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Do You Need a Sump Pit?: Common Myths & Biggest Benefits

installing a sump pump system in a sump pit

A sump pump actively removes water from your basement, making it an essential piece of your basement waterproofing system.

However, common misconceptions about their installation process—namely, whether to include a sump pit—deter homeowners from installing one.

This guide clarifies these misunderstandings and highlights the sump pit’s importance.

The key takeaway: you need a sump pump with all the necessary components. You can trust local basement waterproofing professionals like Baker’s Waterproofing to install your sump pump system the right way. This includes a sump pit, lid, and other parts.

What is a Sump Pit?

Let’s start by explaining what a sump pit is and how it functions in basement waterproofing.

A sump pit houses the actual sump pump system. It is a collection spot for excess water, positioned at the lowest part of the basement.

Here’s a look at the installation process:

  • Determine the lowest part of the basement.
  • Dig a hole in the basement floor.
  • Place a sump liner/basin inside the pit.
  • Install pumps inside the liner.
  • Assemble internal components.
  • Connect pipes from the interior drainage system to the liner.
  • Cover the liner with an airtight lid.

The system is straightforward. Once water from the interior drains accumulates to a specific height in the pit, the adjoining sump pump activates. This propels the water through a discharge pipe to a safe area away from your home.

This is key for directing unwanted water away from your property and preventing possible water damage, especially after significant rainfall or during periods of snowmelt.

Busting 4 Common Sump Pit Myths

Some homeowners are hesitant about sump pits due to common misconceptions. Let’s set the record straight:

Myth #1: Sump Pits Waste Space

basement sump pump installation

Basements are often tight on space, but sump pump systems are designed to be compact and unobtrusive. Contrary to popular belief, these systems take up minimal floor space.

The sump pit itself is a small hole in the basement floor, and the pump unit rests neatly inside. Other than the lid and interior pipes, you can’t even see the sump pump or pit after it is installed.

Depending on the model, a sump pump system can easily fit into even the smallest of basements without monopolizing valuable square footage.

Myth #2: Sump Pits Are Too Complex

While the concept of a sump pump system may seem complex at first, its design is relatively straightforward.

The system consists of just a few key components: the sump pit or basin, which collects excess water; the pump that expels the water; and a discharge pipe to direct the water away from the home. That’s it!

The pit acts as a reservoir. When water levels rise high enough, the pump kicks in and pushes the water through the discharge line to a designated drainage area.

Myth #3: A Sump Pit Is Not Necessary

A sump pump relies on the sump pit’s presence to operate effectively. The pump is activated by a floating switch that sits within the sump basin.

Without this pit to collect water, the pump would have no way to detect rising water levels and no reservoir from which to pump out the excess moisture.

To maximize the waterproofing capabilities of your sump pit, it should be professionally paired with a compatible sump pump. Experienced installers from Baker’s Waterproofing ensure the pit and pump are sized and situated ideally for your basement’s specific conditions.

Myth #4: Sump Pits Tend to Fail

sump pump installed in a basement

Some homeowners may hesitate to invest in a sump pump system due to concerns about potential sump pit failure.

However, with the right precautions, these systems are highly dependable.

Proper installation by professionals, selecting the correct pit size, routine maintenance, and the use of backup power sources during outages can prevent most issues.

Many quality sump pumps even come with backup battery power and warranties for added peace of mind.

Failure is uncommon when the system is set up and cared for correctly.

Benefits of Pairing Sump Pumps and Sump Pits

Installing a sump pump system in a sump pit offers multiple benefits, including:

  • Preserves Home’s Value: It guards against water damage, maintaining your property’s value and structural integrity.
  • Promotes a Healthier Environment: By preventing moisture accumulation, it deters mold growth and pest invasions, ensuring a healthier home.
  • Mitigates Flooding Risks: It effectively reduces the potential for water damage in your basement, safeguarding your home’s foundation.
Baker's Waterproofing crew

Invest in the Best Sump Pump Installation

Baker’s Waterproofing specializes in addressing wet basements with comprehensive waterproofing solutions. These include professional sump pit and pump installations.

Partner with our expert team to protect your basement against water damage and preserve your home’s condition. Contact us now to schedule a free inspection and obtain a no-obligation repair estimate.


Think of a basement waterproofing system as the body’s circulatory system. A sump pump is the “heart” of this system. While interior drains collect water, a sump pump actively removes it from your basement to keep it dry. A quality sump pump should be cast iron for longevity and carry a long-lasting warranty. 

You can, but there are many factors to consider. You’d have to put time and effort into installing the system, and the manufacturer’s warranties are typically limited. Many big box store sump pumps are lower quality, lack an airtight lid, and do not have a pump stand to keep them upright and elevated off sediment.

A cover can prevent debris from entering the pit, reduce noise and smells, and enhance safety, especially for homes with small children and pets. 

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

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