Removing Floor Drains In Your Basement And Replacing Them With A Sump-Pump: What To Expect

If you currently have a basement that has one or more open floor drains, the drains exist to help remove excess water from your basement when it rains or floods. If you find that your floor drains are quite messy or smelly and you would like to remove them and replace them with another drainage option, you should know that this process is extensive and messy. If you are still set on replacing your floor drains with, say, a sump-pump system instead, then here is what you should expect from your plumbing contractor.

Step 1: Removing the Drain Plumbing

Floor drains usually drain into the plumbing that collects wastewater from your entire house. This is the biggest reason why you may encounter foul odors emitting from your basement floor drains. The human waste from toilets comes down the toilet stack pipes in your home and heads out toward the city sewer, while your basement floor drains connect to this sewage pipe and head the same direction. Backed up sewage problems are the result of the drainage pipe getting too full or too blocked, and then the sewage finds its way back through the floor drains. To start your intended plumbing conversion, your plumbing contractor has to rip up your basement floor, remove these pipes and the floor drains, seal off the openings to the main sewer line and then fill all of these areas back in with fresh concrete/cement.

Step 2: Creating an Opening for the Sump-Pump

A sump-pump is typically submerged into the basement floor. This means that your plumber will have to cut another hole in the basement floor just for this new drainage system. Usually, the sump-pump is placed in a corner of the basement, which primes the system's setup for the next step.

Step 3: Banking Your Basement Floor

This second-to-last step helps prepare your basement floor for moving the water down toward the sump-pump. Layers of concrete or cement are gradually added until there is a natural downward slope of the floor in the direction of the sump-pump. After the concrete/cement cures, the floor is tested with a bucket of water. If the water flows directly to the sump-pump, "banking" your basement floor is a success and nothing else needs to be done. If water from all other areas in your basement do not flow directly down to the pump, then the contractor has to make adjustments until the new floor passes this test.

Step 4: Running the Drainage Pipe for the Pump up and Out

The last step in this conversion process from floor drain to sump-pump system requires that the drainage pipe for the sump-pump run up and out of the house. The drainage pipe runs through a pre-drilled hole at the top of the basement wall and connects to another pipe that will carry the water from the pump's hole to the outside. Once the water is pumped to the outside, it may be expelled via a French drain system or expelled out into the street.