Also known as Relief holes, weep holes are specifically meant to prevent the sump pump from entering the airlock. There is a change in pressure due to the air bubbles that leads that does not allow the pump to push water through the pipe.
If you are going to install a sump pump and are not aware of the weep hole, this comprehensive weep hole installation guide is the ultimate rescue. So, let’s find out!
What is a sump pump weep hole?
A sump pump weep hole is a small hole drilled into the bottom of the discharge pipe. It allows excess water to drain away from the pump without clogging up the discharge pipe by preventing the locking of the impeller chamber. If no weep holes are installed, the water can build up inside the discharge pipe and cause flooding problems.
If installing a sump pump, check the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow them strictly. You don’t want to end up with a weep hole problem later. Also stop sump pump dripping noise if any, before proceeding with weep hole installation.
What is an Air Lock in Sump Pump?
Airlocks are common in residential plumbing systems. They often happen because of a clogged drain pipe, but sometimes they can just be caused by a faulty valve or a broken hose connection.
Air enters the system and creates a vacuum effect, sucking water into the pipes and preventing drainage. As the pump chamber is filled, This causes the lines to fill up with water and eventually cause flooding. Even the best sump pumps on the market fails due to air locking.
How to prevent the Air from locking with a weep hole?
Air lock problems are one of the most commonly reported sump pump issues. An air lock occurs when water backs up behind the sump pump and prevents it from pumping out. When the pump runs continuously, the water level rises, and the pump becomes less efficient.
Eventually, the water reaches a certain height where no more water flows out of the sump. At this point, the pump shuts off because it cannot move enough water out of the sump to keep the water flowing down the drainpipe.
A disabled sump pump is one of the most severe plumbing problems you can experience. If you don’t fix it quickly, you could pay thousands to replace your sump pump. One way to avoid this issue is by preventing an airlock in your basement sump system.
Air lock problems occur when water gets trapped behind the pump impeller. When the pump runs, the water pushes out of the outlet pipe but doesn’t make it back into the pit. If the pump is working correctly, the water flows back down the drainpipe and drains away. But if the pump isn’t working correctly, the water backs up and creates an air pocket. It prevents the pump from pushing water out of the outlet pipe.
The best way to avoid air lock problems is to keep the pump free of debris. A clogged filter screen or a damaged motor housing will stop the flow of water and cause the pump to run longer than usual. Debris can also jam the shaft seals inside the pump, causing the pump to run inefficiently.
If your sump pump is acting up, check the following areas for obstructions:
- Filter Screen – Is the screen clean and clear? Do you regularly change the filters?
- Motor Housing – Are the bearings lubricated? Is the seal ring intact?
- Shaft Seals – Have the shaft seals been replaced recently?
- Drain Pipe – Is the drain pipe blocked?
If the water goes back to the pit when the sump pump is running, it may reduce the pump efficiency slightly but extends the pump life by preventing air locks.
What is the ideal location to Drill a Weep Hole?
The weep holes are drilled at the bottom of the wall to remove the water from the foundation walls and then direct them to the internal drainage system.
An ideal weep hole is between the check valve and discharge pipe. It should be downward at a 45-degree angle. It should be pointing away from the pump but should be placed inside your pump pit.
Before proceeding with a drill, disconnect the pump from the lines.
It should be installed below the water line to prevent air bubbles from entering the impeller chamber. Any hole above the water line leads to Air entering the impeller chamber, inducing the airlock.
The ideal hole size should be 3/16″. Any hole larger or smaller than this will not be effective. Use a power drill to add the weep hole safely and effectively. If you drill a larger hole, it will not be effective in preventing airlocks.
Step-by-Step Process of Installing a Weep Hole in your Sump Pump
- Installing a weep hole in your sump pump is straightforward.
- Take a 1/8″ drill bit along with a drill. Now prepare your sump pump assembly with PVC piping installed.
- Drill the hole by pumping out the pit.
- To begin with, consider hole 6″ above the sump pump and then drill it at a 45-degree angle UPWARDS between the check valve and discharge pipes.
- Now reinstall the pump and reattach the discharge lines and the power cord.
- Fill up the basin with some buckets of water.
- Time to test the sump pump system and the weep hole.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How far up should the weep hole be on a sump pump?
Consider the weep hole 6″ above the sump pump. It would help if you drilled it at a 45-degree angle UPWARDS so that the water will inevitably shoot out of this hole.
2. Is the water supposed to be shot out of the side of the sump pump?
Any water spraying from the discharge pipe is a sign that the sump pump is working under excessive pressure to drain the groundwater. Any leak inside indicates a faulty seal in the pipe connection. It would help if you resealed it to avoid any basement flooding.
3. Should A sump Pit have holes in them?
Yes! sump pump basin should have holes. Otherwise, they are at risk of ‘floating’ in the pit. Any excessive pressure can damage the sump pump and drain lines.
While a sump pump weep hole may not sound important, it is one of the crucial aspects that must be taken care of. The airlocks cause quick basement flooding and also induce costly repairs. While sump pumps are expected to pump the water, they only push Air out from the discharge pipes due to airlocks leading to sump pump motor burnouts.