Sump Pump Weep Hole: What Exactly Is It?

Are you a homeowner who has noticed water trickle out of the sump pump in your basement? You may be wondering what this is and why it’s happening. Those unfamiliar with sump pumps may not know that there is a feature specifically meant to deal with just such an issue: a weep hole. A weep hole is an integral part of any sump pump system, and with greater understanding and awareness, homeowners can be prepared for when it occurs.

A sump pump weep hole plays an important role in keeping your basement dry and preventing water seepage into other areas of the home. Read on to get a clearer idea of the sump pump weep hole.

What is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a device designed to remove excess water from areas prone to flooding. It is usually installed in basements, crawlspaces, and other areas where water can collect and cause damage. The sump pump collects the water in a basin or “sump” below the floor level and then pumps it out of the area to a designated location.

Well, then, What is Sump Pump Weep Hole?

A sump pump weep hole helps keep the water level in the sump pump at a safe level and prevents catastrophic damage if something goes wrong. It’s essential for any homeowner with a sump pump to ensure they have a proper weep hole installed and maintained.

If you have a sump pump, it needs a weep hole. If you need a new sump pump and don’t know what a proper weep hole is, look for a valve enclosure with one. It is inexpensive and can be located near the sump pump to prevent it from drying. Sump pump weep holes usually are around 8 to 12 inches, depending on your size.

You can buy a miniature weeper if you don’t need a larger size. These are ideal for gardens, where the pump can still move water without the hole. A sump pump failure could result in a pool of water in your basement. Once the pool of water reaches a specific size, it can be tricky to reach it. This can result in problems with your drainage system and further flooding issues.

Why is the Sump Pump Weep Hole so Important?

Most people don’t know that your sump pump will fail if the sump pump weep hole gets clogged. It’s hard to describe what happens, but the “manual break-in” mechanism can fail if the pump goes dry. This mechanism uses a float and a screw to break the float open when the sump pump turns on.

The sump pump will then use the float to pump the water into the sump, while the screw acts as a cork to trap the water inside the pump. There’s a chance that your sump pump could go dry if the pump water level is lower than the water level in the sump pump weep hole.

If you keep the water level in the weep hole low, your sump pump will try to force itself into the hole. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have enough force to force the pump into the hole. It just makes a lot of noise.

What is the purpose of a Sump Pump Weep Hole?

The purpose of a sump pump weep hole is to maintain the water level in the sump pump. A sump pump that goes dry or runs dry will be more prone to fire, particularly if the pump is tied into your home’s plumbing system. You would need to turn off your sump pump and plug the open end of the hole to prevent fire from getting into your home.

Is It Borrowed, or is it Required? Because many people have weep holes, there are concerns about people borrowing or renting them. A lot of people have them installed as cost savings. You can use the sump pump weep hole if you only have it for a short period.

However, most people choose to buy one. There are pros and cons for each. Sump pump weep holes can be a bit more expensive.

Which Location is Best for a Weep Hole?

The weep hole should be drilled between the discharge and check valve at a 45-degree angle, pointing away from the pump but inside the pump pit. This will allow any excess water to escape from the system, preventing it from building up and causing damage.

Before drilling, disconnect your pump from the lines and place it in a spot that is easy to access. Also, use the right drill bit for this job; you’ll want one that fits through your weep holes without getting stuck or clogged.

Once everything is ready, carefully drill into the area between your discharge and check valve until you reach the desired depth. Afterward, clean up any debris created by drilling and test your new weep hole to ensure it’s working properly.

Should I Install Weep Above the Water line?

No, you shouldn’t. It is essential that these weep holes be installed below the water line in order to ensure that no air can enter the impeller chamber. It is possible for air to enter the impeller chamber through a weep hole installed above the water line. This can lead to serious problems with your system, such as decreased performance or even complete failure.

What’s the Perfect Size of the Weep Hole?

