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Question DetailsAsked on 8/14/2014

I would like to know how to best supply electrical to a sump pump in the crawl space.

I would like to know how to best supply electrical to a sump pump in the crawl space. Should I have the electrician create a new outlet in the crawlspace or should I have an extension cord run out of the crawls space and connect to an outlet elsewhere in the house? I also understand it is best to have it ultimately connected to a dedicated breaker in the panel. In doing so do I understand correctly that an electrical permit and inspection would be needed at this point? Waterproofing companies I have spoken to do not seem to get involved with this aspect of the work. Thanks in advance for your input. Gail.

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You seem to have a pretty good handle on it. Never use an extension cord for a permanent installation, or for a high-wattage item like a sump pump - and especially not for something that is critical to the well-being of your house like a sump pump. What if someone unplugs it - either by accident by tripping on the cord, or because they want to plug something else in there ?


Also, sump pumps should be plugged into a GFCI breaker, since they are in water.


As for the separate breaker - like the furnace, you do not want it tripping out if something else trips the circuit breaker elsewhere in the house, or turns it off because of a failed out let say - particularly since someone might not know that the sump pump is on that breaker with other outlets.


Once the plumber has located where the sump pump is going to go, have an Electrician put in the outlet - then the plumber has power to test the sump pump when he installs it. Also, if the outlets is in a non-conditoned space (not air conditioned/heated as applicable in your area), the outlet should commonly be outdoor rated - NEMA 3, 4, 5, 6 depending on your conditions, because in a crawlspace say or an outdoors sump pump pit the condensation can get into the outlet otherwise. Electrician should know what NEMA class the environment is - usually NEMA 1 if indoors in a heated space and more than 3 feet from pump and pit, NEMA 3 or 4 for crawlspace or if within 3 feet of the sump, one of the NEMA 4 or 5 classes as applicable if outdoor exposure for a wetwell or outdoor sump pit depending on protection from the weather.


Certainly, unless prohibitively expensive, you should spend the $150-250 it is likely to cost (assuming unfinished basement/crawlspace ceiling so can run through open joists) for a dedicated circuit. I would also have a separate high water/power failure alarm - a loud one with 9V battery backup but running off 110V, installed at the pump area BUT run off another circuit - so if the pump fails because of circuit failure it will still sound, as well as during a pump mechanical failure or blockage. My personal preference, because the cost is cheap compared to flooding damages, is two plug-in water/power failure 110V alarms with 9V backup battery - one on the pump circuit, one off another circuit, plus a 9V independent alarm atthe lowest point water will accumulate on the floor. Of course, I am conservative and big on safety - which is why my house has 2 pairs of hardwired paired downstairs/upstairs and garage/upstairs alarms, 12 battery operated fire alarms (1 in pretty much every room but bathrooms and 3 in workshop/garage) plus 2 CO alarms - one on each floor, and five water alarms at boiler, hot water heater, washer, dishwasher, and basement floor drain.


One thingto remember with alarms - unless VERY loud, probably best to get ones with extension wires to the actual detector and put the alarm in the first floor living space so they can readily be heard, with the detectors of course at the basement level.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD




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