Question about Sump Pump Basin Depth

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Old 05-31-13, 05:40 PM
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Question about Sump Pump Basin Depth

I'm located in Kansas City and basement problems are extremely common due to our expansive soil. Most new houses have sump pumps as a matter of course to reduce the water level under the basement. We recently installed a sump pump just as an extra safety measure on our basement. We have two bathroom stubs down in our basement, so I dug down a little and found that after rain storms, water could come as high as 13" below the top of the slab in the back of the house and about 17" below the top of the slab in the front.

The person who installed the sump pump originally said we were going to install a 30" basin. It's would be connected to our drain tile and he was going to drill holes to let ground water seep in and be pumped out. His login was that the deeper basin would gradually reduce the water level under the house by pumping out the groundwater as it filled up the basin.

However, when he did the install, he ended up putting in a shallower basin that only goes about 22" down from the top of the basement slab. Now, the basin almost never pumps during a rain storm because the ground water only fills up the well to around 14" from the top of the slab and it has to get up to around 12" before it triggers the pump. So, it doesn't really lower water under the house at all because the water is mostly at a depth that doesn't trigger the pump.

My other neighbors I know all have much deeper basins that are 30+ inches in order to pump out ground water before it gets near the bottom of the footings. When I asked the installer about it he said the plumbing supply shop recommended the shallower basin in our situation and that we wouldn't gain anything by using a 30" basin. I told him that was confusing to me because a 30" basin would move the pump 6-7" deeper which would essentially drain quite a bit more ground water during rain storms.

Is it true that there's no reason to use a deeper basin and that a basin that doesn't drain until water gets a foot from the slab is fine? Is there no benefit to lowering the water lever down below the footings? Keep in mind I'm in an area where we constantly battle foundation problems due to the negative effects of water and expansive soil.
 
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Old 05-31-13, 08:12 PM
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What type of pump do you have? The pumps with the float swith on the cord do not trigger until the water is higher then one with a adjustable float.

I dont like the submersibles my self and prefer the pedestal type.

Is the pump up on a block? Most plumbers do this to reduce sediment intake to the pump. Possibly lower the blocks....
 
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Old 06-01-13, 07:12 AM
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It's a submersible pump with float. It was originally put on a block which meant it never ran. I took the block out because the screen around the basin won't let anything in that's big enough to hurt the pump and the pump's intake is already an inch or so off the bottom. That makes it run every now and then, but it's still not low enough to reduce the water level more than 14" below the top of the slab.
 
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Old 06-01-13, 07:48 AM
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The slab should be only 4" thick I believe. I guess in theroy you want the water level below that and it should be fine.

And I assume as long as its below the incoming pipe/pipes to the basin should be fine.

Wait and see what others say.


What is the make and model of the pump? ( I would like to look up specs)

How long ago was it installed?

Have you talked to the installer about replacement?

Look up other pumps and see wait it says about what water height the pumps kick on.
 
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Old 06-01-13, 01:36 PM
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Yes, it's a regular 4" slab. We were originally trying to pump the water down below the footing line, which is where it tends to settle if we don't have rain. I'm guessing that's why all the houses I'm aware of use basins that are nearly 3 feet deep.

The pump is a flotec FPSC2250A. The install is only a few weeks old. I talked to the installer some yesterday because we had decided on a 30" basin before the install but he said the plumbing supply store told him we only needed a 24".
 
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Old 06-01-13, 01:45 PM
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he said the plumbing supply store told him we only needed a 24".
But you agreed on 30".. Who cares what the plumbing store said. Those counter guys dont know anything...

I think your fine but if you agreed on 30" and it makes you feel better...Get it fixed the way you want it.

Is this the pump? ( Kind of cheap IMO)

 
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Old 06-01-13, 08:01 PM
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Yes, that looks like the pump. What are the better pumps?
 
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Old 06-01-13, 08:24 PM
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I like and use liberty products.... Although they make a builders grade too....


Liberty Pumps : Submersible Sump Pumps


Even their kits are 22" ( Is your basins top sitting at slab level? )

Liberty Pumps : Submersible Sump Pumps
 
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Old 06-01-13, 08:43 PM
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Those liberty pumps look good. Funny, it's only about $5 more than the Flotec I have.

I have seen a lot of more shallow sump pumps installed, but for some reason around here all the basins I've seen installed are really deep. the only thing I can figure out is that maybe because of our expansive soil, most people try to move the water table lower which in other parts of the country you're primarily just trying to pump out whatever the drain tile system dumps in the basin.

If you're just pumping water under the floor from the drain tiles, then you wouldn't need a very deep basin.
 
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