My builder put in a sump pump pit per code, I assume, and both the builder and my contractor say that I do not need a sump pump cause my pit should never overflow because I have a walk out basement. The pit currently has standing water in it at the top level of the 3 drain tile pipes in the pit.

I recently used a submersible pump to pump the water out of the pit to see what would happen. Well, the water took 40 minutes to come out of the pit and then when I turned off the pump, the water would fill back up within 3 to 4 minutes back to the pipe level. However, it was not coming in from the pipes but from around the bottom of the pipes. The water level before now has always been steady right at the top of the pipes even with the spring thaw and the rain we have got over the 5 months of building until now.

I have a few questions:

  1. Should I install a pump to make sure I never have an issue?
  2. Should I be worried of how the water is coming in around the pipes and not through the pipes?
  3. Is there anything else I should to check and make sure the builder installed everything correctly so I can get it fixed now?
  • 1
    I'd install one, just for piece of mind. Sure you may never need it, but if you ever do, you'll be glad you have it.
    – Tester101
    Apr 2, 2017 at 12:38
  • A sump pit is not a one-way valve. Your basement is no longer sealed; it can let water in as well as out. Under normal circumstances, you won't have a problem, but it's the non-normal circumstances you need to think about, like an extended period of unusually heavy rain, where the soil around your house becomes saturated and the water table rises. Putting in the pump, discharge pipe, and power outlet would have cost the builder a few hundred dollars. Not putting it in was just cutting corners to save a little cost on each house. The builder doesn't care if you have damage later.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 22, 2017 at 19:15
  • 1
    If you mean by a walkout basement one that has 1 wall at grade and the other 3 below grade I would agree that a pump is not needed. Since it took 40 minutes to pump and only 3-4 to fill back up the sump must be draining. Or at the outside ground level so it would be a waste of power to pump it.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 7, 2018 at 13:11
  • One important question with a sump pump is - to where will you eject the water? Jul 20, 2018 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


Sounds like your water table is right at that pipe level. I have a higher water table when it rains so my basin gets filled frequently (which then turns the pump on every 30 mins roughly. ) Be safe and keep the pump. Also talk to your neighbors and see if they have sump pumps.

  • But if the water level is that high, then the sump may well end up running continuously and that's bad for the pump. Jul 20, 2018 at 12:01
  • 1
    Yeah, many people aim to get their pit dry. Instead try to get an idea of what the normal level is and then set your float above that.
    – Evil Elf
    Aug 30, 2018 at 14:12

I have a walkout basement new home build Elkhorn, Nebraska built on what was farm land. The home builder puts sump pumps in all their homes. Mine runs out of the North side of the house to the yard and believe me it definitely pumps out ground water. I believe all new homes now require sump pumps at least in our area.

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