Must I Buy a Sump Pump Basin with Holes? Are Holes Needed?

Two of the most common questions asked regarding sump pump basin holes are if there are holes needed in the bottom of the sump pump basin, and are more holes needed in the sump pump basin. The answers to these questions depend on several factors. In this article, we’ll explore the different factors and scenarios regarding a sump pump basin with holes that will answer these questions.

Sump pump basins come in two variations. Some require additional holes and others come with holes.

A seeping type of sump pump basin comes with small holes around the basin’s sides. Any water around the basin will seep through these holes and collect in the sump basin where the water is then pumped out by the pump.

The area that can be drained effectively is limited by the type of soil the basin is located in. Slow draining soil will render the sump pump and basin ineffective.

Standard sump pump basins have one big hole on the side where a drain tile pipe is connected to the basin. The drain tile allows water to be collected easily from the complete foundation perimeter. This type of basin may or may not have additional small holes in the basin’s side.

Jackel brand sump pump basin with holes.
High quality Jackel brand sump pump basin with holes. Jackel Model: SF20-DR 18 X 22 Inches provides a 20 gallon capacity. Check The Price 

This Jackel sump pump basin with holes is suitable for use either outdoors or in a basement.

Preventing a Sump Pump Basin from Floating

When you place a sump basin into a hole dug into the ground that contains water, the basin will float. This could result in the plastic pipes connected to the sump pump breaking.

Although the weight of the sump pump will weigh the basin down to some degree, this may not be enough.

If you have to remove the pump, the floating problem will be worse. In that case, the discharge pipe will however already have been disconnected so it won’t break. There will then be nothing to prevent the basin from floating except for the drain tile pipe. To replace the basin when you put the pump back in, you may have to remove some caved-in gravel or soil.

Putting Rocks into the Sump Basin to Keep It Down

It’s not a good idea to put rocks in the sump basin as they will displace the volume of water that the basin can normally hold. This will result in the sump pump having to turn on more often, wearing out the pump much faster.

Drilling Holes in the Bottom of the Sump Pump Basin

While holes drilled in the bottom of the basin will prevent it from floating, this would lead to the pump losing some suction ability. The pump would once again have to run far longer to suck out the same volume of water.

This lower suction would also decrease the distance and height that the sump pump can pump water. All of this would decrease the lifespan of the pump, ultimately costing you more money.

How and Where Can Holes be Drilled in a Sump Pump Basin Safely?

Holes can best be drilled in the basin on the sides a few inches higher than the bottom. They should be spaced evenly around the basin and shouldn’t be very close together to prevent weakening the durability and strength of the sump pump basin with holes.

Begin with 4 holes with a diameter of ¼ inch and add 2 holes at a time until the basin does not float anymore. Then add additional holes farther up to enable greater water flow into the basin.

The ¼-inch holes will allow enough water to flow through and are large enough to prevent most dirt from entering the sump basin.

Shown below is the JACKEL 799640 Sump Basin which does not have factory drilled holes.

JACKEL 799640 Sump Basin Only, 18' x 24', Black
39 Reviews
JACKEL 799640 Sump Basin Only, 18″ x 24″, Black
  • The Jackel-SF22 is a premium residential sump basin

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Richard Quick author at Best Sump Pumps
Richard Quick
Author at Best Sump Pumps

The first time I helped to install a drain tile and basement sump pump system was 1978.

Since then I have worked for a city water utility where I worked with and maintained pumps.

My rental properties and personal homes all needed sump pumps.

As a modular home dealer/builder, those new homes needed sump pumps.

I put that experience to good use by providing reliable, useful, and practical advice on buying, using, and maintaining sump pumps.

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