A sump pump is normally installed underneath the floor of basements and crawl spaces to collect groundwater that may threaten to flood your house. During long periods of rain, groundwater can easily rise, thus causing flooding. The main aim of the sump pump is to collect all this water and redirect it away from your home.
You are probably wondering what you would need a sump pump check valve for. A check valve is located in your sump pump system’s discharge line. Its major purpose is to prevent discharged water from flowing back into the basin when the pump motor turns off. In addition, it is known to quiet down the noise that comes from the sump pump, which can be quite a nuisance.
In this article, we will seek to provide information on how to install this important device in order to prevent the back-flow of water.
Instruments you will need
To install a sump pump check valve, you will need the following instruments:
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Pipe cleaner
- Pipe cutter or Hacksaw
- PVC cement or Drill
- PVC cement applicator
- Couplings or adapters
- Sump pump check valve
Step-by-Step Guide Line
Step 1: Preparing the Instruments
Before we dive in into the installation process, the first thing to do is to ensure you prepare all the instruments needed. You will probably need to purchase a sump pump check valve and couplings at a hardware store or online. At this stage, it is advisable to check the diameter of the discharge pipe using a tape measure because this is where you will insert the check valve.
You can decide to bring a sample of the discharge pipe to see which check valve corresponds to the diameter. This applies when you are buying from a hardware store. If the purchase is being done online, ensure that the check valve purchased does not have a smaller diameter than your existing discharge pipe.
As a safety measure, drain off the water in the sump pump basin. Thereafter, disconnect the sump pump’s power to avoid any accidents such as electrocutions.
Step 2: Cutting the Existing Discharge Pipe
As you begin the installation process, the first step is to identify the area in the existing discharge pipe where you will cut off. This is because you will need to put the check valve in this section. Most of the time, this check valve is located near the pump itself and next to the sump tank.
This is to ensure that too much water is not trapped between the check valve and the sump pump. Here, you will take your pipe cutter or hacksaw and cut the discharge pipe in two areas. This is where the check valve will be fitted.
As a homeowner, you can either choose to go for a vertical check valve or horizontal sump pump check valve. The most important thing is that it is well measured and well fitted. It is of utmost importance to cut off the discharge pipe in smaller parts than in larger ones.
The reasoning behind this is to ensure that you do not cut off too much. It is better to keep cutting until you get the desired size that will fit the valve perfectly. The last part of this step is to file the edges of the discharge pipe once you are satisfied with the result in order to smoothen them out.
Step 3: Installing the Check Valve
Once you have cut the discharge pipe and created the gap, it is now time to fit the check valve. If you measured correctly and cut the appropriate size, the sump pump check valve should fit very well without a struggle.
If you notice that the gap you made is too small, take your hacksaw or pipe cutter again and adjust until you get the desired result. Alternatively, if the difference is small, you can just file the edges until the check valve fits.
Next, use your pipe cleaner to clean the inside of the discharge pipe and the check valve to remove any dust or debris that may lead to clogging. Take your purchased check valve and fit it into both cut edges of the discharge pipe. Ensure that you fit your check valve with the arrow pointing up or it will not work at all. This shows you have fitted it correctly.
Use the couplings to join the two ends together. After that, you can use PVC cement and the PVC cement applicator to secure the ends. Make sure you give the cement sometime to dry. Alternatively, you can use a drill to secure the clamps of the check valve as well.
Step 4: Test the Installed Check Valve
After the cement has dried and the parts are well cleaned, you can switch the pump’s power back on. Follow this by pumping out some water out of the sump tank. While doing this, listen keenly to the valve as water pressure runs through at first. At this point, you will hear the flap inside the valve swinging open.
When you switch off the pump, the water pressure reduces and the flap in the check valve will close. In addition, you will notice that the noise from the sump pump will quiet down if this was a problem. This is an indication that your check valve is working.
So there you have it. Installing a sump pump valve is a fairly easy procedure. Once you follow this step-by-step guideline provided, you will realize that it saves you time and cost that you would have otherwise used to seek the services of a plumber.
Most importantly, ensure that you heed to all the safety precautions, especially switching off the pump’s power while installing the check valve. This is so that you keep off all the major and minor accidents that could have been avoided from the get-go.