Water problems in basement

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Old 04-04-17, 02:32 PM
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Water problems in basement

I have a finished basement that has an internal french drain system that runs to a sump pump. Typically I don't have any issue with water if its a steady rain. But when we get a heavy rain all at once, like a storm in the summer, I get a lot of water coming into my sump. Since 2011, I have had three floods in my basement due to pump related issues.

I'm trying to find a way to keep this from every happening again. One idea is to add a second sump pit with a separate pump. I would run an overflow line out of the main sump over to that one, so if there was a pump failure, the second one would be there to back it up. This would work fine, unless I were to lose power, which has never happened during a storm since I've moved in.


My second idea was to dig down outside the foundation and lay in pipe which will then be tapped into the internal french drain. That would then run down grade to the end of my property. This sounds like a good idea, but i'm not sure if the water would flow from the internal french drain out into the outside pipe when under hydraulic pressure.

Any thoughts?
 
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Old 04-04-17, 02:50 PM
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Since 2011, I have had three floods in my basement due to pump related issues.
They really aren't pump related issues. They are foundation related.

One idea is to add a second sump pit with a separate pump.
A better idea is to seal the foundation from the outside.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 03:00 PM
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The reason my basement flooded was because the sump pump stopped working, but I understand what you are saying.

There isn't really any way for me to seal the outside easily, I have a front porch, chimney, a/c unit, back porch that is concrete and another concrete pad poured up against the house. This would require a ton of a demo work to even be able to start to dig.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 03:13 PM
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Do you have exterior foundation drains (footer drains) now? If so, where do they drain?

If you don't have exterior foundation drains (that would be unusual for a home with a basement) and you can reasonably install such drains so that they drain to daylight, that would be a good solution that would minimize any worry of pump issues or power failures. As long as you can provide reasonable slope of the drains all the way to daylight, the water will flow that way.

Excavating the foundation would also give you the opportunity to install drainage mats, waterproofing membrane, and ensure proper backfill. It's the ideal solution, but a lot of work.

If your current system works acceptably except when you have pump failure, then installing a second pump is a reasonable solution. Consider a water powered backup pump (if you have city water) as a way to avoid power failure concerns as well. You might not have to dig a second sump if your current sump is large enough. The water powered pumps don't take up as much room as an electric pump.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 03:48 PM
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Thank you carbide. My house was built in 1959, so I am unsure about footer drains, having the internal french drain system makes me think there was never any external drainage put in, or it failed at some point.

I have access to a mini excavator, excavation isn't an issue. My land slopes away from my house, then has a bank, so i'm sure I can get plenty of drop with no issue.

The issue is all of the obstacles. I can dig a couple spots along the front, and the right side and lay pipe in and direct it to the end of my property, but i'm not sure if that would take all the load off of the sump pit. Excavating the entire foundation is kind of out of the question for me.

My idea is that I already have an internal french drain that spans the entire perimeter of my basement, so shouldn't it be as simple as tapping into that drain from the outside and giving it a path to follow to daylight?
 
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Old 04-04-17, 04:16 PM
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I have had three floods in my basement due to pump related issues.
So before we dig up the basement and add drains, please provide more detail on the pump issue.

Is this a "bought a cheap pump at HD and it died" or was there a power failure, what exactly happened?
 
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Old 04-04-17, 04:19 PM
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The problem is that you have a footer between the inside system and the outside. To connect to your internal drain, you would have to bore through the footer. It can be done, but it complicates the job.

And the presence of the footer also impedes the ability of the internal drain to move water away from the outside of the wall. If you have a lot of water against the outside wall, coming from above, there's no easy path for it to get to the internal drain system.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 04:35 PM
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First pump was a zoeller that was in from before, first flood was from a faulty float. I replaced the float and all was good for a while, until the second time when the pump died all together. partially my fault, I should have replaced the pump when I did the float.

I replaced it with a goulds cast iron pump, with a sje rhombus float. No cheapy pump. Third time was entirely my fault, the check valve blew apart. That wasn't too bad because I was home when it happened and was able to get it fixed fairly quick before water spread.

Carbide, upon further reading into inter french drains, I realize mine is a bit different. Mine isn't actually down in the floor itself. Mine is a boxed out where the block wall meets the floor. From what I understand is they drilled holes through the block wall for water to pass into the internal channel and be siphoned to the sump pit. I attached a photo for more clarification.

You can see where the pipe going to the sump comes from, is a area that was boxed out along the floor with concrete.

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Last edited by PJmax; 04-12-17 at 10:16 AM. Reason: reoriented picture
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Old 04-04-17, 06:48 PM
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Ok, so not a subfloor drainage system at all.

Then I guess you could dig down on the outside where you have access, bore through the block into the channel, and drain it to daylight.

Unconventional, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I would want to make sure the drain was securely attached and sealed to the wall. The last thing you want is a big hole into your basement. But should be doable.

When you have the hole dug, dig down a little farther by hand and look for drain tile next to the footer. If you have it you may be able to add some cleanouts and get it working.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 07:08 PM
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I'm actually fairly curious to what is behind/below the concrete that they poured around the perimeter.

Either way it is above the floor of the basement which should be above the footer, so should be fairly simple to tap an 1 1/2" pipe into from the outside. For safe measures I think it would be a good idea to tap into it in at least two places, then run it into 3 or 4" pipe to the end of the property. Worst case scenario is it doesn't work I suppose.

Whatever the system is they have in place does work fairly well, I've never had water push up or surface anywhere else in the basement except into the sump.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 10:33 PM
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First pump was a zoeller that was in from before, first flood was from a faulty float. I replaced the float and all was good for a while, until the second time when the pump died all together. partially my fault, I should have replaced the pump when I did the float.

I replaced it with a goulds cast iron pump, with a sje rhombus float. No cheapy pump. Third time was entirely my fault, the check valve blew apart.
I'm still confused, it sounds like your situation is due to bad pump(s)/float(s) yet your talking about digging up/tapping into the exterior drain field.

Regardless of what is done there you still need a quality pump and probably a backup system, why not do that first and determine if that resolves your problem.

I think nearly everybody with a sump would have issues regardless of the types of drains if their pumps were not working properly!
 
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Old 04-05-17, 07:02 AM
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I think you are not understanding what my current system is now. It is a concrete channel, placed above the floor the perimeter of the inside of my basement. This connects over to my sump pit, where the water empties.

Even if I were to install a second pit with a pump, there is still a chance of failure because pumps can fail at any time, or a power outage.

My solution is to dig down to the footer, drill through the wall into that existing channel, and run it down slope and empty out at the bank at the end of my property. This would give it a completely non mechanical way for the water to empty from the perimeter channel. The sump pump would stay as a back up.
 
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Old 04-06-17, 05:57 AM
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I'm going to add a second pit with another pump. There is two ways I could do it. I could set the second pit up as a fail safe to the first with an overflow, if the main pump fails the water will overflow into the next. These pits would be side by side.

Second option is to add another pit, but also tap this one into the perimeter channel. I would put sealed lids on both pits, if one fails the water will just flow to the other pit instead of over flowing out.
 
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