Ground water coming into basement from chimney

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Old 03-13-13, 06:49 PM
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Ground water coming into basement from chimney

Background: 1960's ranch with a full poured concrete basement. When facing the house, the living room is to the right with a fireplace on what is often an exterior wall. Instead, on this house the fireplace is not on an exterior wall, there is a slab on grade family room. From left to right it is: Living room>fireplace>slab on grade family room> garage.

House was waterproofed back in the 1980's at a cost of almost $3,000. A perimeter drain was cut inside the basement, tile was laid and it all sloped to a sump pump and then was covered with concrete. Pump is still functioning and there are no leaks from the floor or walls.

I am getting LOTS of water coming in from the chimney clean outs. Typically the water starts coming in a day or two after heavy rains and will come in for two, maybe three days. If I open the clean outs, I can see the water pouring in. Right now I simply put a pan beneath the clean outs with a hose running to the sump. I would like to fix this the right way.

Most of what I've read suggests digging down to the footing on the chimney and sealing it. That is great if the chimney is on an exterior wall, mine is in the family room. Any ideas on what the cause is and how to fix it?
 
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Old 03-13-13, 10:34 PM
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I'm trying to picture that. I drew a little illustration.
Is the blue X where you are getting the water ?

As I was looking at this illustration.....it almost looks like the family room and garage was an addition and that the fireplace "was" on an outside wall. Is that possible ?
 
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Old 03-14-13, 02:12 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to respond. I was down the basement vacuuming up water :-(

Your illustration is very close. If you move the chimney stack down to the basement it would be perfect. The clean out (two of them) are in the basement about 12 inches off the floor with metal doors. One flue is for the fireplace in the living room directly above, the second flue is for combustion gasses from the oil-fired boiler which is in the basement.

If I open the clean out doors, I can see the water slowing coming in. At this point I'm about six feet (at least) below grade.

AFAIK the house was originally built with the configuration I mentioned in my first post: When built, you could have ordered a double garage or a single garage with a family room behind the exterior wall of living room. The family room would be on a slab, as mine is.

It hasn't rained in a couple of days and there is still water coming in. Not a trickle either :-(
 
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Old 03-14-13, 08:19 PM
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does your chimney have a cap? Its hard to believe it would be rainwater if it hasn't rained in a few days and its still running but groundwater in the chimney? thats wierd
 
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Old 03-15-13, 02:05 AM
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I re-drew the picture.
Do you get water in the basement ....... anywhere ? (other than the chimney)
Do you have a sump pit and if so ...... is there water in it ?
 
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Old 03-16-13, 07:31 AM
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The last illustration is spot on. I get zero water in the basement from either the walls, wall/floor joint or from the floor. The only place water comes in is from the flue cleanouts.

On the opposite corner of the basement from the cleanouts is a sump pump. There is water in it. I have placed a large pan under the cleanout doors and connected a garden hose from the pan to the sump pit about 40 feet away. Not a very elegant solution but it is working. There is an inside perimeter floor drain (covered with poured concrete) that also leads to the sump.

Attached to the wall directly under each cleanout is some material (fiberglass? sheet metal? ) that looks exactly like cardboard. Think of a piece of cardboard set up on it's end, where you can see all the corrugated channels in it. This stuff is buried in the floor right at the wall/floor joint under the cleanouts and is about 3 inches high. It wide wide enough to span the distance under both cleanouts.

It has been about four days since our last rain and water is still coming in from the flue cleanouts. I'm pretty convinced that the cause isn't directly from rain (since it hasn't rained in days) but a function of the water table under the house rising after a day or two. Might have to start digging around the exterior :-(
 
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Old 05-28-13, 03:08 PM
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I know this thread is almost 3 months old, but I have the same thing happen. Ground water indeed does come up through my chimney during extremely wet periods in the spring. I also have a sump pump and french drains around the basement. I believe the bottom of the chimney is just open to the ground, so when the water table rises, the water comes up and out the clean out.

I can't stop it from happening, but I did manage to control it. I broke open the drainage directly under the clean out and made a damn with concrete. Now when/if it happens the water runs right out the clean out and into the french drains and to the sump. Problem solved or managed.

Rob, I think you've got to figure out a way to get the water to run from the base of the chimney into your sump. I'm sure the pan and hose work, it's just to bad the chimney is in the middle of your basement, makes things a bit harder.
 
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