Exterior Perimeter Drain Help

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Old 06-29-15, 09:32 AM
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Exterior Perimeter Drain Help

Hi All, I'm at my whits end with a basement water problem and I could use some help on how to proceed. During hard rains I get roughly 3-5 gallons of water that come in through the bottom block of the wall and floor of my basement. I've tried all the basics I can think of to try and correct the problem. All of gutters are clear, my downspouts lead into a city collected storm drain which has also been snaked and cleaned, the grade is away from my house along that wall and is actually a concrete sidewalk connected to my driveway so no open soil anywhere near the exterior wall.

What I'm wondering is how to tell if I've got an exterior perimeter drain that was installed when the house was built in 1956. I don't have any sort of sump pump system either interior or exterior but I've read that some drains do tie right into the storm sewer. Is there any way to tell if I've got drain tile at the footer without actually digging up the side of my house? And if I don't have an existing footer drain is it possible to tie a new one into that storm sewer lateral? Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 06-29-15, 09:53 AM
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Hi ms3 and welcome to the forum,
I don't have a simple solution, but I can giver you some input.
The surface drainage you see probably doesn't reflect the drainage below the surface. Once the water seeps into the soil it will follow the subsurface drainage plane which is best determined when the house is built. A bit late now. In some cases you can stand way back and imagine what the landscaping looked like before all of the streets and houses were built.

But, the reality is, that water is somehow making it to your foundation. You said "blocks: which presents a difficult problem as water seeping in at one location can flow a considerable distance along the foundation wall before it seeps through into your basement. That outside leakage point can be high or low and almost anywhere.

You may also be dealing with a high water table, unknown.

My advice would be to install a deep sump pit to begin with, all basements should have one anyway. When you dig the hole you will get an idea as to where the water level is and you might see some inside drain tile.

Bud
 
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Old 06-29-15, 11:08 AM
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Bud,

Thanks for the reply. I've stepped back from the house and taken a look at the general shape of the landscape and I've got some great grading away from the house, as much as a 2ft drop in 20 feet so I don't think grading is a problem.

I do have a couple questions on the sump, what would be the point with nothing connected to the sump pit, or am I missing something else? Also assuming water was to get into the put where do I discharge the water to? It's my understanding sump water shouldn't be discharged into the sanitary sewer. Sorry for the barrage of the questions, just trying to get the most info I can. Thanks!
 
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Old 06-29-15, 11:32 AM
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The thought of standing back and looking at the surrounding land is to imagine what it looked like before homes and roads were built. I've see a very good slope on the surface in one direction with exactly the opposite 2 feet down. Clay, impacted soils, or ledge can deliver that water directly to your foundation once it soaks into the soil. Not much you can do about it, but it at least tells you the need for foundation drainage.

Many sump pumps never see rainwater, but are installed "just In case" a pipe breaks, washer hose lets go, window is left open during a monsoon rain, or the kids overfill the shower or tub, all of these I have experienced personally and have worked on too many.

If you expect this sump will rarely discharge water, just aim it out the side on the surface. If you discover a pond down there then you can consider a better place to discharge it. Picking a location could be near the current water problem, but you might want to read up on radon mitigation. If your house test high any new buyer will want to see a solution and a sump pit may be part of that. Of course there is more to a sub-slab exhaust system, but now may be a good time to read up.

Bud
 
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Old 06-29-15, 01:07 PM
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I had a similar issue. Mine occured after I had the concrete replaced on my patio and adjacent garage floor. I believe the drain lines from the gutter downspouts to the city sewer go around the perimeter of the house. I think one of the lines (clay pipe) shifted when they there clearing and pouring the concrete. It led to a leak. After a number of months (and a winter of the ground freezing solid) the crack seems to have re-seated itself and I am dry again. I do check it every time it rains but such is life when you lose faith in the plumbing. Water drains fine through the downspouts so no blockage.

So back to your problem, I suspect the solution would be to expose the drain lines around the perimeter (starting in that affected area) and find the leaking section to repair it. Mine was under concrete and passed below the garage wall foundation so I have left mine alone and am counting on it not opening up again.

- Peter
 
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Old 06-30-15, 05:44 PM
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Hello,
A sump pump is actually meant to divert subsurface water from under your concrete slab. In my part of the country it is actually a violation to discharge the water directly into the city sewage system. It should be diverted at least 5 feet from the house if possible and carried away by grade.

As for your question about drains when the home was built: since it was built in 1956 records may be incomplete if available at all.....so best of luck.

I know the grade SEEMS to be sufficient, but as a previous respondent suggested, impermeable soils below grade may be directly water right back to your house.

Check the article below and it may she'd some light on what I am trying to say.....
***********

Best of luck.....wet basements are a miserable thing to deal with and can cause some serious problems if mot corrected!
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 06-30-15 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Link removed. Advertising not allowed!
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