Can you add a sump pump to an existing basement?

Adding a sump pump to an existing basement is possible to prevent water damage. If you are having issues related to water pooling in the basement, install a suitable sump pump before the condition gets worse. You can find certain sump pumps designed for older basements. Consult a professional sump pump installer to find more details about the most suitable type of sump pump for your basement. You can get a pre-configures sump set up or a system that needs assembling.

sump pump to an existing basement

Can You Add a Sump Pump to an Existing Basement?

Installing a sump pump is one of the best ways to prevent the basement from flooding. The sump pump removes water to a distant location where it is safe to discharge. It keeps your property safe from possible water damage. The process of sump pump installation takes around 6 to 8 hours. The actual time taken depends on the thickness of the basement and the condition of the site. Experienced installers can install it easily within a short time rather than when homeowners try it on their own. 

Where Should Sump Pump Be Placed in the Basement?

Select a location in the basement or the crawlspace with the lowest level. If the ground is uneven, you can easily find a spot with the surrounding floor slanted towards it. The sump pump should be in the lowest spot on the floor, preferably near a wall, so that you can easily direct the discharge pipe outside. Find a location closer to an electrical outlet to power the sump pump.

What Are the Main Steps in Installing a Sump Pump?

  1. Select a suitable location and prepare the site for the sump pump installation. If the basement floor is concrete, you need to break through it using a jackhammer. Dig a hole big enough to fit the sump basin.
  2. The next step is to create a suitable environment for the sump pump without possible clogs. Install a weep hole that allows water to enter from the sides and underneath. Wrap a layer of filter fabric around the outside of the basin to prevent silt from clogging it. Add a layer of gravel at the bottom and create a stable platform.
  3. Place the sump pump at the level and test the float valve before going any further. Move it up and down to make sure that there are no obstructions to its movement.
  4. Run a pipe from the outside of the house to the valve so that it can conduct water away from the sump pump. Pass it through the basement by making a hole of suitable size. Use a check valve to prevent the backflow of discharged water.
  5. Plug in the sump pump to power and test it. Fill the sump basin with water and check whether the float rises. Then the sump pump should turn on to remove the water.
  6. Once you confirm that it functions well, cover the hole around the pump using concrete. Leave room for the sump pump lid, which you need to remove for maintenance

Tips for a Smooth Sump Pump Installation

If you plan to install a sump pump in your basement, here is a list of concerns that will make the work easier.

  • Read all the instructions and gather all the necessary materials for the installation.
  • Check the weather forecast to make sure that there will be clear days ahead. You should install the sump pump when there is no flood in the area and always before a rainy season strikes the area.
  • Make sure that the sump pump is unplugged when you install it.
  • Do not use the discharge hose as a handle as it could damage and even break.

How Much Does It Cost to Put in a Sump Pump?

Installation of a sump pump usually costs from $1,000 to $3,000, including both material and labor. The price of a sump pump is around $200 – $600. Despite the initial investment, having a sump pump increases the value of your house. It keeps the basement and the crawl space safe from water damage. So, even if you plan to sell your house, the sump pump increases its resale value. 

Can You Install a Second Sump Pump?

You can install a second sump pump, but you cannot add it to the existing system. This is because the drain tile is already graded and it needs re-grading for the new pump as well. So, the whole system needs reinstallation if you add a second pump to the system. But it’s safe to have multiple sump pumps in the basement so that you don’t need to worry about flooding. Even if one sump pump is out of odor, the second pump will remove the water in time. 

Why Doesn’t My Basement Have a Sump Pump?

This happens in most situations when people purchase new homes. You may find that there is no sump pump installed in the basement. This could be because the area rarely has any threats from water damage. Regions with less rainfall tend to have lower chances of basement floods. But if it is in an area with frequent rain and storms, it could be that the previous owner did not care about water damage and chose to avoid installing a sump pump. Another possibility is that the house is built on a concrete slab. Since there is no basement in such houses, no sump pump is available. But there could be a sump pump discharge line.

Can You Add a Battery Backup to an Existing Sump Pump?

Installing a battery backup to an existing sump pump is a relatively easy task. You can do it simply by following the three steps indicated here.

  1. Mount the unit to the wall at a convenient distance from a grounded AC outlet. Use the battery cables provided with the product to ensure safety. Enclose the battery system with a suitable plastic battery box.
  2. Make the necessary connections between the battery and the sump pump. For this, you should follow the guidelines given in the manual. 
  3. The final step is to test the installation by cycling the pump. Remove the power cord from the outlet to simulate a power failure and check the function of the sump pump. 


Adding a sump pump to an existing basement is not an easy task. It requires more labor since you need to dig through the concrete. But it prevents damage to your home and secures the health of your family members. Various health concerns rise due to mold formation in basements left damp and dark. Ensure the safety of your home by using suitable water drainage methods.