What Is Sump Pump Crock? And Installation Guide

The sump pump crock is where the sump pump is installed in your basement. It is a part of the main drainage system to remove water and prevent the basement from flooding. Properly installing a correctly-sized sump crock is important to keep the water removal process going on effortlessly. So, let’s find out more about the sump pump crock and how to install it in your basement.

sump pump crock

What is a Sump Crock?

A sump crock is also known as the sump pit or the basin. It is a plastic or concrete basin with holes bored around it, used to collect groundwater that seeps inside. The crock contains a sump pump that removes this water by pumping it to a distant spot away from the house. This prevents basement flooding and risks of water damage. If the sump crock doesn’t pass water or hold back the soil, then these are signs of a depreciated sump pit. You can replace the sump basin to overcome this issue.

How to Install a New Sump Pump Crock?

Follow the steps given here to install a new crock for sump pump. Always wear the necessary PPE, including gloves, boots, and safety glasses, to prevent any injuries during work.

  1. Disconnect the power supply by removing the plug from the power outlet or turning off the circuit breaker. Disconnect the water discharge pipelines from the sump pump. If there are any hoses, unscrew the hose clamp and pull off the hose from the hose fitting to remove it. Place the sump pump aside once you disconnect it from all connections.
  2. The next step is to break the concrete floor around the edge of the sump pump. You can use a cold chisel or a hammer to make room around the sump pit. This will help you to remove the old sump crock. Then use a shovel to loosen the gravel around it and pull the existing sump crock out of the pit. Make sure not to injure yourself in the process.
  3. Then, clean out the sump pit by removing all the old gravel using a shovel. Put the old gravel in a bucket and wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt. This gravel can be reused after installing the new sump crock. Add a layer of landscaping fabric around the internal perimeter of the sump pit. You can also wrap the new sump crock with the fabric. Drill holes in the side of the new crock to allow groundwater to enter if necessary.
  4. Add about 4 inches of rinsed gravel to the bottom of the sump pit. Place the new sump crock on the gravel and make sure that it is centered and that the top of the crock is even with the basement floor. Then fill the space around the crock with gravel until it reaches about 3 – 4 inches below the top of the crock. Fill in the floor space around the new crock with ready-mix concrete to secure it in place. Pour the wet concrete around the crock and leave it until the concrete hardens. 
  5. After the crock is fixed properly, you can insert the sump pump into the pit. Place it at the bottom and reconnect the drain pipes to the sump pump. Plug it back into the power supply and turn on the circuit breaker. 
  6. Test the pump operation by adding some water into the sump pit until the pump comes on. After confirming its function, reinstall the sump lid and covers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Deep is a Sump Crock?

A normal sump pit is around 30 inches deep with a width of 18 – 24 inches. The standard sump pits are 18 inches in diameter and can hold a capacity of 26 gallons. Usually, on many occasions, the pit needs to have a minimum diameter of 24 inches and a depth of 36 inches. So, you can clarify this by contacting your sump pump contractor before the installation. If the sump pit reaches too deep below the floor, it may gather much more water than it really needs to. This will force your sump pump to work harder and longer. This unnecessary workload will reduce the lifespan of your system due to overheating of the pump. You will also get extra expenses such as an increased electricity bill. So, find the best depth of sump crock beforehand to avoid such inconveniences.

Should a Sump Pump Sit on Gravel?

The sump pump should not sit on any loose silt or any other type of debris. This is because it could easily be sucked up into the pump. So, make sure that your sump pump does not lie over small pebbles or gravel. This will cause clogs inside the sump pump and shorten the life of the device. Having large gravel under the sump pump will not be an issue if it cannot suck in the particles inside. Have a layer of gravel paved evenly at the bottom of the pit. Instead, it will increase the efficiency of the system as water can seep in easily through the gravel for the sump pump to remove.

Why Does My Sump Pump Fill Up So Fast?

If your sump pump keeps filling with water fast, it could be because it has a limited capacity. If the sump pump is too small to drain water efficiently, the pit may keep filling regardless. Defects in the system such as a stuck pump float switch, a defective check valve, and a clogged drain or valve could also be the cause. High levels of groundwater due to a broken pipeline can also cause this situation. You can inspect the sump pump system and consider any repairs or replacements. If not, you need to upgrade the drainage system by replacing it with a new sump pump with better capacity.


Having a proper water drainage system is not only about the sump pump. It also involves the condition of the sump pit and the drainage pipelines as well. Install the sump pump pit correctly to avoid any inconveniences of water damage. If your installer recommends you upgrade your sump pump, here are some of the best sump pumps according to customer reviews on the performance and reliability.