Sump Pump Dry Well Installation

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In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook installs a sump pump dry well to collect discharge water coming from a couple’s basement.

How to Install a Sump Pump Dry Well

  1. Temporarily connect discharge hose from sump pump to a long PVC pipe. Extend pipe well away from dry well excavation site.
  2. Set the dry well in position and use ground-marking spray paint to mark the dry well’s rough outline onto the ground. Make the circle 2 feet wider than the dry well.
  3. Dig an 8-inch-deep trench leading from the sump pump discharge hose to excavation site.
  4. Use pointed shovels to dig a 4-feet-deep hole for the dry well.
  5. Fill the bottom of the hole with crushed stone.
  6. Line the bottom and sides of the hole with landscape fabric, then add more stone.
  7. Lay 1½-inch-diameter PVC pipe in trench extending from the sump pump discharge to the hole.
  8. Use a 1½-inch-diameter hole saw to cut a hole in the side of the dry well.
  9. Place the dry well into the hole, set the cap on top.
  10. Insert the PVC pipe into the hole cut in the side. Backfill around the dry well with stone.
  11. Backfill the trench with soil.
  12. Add a 90-degree elbow and vertical pipe section to the end of the PVC pipe in the trench so that it extends up to the discharge hose.
  13. Install a rubber connector onto the end of the vertical PVC pipe.
  14. Insert discharge hose into the rubber connector, then tighten the hose clamp.
  15. Install a spring-loaded pop-up top to the dry well cap.
  16. Backfill the hole with dirt and plant grass seed.


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