Weep holes are an important part of any plumbing system, as they allow air to escape from the pipes and prevent airlocks. The size of a weep hole is critical for its effectiveness, and it should always be 3/16” in diameter is a perfect size. If the hole is too small, it won’t release enough air; if it’s too large, it won’t be able to create a tight seal.

A weep hole can be made with a power drill for accuracy and speed. It’s important to ensure that the hole is drilled straight to create an effective seal. Once the hole has been drilled, you can use a file or sandpaper to smooth any rough edges. After that, you’re ready to install your weep hole and enjoy the benefits of having an effective plumbing system.

How to Determine the Angle?

Weep holes are an important part of any drainage system, as they allow water to escape from the pipe and prevent it from backing up. Weep holes are most commonly drilled horizontally or upwards into pipes, which is a very common error. This would naturally allow water to start spraying very easily.

The ideal angle of a weep hole is 45 degrees downwards, so it’s important to check if your weep hole is, in fact, drilled at this angle. To do this, simply stick a thin stick or, ideally, a straw inside the weep hole, aligning it with its surface.

The angle it makes with the pipe can be measured/gauged by sticking out enough. You can use a drafting triangle or estimate it on sight to ensure it’s accurate. If not, you may need to redrill your weep hole at a 45-degree downward angle for optimal performance.

When My Sump Pump Fails, What Should I Do?

Sump pumps rely on the way to remove water. When the water level drops, the pump cannot pump as much out, which could cause the pump to burn out. The most common reason a pump fails to function is when the water level falls below an electrical switch. It means the pump would either lose power or the internal switch would get hot enough to destroy the pump.

In these cases, you will want to buy a replacement pump. Another problem, which is more of a risk, is the pump can suddenly start to leak. In this case, you should have your house inspected by a professional. Can Sump Pumps Fail to Work? Although there are times when sump pumps fail to work, they are more common in places where they are not correctly used.

The Best Way to Remove a Sewage Pump

Removing a sewage pump from an ejector pit can be tricky, but with the right steps and precautions, it can be done safely. To ensure no electricity flows into the system, you should unplug the sewage pump before you begin. This will help prevent any potential electric shock or other hazards.

Once the power has been disconnected, you can begin the process of removing the sewage pump. First, locate and remove any clamps or fasteners holding the pump in place. Then, carefully lift out the pump and its components from the pit.

Wear protective gloves and eyewear while handling these items, as they may contain hazardous materials such as human waste and sewage. After all of the components have been removed, you can clean up any remaining debris to properly dispose of it according to local regulations. With these steps completed, your existing sewage pump should be successfully removed from your ejector pit.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. Should the sump pump hole be covered?

Despite their effectiveness in removing water, sump pumps should always be covered with a gas-tight lid to prevent moisture and radon from entering the home.

2. How often should I check my sump pump weep hole?

You should check your sump pump weep hole at least once a month or more frequently if the home experiences heavy rainfall. Additionally, it is important to inspect the weep hole for any signs of clogging or debris buildup. If anything appears to be blocking the opening, it should be removed immediately.

3. What happens if the sump pump weep hole is blocked?

If the sump pump weep hole is blocked, it could cause water to back up into the pump and damage its internal components. This can also lead to flooding in your home, so it is important to inspect and clear any obstructions from the weep hole as soon as possible.

4. How can I prevent the sump pump weep hole from clogging?

To prevent the sump pump weep hole from clogging, keeping the area around the pit clean and free of debris is important. Additionally, installing a filter or guard over the weep hole may be beneficial to help keep out any large particles that could potentially block it. It is also important to check the weep hole periodically for any signs of clogging.

5. Is it normal for a sump pump pit to be dry?

No, it is not normal for a sump pump pit to be dry. A sump pump pit should always have some water, even if the pump isn’t running. This is because the pit contains a weep hole that allows excess water to escape from the pit and return to the ground. The weep hole also serves as an overflow outlet for when the pump fails.


Sump pump weep holes can be life-savers and save your basement if used correctly. Even with a sump pump’s correct use, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weep hole. Once it dries up, it can help prevent your basement from drying.


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