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Question DetailsAsked on 3/5/2014

Does California building/plumbing code require sump pumps to have covers?

My contractor installed a sump pump but didn't provide a cover, he says it is not needed.

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3 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Answered 5 years ago by Guest123


Not sure what the IRC says but you should be able to call your local building inspector and get a quick and direct answer from them.

Answered 5 years ago by WoWHomeSolutions


Hi, I don't know how to reply to an answer so using this field. One of the experts asked which county in California. It is San Mateo county. I appreciate your answers.

Answered 5 years ago by unhappyclient


You responded the right way - using the Answer This Question buttomn - keeps all the comments in the same thread together that way.

Per the San Mateo Building Department website, Building Regulation 2011, the 2010 California Plumbing Code is the current adopted code in your area. Section 1101.5.3 stipulates the following, in addition to additional requirements on pipe sizes which I did not include, regarding subsoil drains from within buildings:

"Where it is not possible to convey the drainage by gravity, subsoil drains shall discharge to an accessible sump provided with an approved automatic electric pump. The sump shall be not less then fifteen (15) inches (381 mm) in diameter, eighteen (18) inches (457 mm) in depth, and fitted with a fitted cover. ..."

There is also a general building code requirement that any openings in floors that are so located that they can consititute a tripping or falling hazard shall be covered with a flush cover suitable to walk on, or guarded with guard rails or balconies or similar protective devices. I did not look up the reference on that one, as the above makes it pretty clear a cover is required. If you want it to be a locking cover to keep kids out, that would not be a code requirement and would be at extra cost, though you could certainly easily mount a hasp and padlock yourself much cheaper. Be sure to hang the key high but nearby in case it is needed, clearly labelled with a tag - maybe a tag on cover where the key is, too.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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