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My parents own an older Chicago bungalow. They have been there for about 40 years and it was built around the 1940s. I really believe their basement would benefit from having a sealed sump pump cover lid. The pit is dry most of the time and I rarely ever hear the pump turn on. I just replaced the sump pump so there is no issue with it not working.

The sump pump is in a back room that is about 10'x10'. You can notice a slight odor when you go into that room. There is not a radon problem but I think there is an odor coming into the basement especially since the pit is dry.

The pit is 18' wide and the current metal cover is 20' wide. I was thinking about making a cover out of plywood and putting some weather stripping around the perimeter. I could use some Tapcons or anchors to fasten plywood to the concrete away from the edge to avoid blowing out the concrete.

Thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea?

Thanks!
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  • I did this for a good seal on a radon system. I cut a circle of clear acrylic, but used a drill and plastic anchors to hold it down, with weather stripping.
    – Evil Elf
    Nov 4, 2021 at 12:03

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Why not just use some weatherstripping underneath the existing metal cover and put a bit of weight on it to hold it down to enhance the seal of the weatherstripping to the concrete floor? Then seal up the hole where the outlet pipe and cord come out with some aluminum duct tape (what the pros use to seal up ducts, not the cheap duct tape that will dry out in short order). This would be a quick and inexpensive way to prevent odors from the pit from coming into the room. If the odor is still there, you know the problem is elsewhere.

If you encounter a situation where the pump stops working and you're dealing with an overflow situation, the last thing you want to deal with is trying to get tapcons out of concrete in a hurry, especially if the sump is already overflowing.

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  • I like that idea. It would be easier to reuse what I got too. I understand your suggestion about the aluminum tape. However the underside of the lid is rusty and rough so I am not sure what would stick to it. Maybe I could use some foam caulk backer rod Thoughts?
    – zguy
    Nov 4, 2021 at 12:11
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    @zguy, Try a light sanding to take the rust off the underside of the cover where you want to put weatherstripping. The wipe with some isopropyl alcohol to remove any oils or greases should give a smooth and surface for attaching the weatherstripping. Don't need to do the whole underside - just where you want to put the weatherstripping. You probably want to use a weatherstripping with adhesive backing, such as for sealing doors, as you'll have a much more difficult time with backer rod, as that doesn't have anything to hold it in place while you're putting the cover on, or taking it off.
    – Milwrdfan
    Nov 4, 2021 at 13:39

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