Sump filling with a lot of dirt

Old 12-14-13, 11:02 AM
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Sump filling with a lot of dirt

I have a sump pump under the house in the crawl space. It uses a plastic bucket for the sump liner. This year the pump clogged and the sump is filled with a lot of fine dirt. We have had very little rain in CA so I had not even checked it this year untill it clogged and almost burned up. This was not a problem the first 8 years we lived in the house. I replaced the pump last year and added a check valve. I am wondering if the new pump is to strong and pulling dirt in to the sump? Do I need to replace the pump? Re-do the liner? Re-dig the whole thing? Any help would be appreciated.

Old 12-14-13, 12:06 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Sump construction is not terribly involved but dirt containment is important.

A typical sump pit would be a plastic liner with holes in it to allow water to enter. When this type is installed there is crushed rock under the unit as well as all around the outside of the liner to keep the dirt out. This type of pit would be several feet deep and a block or bricks would be used to keep the pump off the bottom of the pit so as not to pick up as much dirt.

When you say plastic bucket.... do you mean like a 5 gallon plastic bucket ?
How does the water get in ?

Doesn't sound like a pump issue.... just a dirt containment problem.
Old 12-14-13, 12:25 PM
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To back up what PJ mentioned. A sump pump can only remove what is in the sump. It's not like a pressure washer blasting mud away. It simply pumps out whatever has gotten in the sump. A more powerful pump might pump the sump out faster but that's it. It's possible that erosion has exposed a layer of sediment that is more easily washed into the sump. The best long term solution might be to re-do the sump.
Old 12-14-13, 02:18 PM
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yes it is a 5 gallon bucket with holes drilled in it. I looks like it did have some rock around it at some point. Yeah since the bigger pump was draining the sump faster I wondered the water filling the sump might be pulling in more sediment. Sounds like it has just reached the point where it needs to be re-dug. That really sucks
Old 12-14-13, 02:46 PM
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wezil -

You are very close in your assessment since the fast movement of water will suck more fines out of the soil.

That is the reason there is a problem with clean rock fills round a perforated pipe since the water runs too fast and erodes more. That is the reason a rock/coarse sand mixture is better. Similarly, a sock on perforated pipe will plug much faster than a system of using a filter fabric between, around under the granular fill that is under and around the perforated pipe.

Fast moving water carries more soil away and can collect in a large volume container.

Water flowing underground is slower and not immediate like a thunderstorm dumping water on a street/roof with with gutters.

Old 12-30-13, 05:14 AM
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there wasn't a properly sized sump installed nor was the excavation protected by soil filter cloth outside of the 6" thick #57 stone placed about/under the sump. dick's right !

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