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.
Called an “Open Channel Sump Pump”, this approach to installing a sump pump pit liner is very common but not ideal and can be dangerous even.
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.
Read our article about Why Open Channel Sump Pump Solutions are Dangerous
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.