I'm thinking about finishing my basement but at the bottom of my stairs the plumber installed a very strange setup for my sump pump. See attached picture.

enter image description here

Ive never seen this before so I wanted to know if I could shorten this. My neighborhood is on a hill/rise and the house is about in the middle. There's a collection pond at the bottom.

Edit: the PVC pipe is connected to the storm drain on the left and to the sump pump in the pit on the right. I want to make this setup smaller by shortening the black pvc pipe from the ceiling to the floor. I don't even know why this setup is necessary since it's connected to a storm drain. This is in my basement which is underground.

  • 1
    Shorten what? I'm not entirely clear what you're asking.
    – Comintern
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 16:06
  • 2
    What's the pipe to the left of the sump? Where do the two pipes go? And, per @Comintern, what's the question? Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 16:57
  • This pipe is directly in the way of the stairs so I want to shorten it all the way to the ground level and build a box over the remaining 6 inches. The pipe makes a huge upside down U and connects to the storm drain and the sump pump
    – dcbarans
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 17:43
  • Storm drain or sewer? There's a huge difference - around here you can't run a sump pump into the sewer line at all. If it is the sewer, it may be set up that way to try and prevent the sump pump from blasting raw sewage up through all of the drains in the house.
    – Comintern
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 17:54
  • The pipe on the left looks to be connected to a pump on top of the cement, they are usually in a pit because the pump needs a few inches of water to work. If that is the case I think it won't work until until everything down there is soaked. I don't see any water marks on the walls so is it really needed?
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


This should be a back flow-prevention measure, for flash flooding rains. I think your only good, but expensive ($1000), option would be to replace this setup with a Back-Flow Prevention Valve or Check Valve. Call the Builder or get a qualified Plumber...have them checkout your Water Supply Line too, that thing looks 100-years old. Otherwise, turn that corner into a closet or faux bookshelf.

  • Thanks for your input! I think your 100% right about the back flow from the storm drain.. It does have a small check valve close to the sump pump. Funny enough this install is only 4 years old!
    – dcbarans
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 22:21
  • No problem at all. Plumbers don't do extra work or waste materials.
    – Iggy
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 2:44

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