In this article we will look at the sump pit liner and its role in how a sump pump works.
The sump pump pit liner is essentially the home for the sump pump. The importance of sump pump pit liners is often overlooked when contractors install a basement sump pump system.
Sump Pump Pit Liner – the 5 gallon bucket method
Many sump pump pit liners are just 5 gallon buckets with some holes drilled in the sides or an open hole in the floor with a pump thrown in. This approach to installing a sump pump pit liner is very common but not ideal. A 5 gallon bucket used as a sump pump pit liner is not a best practice, even though the use of the 5 gallon bucket method does ultimately pump water out of the basement.
The 5 gallon bucket or open hole approach is not the best, nor it is the right, solution.
The Four Main Components of an Ideal Sump Pit Liner
A good sump pit liner has four main components. These components are a sealed lid, pump stand, erosion control and large holes.
Sealed Lid – Sump Pit Liner Component
- Nothing can fall in and clog the pump
- Prevents soil gases from entering the basement
- General safety - People & Pets
- Looks better
- Raises the pump of the bottom of the sump pump pit liner to protect against any debris that may enter.
Erosion Control – Sump Pit Liner Component
- Solid sides (No Holes) against the foundation
- Not too deep, deeper is not better
- These two items can lead to soil erosion under the foundation walls and floor if not incorporated into the sump pump pit liner
Large Holes – Sump Pit Liner Component
- Larger holes allows water to flow to the sump pump faster
- Larger holes do not get clogged
- Small holes reduce flow and makes the sump pump wait for the water to fill up before it can pump. Also known as short cycling
There are a handful of companies that have designed a sump pump pit liner that incorperates all of the four features of an ideal sump pump pit liner. In the Northeast, I recommend Grate Products. They carry a great line of basement water control products. Grate Products also has a strong certified contractor program if you need something installed.