Buying a sump pump can save the contents of your basement if you experience modest flooding. However, very few homeowners think about protecting the sump pump from potential hazards so it can do its job when it is needed. A sump pump cover prevents debris or accidental damage to your sump pump, making sure that the pump is there to bail you out if ever needed.
Sump pump covers are not always used because there is no plumbing or mechanical reason to buy one. However, a well fitted cover will prevent small animals, children, or objects from dropping in the hole and possibly damaging your pump. Also, if you do not have a cover, you may be violating local building codes that require one.
Another reason to buy a cover is if you are concerned about radon gas. The easiest way to find out if you have a problem that would require a cover is to contact a professional to test your basement. If you do have a problem, definitely start with a sump pump cover, but be aware that it won’t completely solve all of your problems.
Sump covers are available from a wide variety of manufacturers. They come in both solid and perforated options. Perforated covers should be used if the water will flow across the floor before draining into the well. A solid cover should be used if there is a pipe underneath the floor that drains the water.
If you can’t find a cover to fit your pump, consider making your own. All you will need is a piece of plywood and a rubber gasket to create a good seal. You should cut a piece of plywood to fit the hole, then seal all seams with the rubber gasket. This includes the holes you must make to accommodate the vent pipe, discharge pipe, and power cord.
Be sure to vent the sump as well. You can vent to a vent stack or the outdoors, just be sure to use a PVC pipe that is 4 inch in diameter to create proper ventilation. Of course, if your sump pump does not have pipes below the floor, a solid cover should not be installed.
If you are buying a sump pump you should be aware that modern sumps are often sold with covers and other accessories that can be added before installation. However, if your house is old, chances are you will need a cover. Considering the lack of cost and time involved for this project, there is no good reason not to install a sump cover. Of course, if you lack the time, a licensed contractor could easily install one for you in a few hours.