Q:

What are some methods for using an outdoor sump pump for drainage?

A:

Quick Answer

When using outdoor sump pumps, filter incoming water to avoid clogging the pump. In colder climates, install outdoor pumps below the freeze line, and wrap discharge hoses with electrical heat tape to prevent freezing and cracking. In addition, cover any electrical components to protect against weather damage.

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Full Answer

While filters are always recommended, using a sewage pump outside instead of a sump pump minimizes the need to filter incoming water, since sewage pumps do the same work but usually handle solids up to 2 inches in diameter. Carefully consider the placement of discharge hoses to avoid recycling discharged water back to the pump and to maximize the flow of water out of the hose, which prevents the hose from cracking in freezing weather. Be sure to keep the end-point of the discharge hose 20 feet from the foundation and away from the septic tank. Installing the discharge line into the storm sewer is another possible option in some situations.

Outdoor sump pumps, which help avoid problems associated with a high water table or underground water source, usually require a larger pit than indoor pumps in order to handle a larger capacity of water and to minimize the number of pump cycles.

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