Installing a sump pump in a pit requires attaching a PVC riser pipe to the pump, taping the pump's electrical cord to the riser, attaching a check valve to the top of the riser, and then running additional plumbing to the home's exterior. After installing the pump, the user plugs it in and dumps a few gallons of water into the pit to test whether the pump is functioning.
The check valve above the pump's riser prevents the pump from running constantly. Without the check valve in place, small amounts of water continually fall down the riser back into the pump, forcing it to start again and pump the water back up. This process goes on indefinitely, and it can quickly ruin even a high-quality sump pump.
PVC plumbing runs from the check valve to the home's exterior. If necessary, holes are drilled through the home's wall to allow water to exit the structure. Additional pipes then carry the water as far away from the structure as the homeowner desires.
The installer uses high-quality silicone caulk to seal any place where the pipe exits the structure. Installers use silicone caulk because the material can withstand the vibrations generated by the sump pump. More brittle caulks eventually break down, allowing moisture to enter the home.