping the floor dry (just in case) as well as ground water. I don't believe I've ever heard the pump run, even during/after the nastiest of rainstorms, so it made me wonder if we were just lucky in our house's position.

After thinking about it all day yesterday, I think I'm going to go with the last option I listed. I'm going to have a heavy-duty grate made up to cover the pit, swap the pedestal unit out for a submersible pump, and frame the walls up as usual. That way I still get the protection from any ground swell water and the peace of mind of partial protection from burst pipes.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:11AM
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I never updated this one (for those who care)...

It turns out the old pump never ran because the float was rusted in place. No matter how high the water level got, it never ran. I replaced it with a submersible, cut a notch in the surrounding floor to fit a 1" thick aluminum grate, and surrounded it with a stud wall to turn that area into a closet.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2014 at 8:41AM
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