Fdn Drain pipe running 24/7


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Old 09-08-05, 06:50 PM
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Fdn Drain pipe running 24/7

I have a new house that was finished about 10 months ago. The problem is the foundation drainage pipe has been running constantly(has never stopped) since the foundation was backfilled.

The exterior foundation piping is connected to a 36" long piece of 3" PVC pipe that is ran under the basement wall footing and dumps into a sump pit in the basement. The basement footing is about 2 ft below the street so I could not daylight the drainpipe out to the street.

I had a guy come over a couple of weeks ago to run a camera through the pipe to see where the water was coming from or entering the slotted pipe. At the time of the video the sump pump was running every 2.5 minutes. The only place he found the water entering was the system was where the 3" PVC pipe connected to the corrugated drain piping. I was collecting the sump discharge water in a plastic sump pit outside that is about 8-10 ft from the house. I installed a pipe near the top of the basin that I ran out to the curb so when the basin filled up the water would flow through the pipe and to the street. Apparently the water in this outside basin was just recirculating to the basement pipe to the sump because I have now connected the sump discharge pipe to the pipe at the top of the basin taking all the water to the curb and my sump pump cycle has gradually decreased so it now runs every 60 minutes.

I was wondering if there is something I could do to stop the water from coming into the sump pit and pump during the "dry" times. It seems like the PVC pipe to the sump pit must be lower than any of the other foundation piping so it is the only pipe getting any of the water during the dry time.

Would it make sense to dig a trench (would be about 8 ft deep)that is a little lower than the PVC pipe and run it out about 20 ft or so away from the house and slope the bottom to a deeper pit at the end of the trench. Then fill the trench with gravel about 2 ft high and wrap it in geo fabric. I guess this would be like a deep french drain.

My only other option would be to run a pipe about 300' and connect to a street curb inlet structure that is on the other side of my neighbor's property which requires more $'s, and permission from the county to tie into their storm structure, and permission from the neighbor to run across his property.
 
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Old 09-09-05, 12:50 PM
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Sounds more like a well than a drain...

High water table in those parts? Neighbors Leach Fields too close?,
Is your water bill unusually high?, Lots of rain recently? Near a creekbed?

Could be any number of sources.
 
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Old 09-09-05, 02:18 PM
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I am actually on almost the highest point in the area. The neighbor has kind of the same problem, but he is able to daylight his foundation drain.

I have checked for a water main leaks and do not have any.

If it was a "well", I would think that the soil around the foundation would have shown signs of water prior to backfilling the foundation, and I did not see any water that would indicate I was on top of a spring or well.

I am not on a septic system. We have not had any considerable rainfall since I had the pipes video'd. The soil is a fat clay soil, so it does retain alot of water when it does get wet.
 
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Old 09-09-05, 02:32 PM
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Fdn Drain pipe running 24/7

You seem to have a high water table or the excavator may have hit a small stream. Excavating for a house is the same as excavating for a pool. The only difference is - in one case you put a basement and a house in it. The clay soil makes a good pool liner.

The water level (at the present time) is about at the level of your 3" PVC and the corrugated pipe. Your assumption that you were recirculating the water into the outside sump pit seems logical. Somewhere there is a leak allowing the water to leak out of the plastic pit or the pipe to the road. This water leak was probably following the excavation for the pipe back toward the house where it was collected again, sent back to the pump, was pumped out and so on again and again and again. This is my assumption.

You have a good plan to drain out to the street. I would make sure you have no leaks along the way. If you have no leaks, the water cannot come back. If legal, I would hook the pump directly to drain pipe to the street (make sure you have a check valve on the pump discharge). If not legal, I would discharge into the sealed outside pit and let gravity take it to the street. Make sure the seal between the pit and discharge to the street is good.

I would not dig a trench to the street. This is just providing a path back to your foundation area where you would be collecting water from your yard and pumping it back out. Every excavation made leading away from the house (electric, gas, water, sewer) is a potential funnel to your foundation, so you don't need to add another. You can create a deep french drain, but it could collect water until it gets to the level of your foundatio, where it would flow back to the house.

I would do all of the classic methods of limiting water access to the foundation by correcting drainage away from the house and installing downspout extensions.

You seem to have lowered the water level and hopefully a tight system and time will lower it more so the pumping will be eliminated in the dry periods.

Dick
 
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Old 09-09-05, 03:39 PM
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I have already done the downspout extensions and have the grade sloping away from the house.

If the water table is high, you would think that the sump pit in the basement(which is about 3 ft away) would fill with water on its own. I cut out the bottom of the sump basin in order to make the basin deeper. The bottom of the basin is now about 3 ft below the floor slab. When I cut out the bottom of the basin I did not get a bunch of water filling in the bottom of the hole.

I also talked to the guy who installed my sewage grinder pump which is also about 4 ft below the floor slab. He said they did not encounter any water when they excavated their hole which is about 30 ft from the sump pit.

The guy who did the video hadn't seen anything like this, and therefore didn't have an explanation or a remedy either.
 
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Old 09-09-05, 03:53 PM
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Fdn Drain pipe running 24/7

Fat clays can be great sealers and can isolate water sources. I have seen side-by-side basements (40 feet apart) - one dry and one with 6 feet of water. Sometimes there are "perched" water tables created by earthmoving.

You may have stuck your sump in an area that was isolated from some of the water channels (natural or man-made) around your basement.

Somewhere you are picking up water from an outside source. Fortunately, you have reduced the need for pumping significantly. Lets hope it wiil continue to decrease.

Without digging around in person. I can't think of anything else right now - maybe later.

Dick
 
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Old 09-09-05, 04:20 PM
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I agree with your statement about clay soil. It is essentially like when they excavated for the basement they created a bowl. The bottom of the excavated area has been compacted so much because of equipment and foot traffic that it does not allow the water to penetrate or seep deeper into the ground.

I appreciate your input for my situation.

My biggest concern now is if the discharge pipe that runs to the street will freeze over during the winter. It is only an 1-1/2" dia pvc pipe sloped at 1/8" per ft towards the street. I know that the place over the outside basin where I connected the two pipes together is holding water and I will need to raise that up, but I'm unsure about the rest of the exterior pipe run since it is only 12" in the ground at the most.
 
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Old 09-09-05, 06:49 PM
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I agree..two possible paths
1.Your making progress on "dewatering" (heard that word lately?) the site and it willl eventually dissipate. It is new construction after all....
OR
2. There is a source somewhere that needs to be found.

Fun fun
 
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Old 10-07-05, 11:59 AM
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I hope you find the leak. I would like to ask you how you found someone to put a camera in your drain pipe? My new house has downspouts going to underground pvc which is then connect to the storm drain in the road. I would like to make sure that everything is connected properly. I put a hose in the pvc and went to the storm drain and listened. I could hear the water, but so no signs of water entering the basin. I considered using dye until I saw your post using the camera. How did you find that guy?
 
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Old 10-07-05, 05:08 PM
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He was listed in the yellow pages under Pipe Inspections
 
 

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