Sump - Do I have a problem?


Old 04-29-08, 03:03 PM
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Sump - Do I have a problem?

Bought this house last fall - my first experience with basements. There is a six inch "seam" down the middle of the basement, with another "seam" running at a 45* angle to the other wall. Each seam leads to a sump pit. One pit is sealed (there is also a radon system), and the pump comes on and stays on when it's plugged in. When I plug it in, it seems to drain water for a few seconds (can hear in the pipes) and then no more water. So I unplug it.

The other sump pit, has crushed rock on the bottom with a plastic grate on top of the rock and two submersable pumps with floats on them. This pit has easy access to it. It's probably 2 feet deep x 3 feet x 1 foot. I would assume these "seams" are a french drain system leading to the sump pits.

The pit was dry until snow melt/rain in March (Massachusetts). Pumps worked fine. But the pit is still full six weeks later and there hasn't been snow on the ground for four weeks. The pumps don't turn on all that often - maybe a couple of times a day. When they do come on, the pit empties in a couple of minutes, the pumps turn off, and then the pit fills about 1/2 way up again almost immediately. Then it slowly rises over several hours until the floats kick on again.

We recently had two days of heavy rain. No appreciable difference. We live maybe 300 yards from a river, so I'm guessing there's a high water table. Maybe that's the source of my water?

My question is: Does all this sound normal? Should I just be thankful that I have a non-flooded basement and leave well-enough alone? I just would have thought that the water levels would have gone down by now.

PS: There was a note placed by the previous owners saying to turn off the radon system when there was water in the sump pit - and I understand why as the night water first came into the pit, the radon system vibrated quite violently. So I haven't had the radon system running for six weeks - is that a problem waiting to happen?
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Old 04-29-08, 09:30 PM
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Hello and welcome to DIY,

Your sump pump system appears to be working fine by your description. I would agree you have a high water table in the spring and that is why there is still water in the pit.

I think I understand what they are saying about the radon system. Radon systems are for removing radon gasses from the ground (and sometimes your drinking water in some well situations), and the Blower is not intended to suck up water. So you need to remove the water before running the radon system.

If you still feel uncomfortable you should upload some pictures for us to see. They tell a lot more. Just set up a free account with , I think... and copy the picture address here. Good luck, Mark
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