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How to Break a Concrete Floor Without Damaging the Footing When Installing a Sump Pump

The concrete footings on a house are at each corner underneath the foundation. Footings are set deep into the ground and provide stability for the foundation. If the footings shift or are damaged, the entire house can become misaligned. Fortunately, the footings are set strongly and deeply enough that making a hole in the foundation floor with an electric jackhammer should not harm them in any way.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric jackhammer
  • Flat spade bit
  • Shovel
  • Tape measure
  • Eye and ear protection
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Steel-toed boots
  • Angle grinder or reciprocating saw
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    • 1

      Identify the location of the main water line before you dig into the foundation floor. This is only a concern if the water line enters at the floor level. Check with the country records if you are unsure, as this information is often on file.

    • 2

      Measure the area to be excavated to fit the sump, and draw a chalk circle where the hole is to be. The edge must be at least 8 inches from the foundation wall. This removes any danger to the footing beneath the wall.

    • 3

      Put on eye and ear protection and heavy-duty gloves. Plug an electric jackhammer into a power outlet.

    • 4

      Square your shoulders and feet to the jackhammer, and keep a firm grip on the jackhammer with both hands. Place the blade in the center of the chalk circle, and turn on the machine. Let the weight of the jackhammer do the work for you. Guide it to where it needs to go.

    • 5

      Keep the jackhammer centered in one area until you have punched a hole through the bottom of the concrete floor. After this, it becomes much easier.

    • 6

      Move the jackhammer back a few inches, and begin drilling again. You are trying to chip a side off the hole to make it larger, not make a separate hole. Work your way around the hole, enlarging it as you go by chipping a piece from its side.

    • 7

      Stop every 10 minutes to let the machine cool down and conserve your strength. This is a good time to clean the debris from in and around the hole. Renew the chalk circle if it is beginning to get rubbed out by the scuffling of your feet.

    • 8

      Cut any rebar that is in the way with an angle grinder or a reciprocating saw with a diamond blade.

    • 9

      Dig deeply enough to fit the entire sump tank. Measure the hole when you have reached the chalk lines by trying to drop the sump tank into the hole. If it doesn't fit, clean around the edges with the jackhammer until the tank fits tightly. Be careful you don't take away more floor foundation than necessary.