My sump is 2' deep and has never had any water in it since I bought the
house 13 years ago. When I bought the house I found the sump pump was
improperly installed and didn't work, so it hadn't been needed in the
previous 13 years either.
I have a pretty steep slope away from my walkout basement; there doesn't
seem any reason water would want to get into my basement rather than running
down the hill.
Is there any reason I shouldn't just put a wood disk over it and reclaim the
space? I just have this (irrational?) fear that the moment I do... I know
the amount of space doesn't seem like much, but when you figure out the
space the pipe requires to get to the storm drain, it could be a nice set of
When I fixed the pump I ran water into the sump but couldn't get the level
high enough to activate the pump; it drained away faster than I could put it
in. So unless it is unusually wet out, that isn't a problem.
The pump is probably there for the rare circumstance when
due to heavy rains, the water table in the ground rises above
the floor. It's cheap insurance against damage. Covering it
should not affect its performance. Removing it would.
If the ground really slopes away sufficiently that the water
table could not cause damage, you may be safe removing it.
You could run a drain pipe to the sump that drops to a
lower level outside if that is possible.
My Mom's home is in a development built in the mid sixties. My family
moved there in 1967, the houses were 2 or 3 years old at that time.
Every home in the devolpment is built with one of 2 floor plans
(Acutally 4 floor plans if mirror images count as separate.) and
every house had a sump pump installed whether it needed one
or not. The first time the sump pump operated my folks had been
living there about 8 or 10 years and they couldn't figure
out what the sound was. I guess the pump has come on no more than a
dozen times in almost 40 years. However, the original pump did fail at
some unknown time, and was not discovered until there was some minor
flooding in the basement.
My advice is to cover the pump so you can use the space, but leave it
accessible and operational, unless you are 100% sure that it will
never be needed.
Often wrong, never in doubt.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - firstname.lastname@example.org
My sump and pump have been covered for over 35 years I have lived in this
house with no problems. The original pump has been changed twice in this
time period due to normal wear and tear. The cover keeps out anything which
might conceivably otherwise fall into the sump, like children's toys, small
It may be unusually wet out. I've lived here 23 years and my sump
pump was always easily able to remove all the water that entered it
(from the perforated corrugated 4-inch black plastic pipe that
surrounds the foundation). And I was pretty sure if I raised the
float level, the pump would never run at all.
Forget when but sometime in the last year the ground got so wet and it
rained enough that water just "poured" upwards out of the sump and
onto my basement floor. Even though the pump was running full blast
and when I went outside and looked at the pump discharge pipe, the
water was coming out plenty fast.
However, why keep the whole sump hole. Mine came with a plastic
"cork" to cofver all the hole except the discharge pipe and the rod
coming out of the float. One could make this out of one or two layers
of 3/4" plywood.
I was in an expensive new house this week that had what looked like a
cement "cork" and for sure had caulking around the water discharge
pipe and the radon discharge pipe. (The float must have been shorter).
Apparently they are putting radon protection in some homes that don't
even have radon. (I checked and I don't, so far.)
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