• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook installs a sump pump drywell.

    Steps:
    1. Temporarily connect discharge hose from sump pump to a long PVC pipe.
    Extend pipe well away from drywell excavation site.
    2. Set the drywell in position and use ground-marking spray paint to mark the drywell's rough outline onto the ground. Make the circle 2 feet wider than the drywell.
    3. Dig an 8-inch-deep trench leading from the sump pump discharge hose to excavation site.
    4. Use pointed shovels to dig a 4-feet-deep hole for the drywell.
    5. Fill the bottom of the hole with crushed stone.
    6. Line the bottom and sides of the hole with landscape fabric, then add more stone.
    7. Lay 1½-inch-diameter PVC pipe in trench extending from the sump pump discharge to the hole.
    8. Use a 1½-inch-diameter hole saw to cut a hole in the side of the drywell.
    9. Place the drywell into the hole, set the cap on top.
    10. Insert the PVC pipe into the hole cut in the side. Backfill around the drywell with stone.
    11. Backfill the trench with soil.
    12. Add a 90-degree elbow and vertical pipe section to the end of the PVC pipe in the trench so that it extends up to the discharge hose.
    13. Install a rubber connector onto the end of the vertical PVC pipe.
    14. Insert discharge hose into the rubber connector, then tighten the hose clamp.
    15. Install a spring-loaded pop-up top to the drywell cap.
    16. Backfill the hole with dirt and plant grass seed.
    • 4 to 6 hours, depending on the size of the drywell and hardness of the soil
    • $200 to $400
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      the installation itself is rather straightforward, but digging the trench and hole can be exhausting
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      Tools List

      • square shovel
        Shovel, used to excavate trench and hole
      • drill
        Drill/driver and 1½-inch-diameter hole saw, for cutting hole in side of drywell
      • flathead screwdriver
        Screwdriver, for tightening hose clamp

      Shopping List

      1. Battery-powered sump pump, serves as a backup to existing sump pump during electrical blackouts

      2. 1½-inch-diameter Schedule 40 PVC pipe and assorted fittings, for connecting discharge hose to drywell

      3. PVC primer and cement, used to adhere PVC pipe and fittings

      4. Ground-marking spray paint, used to mark excavation lines on ground5. Drywell kit and pop-up top, used to form structure of drywell

      6. Landscape fabric, used to line hole

      7. Rubber connector and hose clamp, for joining discharge hose to drainpipe

      8. ¾-inch crushed stone, for backfilling around drywell