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Sump pump in a bucket

0 votes

From Belinda:

I have a huge hole dug in my basement with a 5 gallon bucket at the bottom of it (in it’s own hole), with a sump pump in it. The pump died, and I replaced it. Now when the big hole fills up with water, the bucket starts to float tipping it over with the pump in it.

I moved the pump into the bigger hole on a flat surface, but when the hole fills up, and the float activates the pump, the pump falls over and sometimes the pump stays on even when the water is gone.

I’m afraid it will burn the motor up. How can I secure this pump in the hole so it doesn’t fall over, or how can I keep the 5 gallon bucket from floating when water is in hole? I end up under my house every time it rains. No fun! Thanks :-)

asked in Sump Pump by darekrudy (21,730 points)
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1 Answer

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Hi Belinda,

It sounds like you have a flexible discharge pipe connected to this sump pump. If this is the case, I’d recommend getting some PVC (the easiest, but copper, or galvanized will do too) pipe the same diameter as the sump pump outlet, threaded connector that you can glue to the end of pipe and screw it into the pump enclosure.

I’m not sure about the surroundings, but in most cases, the pipe would run up to the ceiling level, have a 90 connector installed and then continue to exterior or wherever it discharges (you secure horizontal or / and vertical sections with brackets).

The idea is to secure pump in place with the solid PVC pipe. Flexible pipes work fine on temporary sump pumps, but something that is there to stay, should have a more permanent installation.

If you insist on keeping flexible extension or for some reason, this particular pump hasn’t been designed for a hard wall pipes, you could make (drill) some holes at the lower portion of the bucket to prevent it from floating / allow water penetrate instead of filling it up over the edges.

Drill or punch a few holes above the bottom (don’t drill the bottom portion of the bucket) and observe how fast is the bucket filling up – it must be as fast than the water raising around it (make a few more holes if it is too slow). If the pump isn’t heavy enough, put a couple of bricks / stones inside the bucket / around the pump to hold it down and secure it in place – just make sure they are not blocking the pump switch.
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)
N says:
Put a few very small holes in the bottom of the bucket.
The reason why the bucket floats is because water fills up in the bottom of the bucket and all the space in the bucket that has air in it will cause the bucket to float. Most pumps it can burn up the motor. If you have a pedestole pump don’t let the motor touch the water