Hole in foundation


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Old 01-06-11, 05:17 PM
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Question Hole in foundation

MY neighbor has discovered a huge hole in the foundation underneath her Jacuzzi. The soil has eroded and there is a large cavity that fills with water whenever it rains. She was told that it is normal for the builder to leave such a hole in the foundation under the Jacuzzi. I find that hard to believe. The hole is irregular and about 1 ft x 2 ft in size. The holes leaves the soil under the house exposed to the inside under the Jacuzzi. It seems to me that such a hole would allow water to intrude, migrate, erode and allow mold to form under the Jacuzzi. Can it be true that a hole like this is normal.
 
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Old 01-06-11, 05:20 PM
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In the foundation or in the concrete floor?
 
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Old 01-06-11, 06:25 PM
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The concrete floor is the foundation in a house, is it not?
 
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Old 01-06-11, 06:28 PM
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Yes, the concrete floor. Huge crude opening into the soil under the house. Seems like, hydraulically, it would provide a conduit for water to percolate into the house which is exactly what is happening. I imagine it's been occurring since the house was built.
 
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Old 01-06-11, 07:07 PM
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I am sure it is a trap cavity, which is necessary to facilitate the drain trap and to service it. Kinda big for that, as they are usually 12"x12". Does the water percolate onto the concrete surface? Is it filled with gravel?
 
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Old 01-07-11, 07:20 AM
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Not sure what is under the founation. A good builder woould have built up a foundation with well graded, non-clay type soil but these builders just leveled the existing ground and built houses on top (they didn't even compact the soil). Since we have something lots of "gumbo" here in Houston, houses tend to shift a lot. I couldn't see the soil because the cavity was too large and dark. I was looking through the gap left by a single tile that was removed to access the area under the tub. I am not a builder but I find it hard to believe that a builder would intentionally leave an opening through which water could percolate up into the house. The level just under the foundation is about a foot below the ground surrounding the house. Therefore, if you leave an opening through the foundation water will easily migrate into the house which is exactly what is happening. Hydraulically, there is a differential pressure into the house if you leave an opening for the water. A few nights ago, while it was raining, my neighbor had to get up periodically and run his pump to keep the water from running over the concrete floor, through the hole made by the tile and into the house.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 07:48 AM
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A few nights ago, while it was raining, my neighbor had to get up periodically and run his pump to keep the water from running over the concrete floor,
Since there are no basements or sump pumps in houses in Harris county can you explain that a bit better. I can't understand how the spa pump would have helped. As Chandler ask is this the hole in the slab for the trap? I assume we are talking about a tub in a bathroom, correct? Sounds more like a stopped up drain and or leaking P-trap.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 09:51 AM
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There is no sump pump. What I have called a Jacuzzi may not be. It's a large bathtub that has ports for shooting water under pressure into the tub for massage? The tub sits above the foor in the bathroom. There is a frame built up around the tub and finished with tile. The hole is under the tub "through" the foundation into the soil underneath the house. Since the soil under the slab is below the level of the soil surrounding the house, there is created a pressure differential from outside to inside the house whenever it rains and the soil outside the house becomes saturated wih water. Hydraulically, as long as that hole is there and it is "below" the level of the surrounding soil there will be water flow into the house. Cannot be any other way. Water only flows "downhill." My neighbor broke out two 4 x 6 tiles to see underneath the tub and the water can now flow out from under the tub into the bathroom through the two holes from the removal of the tiles. Not sure if the framing was completely sealing the eater from leaking prior to his removing the two tiles. The pump I speak of is one that he rented and stuck into the hole under the foundation and periodically runs (when it is raining) to suck out the water and dump it into the tub for removal. I have a drawing that I made that I can send you if you will send me your email address. Mine is XXXXXXXXX. I believe that this must have been leaking for years. As long as that hole has been there water has to have been getting underneath his tub and he's just been lucky that it hasn't flooded his house. I appreciate your help.
 

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Old 01-07-11, 10:05 AM
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If the hole is for the trap it is standard procedure here. I have never seen one overflow. I really don't have a solution for you. Hopefully someone will have a solution for you but it seems most posters here live in areas with basements and may not fully understand what your neighbor has.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 10:37 AM
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Jacuzzi pictures by Chryslervan - Photobucket

Check out my picure of the problem. If it comes across.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 12:30 PM
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What is the terrain like outside the house? Is it at the bottom of some type of hill?

I understand how the hole can fill up with water, but I don't understand how it can overflow. The top of the slab would need to be below grade for it to overflow from groundwater. Is it possible that there is a leak in the drain someplace and it overflows when the ground is saturated with water?
 
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Old 01-07-11, 01:00 PM
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Goo idea. Hadn't hought of that. I will ask.
 
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Old 01-07-11, 03:05 PM
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The way they build slab houses here was originally developed by The Three Stooges engineering company. Though flooding of 6-8" is common the slabs often are little more then 6" off the ground at the lowest point. I have worked in houses where when you looked at the back of the backyard you could see it was higher then the slab. A french drain around the house might help if that is the case. Really know little about french drains so maybe I'm wrong. Maybe a permanent sump pump may be the easiest solution.

As suggested though you really need to see what happens when it is dry out to rule out a plumbing leak.
 
 

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