In many areas your sump pump pit and basin do not need a lid but if there is a risk of radon gas leaks some local laws require you to cover and vent your pump system.
This might sound like extra “red tape” but radon is a radioactive gas that can cause medical problems like coughing, chest pains, and bronchitis so it is important to protect your health! Even if not required by law we recommend installing a cover and vent to keep things from falling inside.
In this guide we’ll review how to vent a basement sump pump:
Lucky for you installing a sump pump vent hole is easy – in most cases, you can do it yourself with a little elbow grease and save yourself the cost of hiring a plumber.
Step by Step Venting Guide
- Get your tools, parts and PVC pipe
- Measure your pump and vent system
- Drill a hole in your basin
- Start at the vent and run PVC pipe to the pump pit – accounting for curves, bends, and interior walls
- Test your system
Vent Installation Instructions
Installing a pit in your home is easy. Follow these 5 step by step directions and your pump will be venting Radon in no time – all you need is a few tools and about an hour of free time!
1. Get your Tools and Parts
Start by gathering all your tools. For a standard vent installation you will need:
- A measuring tape like the Komelon SM5425
- A saw
- PVC pipe to use as the vent pipe
- PVC joints
- A way to run the pipe
- and possibly a fan
Pro Installation Tip
Trying to install vent piping by yourself? Try using a laser level so you can keep an extra hand free while you are working!
You probably already have most of these tools at home but might have to run to the store for the PVC piping.
Not sure which Radon fan is right for your sump pump vent. We recommend the RadonAway 23030, it makes almost no noise, uses little electricity, and is the perfect choice for venting Radon from your basement.
2. Measure Twice Cut PVC Pipes Once
When you are ready to get started installing a vent for your pump system measure the exact length of PVC pipe you need. Remember to account for every angle so the piping fits tightly in your wall, ceiling or floor. Remember the old saying – measure twice and cut once!
3. Drill a Hole
Third, drill a hole in the side of your basin or the lid. The hole should be the same size as the pipe and sealed with putty or epoxy to keep radon from leaking into your basement.
4. Lay the Vent Pipes
Next, run the PVC pipe from your basin to the exterior vents. You should be able to snap the pipes into the joints and the curves and nail or screw in fasteners to the wall. Use epoxy or quick-dry putty to make airtight bonds at the joints.
5. Test the System
Finally, reattach your pump and test your entire system. If air is not flowing through the vents you might need a vent fan to get the air moving.
Vent Hole Locations
Vent holes can be installed in the basin cover or the side of a sump pit. We recommend installing them by drilling through the lid. This method provides better airflow and ventilation for your pump.
Always make sure to read your owners manual to see the manufacturers recommended install location. Drilling this hole in the right spot is key for successful venting!
Sump Pump Vent Fans
If a vent is not enough ventilation for your sump pump you may need a vent fan. These are most commonly needed in large homes with deep basements that are far from exterior vents. Longer ventilation piping means more room for radon and other gasses to get “stuck”. Luckily a small fan inside your pump pit is all it takes to keep things moving!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a sump pump need to be vented?
Not all sump pumps need to be vented but in areas with radon they will need a vent.
Do sump pump discharge lines need venting?
Not all PVC discharge pipes need venting but in areas, with heavy Radon you might need vents in your drain lines as well as your pump pit.
Sump Pumps and Radon Gas