Instructions to Construct a Manual Auxiliary PVC Pipe Sump Pump
UPDATE: 8/28 9:00AM EASTERN: The power went out last night at 2am and didn’t come back on until 8:15am. The pump worked well, but I completely underestimated the volume of water entering my basement. I could not pump fast enough, so we retreated, and Hurricane Irene gave us an 18-inch indoor swimming pool in our basement.
I made a hand pump to avoid basement flooding, just in case the power goes out and the sump pump stops working. Pictures below. I use the following Materials:
- 1 @ Wood 3/4″ wood board suitable to secure the pump and stand on
- 10 feet 1 1/4″ PVC Pipe
- 5 feet 1″ PVC Pipe
- 1 foot 3/4″ PVC Pipe
- 1 @ 1 1/4″ PVC T-Connector
- 1 @ 1″ PVC T-Connector
- 6 feet hose, ~1 1/4″ outside diameter
- 1-4 @ 1 1/4″ PVC Elbow Connectors
- 2 @ 1 1/4″ Straight Connectors
- 2 @ 1 1/4″ Check Valves
- 2 feet metal straps
- 4 screws
- 1 @ 1 1/4″ to 1″ male/female straight PVC adapter
- 1 @ 1″ to 3/4″ male/female straight PVC adapter
- 1 @ 3/4″ Female/female PVC threaded adapter
- 1 @ metal threaded garden hose adapter
- 1 @ PVC cap with 1″ outside diameter OR large dowel (to fit snugly inside 1″ PVC)
- 2 @ #18 O-Rings (1 3/36″ O.D)
- 1 Table saw
- 1 PVC Cutting Tool
- PVC Primer
- PVC Glue
The hand pump works by sucking water through one check valve, into a hand-driven piston, then out another check valve, through a garden hose. I created three different connectors for the intake: A hose (most verisitile, but most expsensive), a straight-down connector for my sump, and a rectangular intake connector for
I wish I had time to give detailed instructions. I don’t. Here are some pointers:
- Cut the piston to about waist height.
- Make sure to tighten the compression rings VERY tight on the check valves. They are the first to blow.
- You can plug the 3/4″ piston with a dowel, or any random piece of PVC that will fit over the top. I simply glued mine on.
- The pump will work without the O-Rings, but it will leak slightly each time you pump. But in an emergency situation, who cares?
- Be careful to not go too deep when cutting the channels for the O-Rings. I used a table saw, and had to cut about 70% into the PVC.
- Make the piston shorter than the shaft, or at least make sure to place the O-Rings higher up the piston. Otherwise, when you push down on the piston, the O-rings will get stuck under the bottom of the shaft, where it enters the T.
- I tested it by emptying a pool and pushing water up 8 feet through a garden hose. It works.
- There is no need to glue the intake pipe or hose.
- Pump was inspired by a design created by a 6-year-old boy.
- Total cost, not including tools was around $50. The hose cost $23, and was the most expensive part.