How to Vent Sump Pumps

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • 3-inch PVC pipe

  • PVC fittings (enough to form the design you want)

  • PVC cleaner

  • PVC glue

  • Hacksaw


An outside sump pump need not vent into your house system. Use the same method as above but bring the pipe upwards about a foot and use a “U” elbow on the top to protect the opening from taking on dirt or rain. Consider hiring a plumber if you don't understand the process behind venting.


If you are required to seal basement sump pumps due to radon gas, be aware that the gas can enter your home in other areas as well. Don't run the vent into the sewer drain. If you don't know the difference, contact a plumber.

Sealed sump pumps require venting.

Sump pumps are usually open-air buckets; however, some communities require a cover on a sump pump if there is a risk of radon gas contamination. In this case, basement sump pumps must be covered and sealed but to do so, creates the need for a vent. Venting your sump pump isn’t difficult and you can do it without a plumber if you're handy.


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Step 1

Locate your home’s vent system. This is one or more main vents that run inside interior walls and lead directly upwards, exiting through your roof.

Step 2

Measure the trajectory your sump pump vent pipe will follow by beginning at a spot on the top of the sealed pump cover and creating the fewest angles possible to reach your home’s vent system. Often, it’s best to run the vent pipe directly upwards to the underneath side of the main floor and then run it between joists to reach the vent system.

Step 3

Purchase enough of 3-inch PVC pipe to run along your pre-determined path from the sump bucket lid to the vent system. Buy a few extra inches to allow for errors in measuring. Also, purchase the fittings necessary to put the pipes together.


Step 4

Figure out how many angles your PVC pipe will need in order to reach the vent system and purchase PVC fittings that match those angles. For instance, if your pipe will take a 45-degree turn, you will need a 45-degree PVC elbow-fitting in order to make the corner.

Step 5

Begin at the ends and work your way inwards. Use the PVC cleaner to remove any debris or gloss from the end of a measured PVC pipe and then apply a coating of PVC glue to both the pipe and the inside PVC vent ring on the basement sump pump's lid. Wait a few seconds and then quickly slide the pipe into the ring, holding it firmly until the glue sets.


Step 6

Repeat the process to attach the pipe to the vent system at the other end but in this case, you will need to prepare the vent system pipe by cutting a hole and inserting a base fitting. Slide the pipe in just the way you did the first one.

Step 7

Add angled PVC fittings and more straight pipes until your reach the spot where your pipes meet. All fittings will connect in the same manner, first by using the cleaner and then using the glue. Make sure you have allowed an inch extra when you cut each PVC pipe to allow for the length inside the fittings.

Step 8

Make sure you have a vent cover on the vent that leads out of your home’s roof to protect the vent from rain and debris.


Glenda Taylor

Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.