Basement flooding from Water coming up outside drain

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Old 03-31-15, 08:50 PM
J
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Basement flooding from Water coming up outside drain

I have a home built in 1960 with a daylight basement. The floor is about 2' below grade, maybe less.
There is a basement door with a little stairwell (2 stairs) and at the base of the stairs, there is a drain. Very little water actually gets into the stairwell from rain as it is fairly protected.
It appears to me that the drain is connected to a french drain, more or less, that extends into the backyard.
The threshold is about 1" off the slab.
The ground where I am has a small amount of decent soil, turns to clay about 8" down and to fairly solid stone about 18" down. We also live on a hill that drains away from the house.
In times of heavy and prolonged rain, the water table rises faster than it can drain down the hill and it can't really sink deep into the ground.
When this happens, water actually bubbles up from the drain, pools until it gets above the threshold and then comes in.
We are planning on selling the house soon and I don't want to put a ton into fixing this and I don't want to break up the concrete to install a pump or anything like that.
So far, the only idea I have had is to set a pump in the stairwell for those times.
I know this may not be the best solution, so I am curious if anyone has a better solution that would still be fairly inexpensive and not a huge time commitment as I have little time left for this.

Thank you!
 
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Old 04-01-15, 03:46 AM
V
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Is that Floor Drain hooked up to your septic system, a dry well, a sanitary sewer, or a storm sewer ?

It doesn't sound like it's sewage . . . . just storm water/ground water ?

I've seen storm sewers that are inadequately sized and then back up when they are surcharged during heavy rain or melt off . . . . sometimes even inundating the sanitary sewer and causing that to back up too.

If it's a storm sewer, check with a few neighbors and see if this is common in the neighborhood . . . . maybe the municipality already knows about it if you're in an organized area.
 
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Old 04-01-15, 02:39 PM
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If you find out that the floor drain pipe goes into the yard with no outlet at the end then you can install a pit out in the yard to put the sump pump in, so you don't have to crack up concrete.
 
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Old 04-02-15, 09:59 PM
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It is not hooked up to sewer or septic. It's just ground water.
This is a common problem with the other homes around me that were built at the same time.

From examining mine and talking to neighbors, it seems like the drain has a very short pipe that just goes into an underground rock bed, not far from the house (most likely still under the patio). I guess you could call that a dry well. The only thing I, and my neighbors, can come up with is a pump sitting either on the drain or pulling out the drain cover and getting it down in there a bit.

I'm not sure there are many other options outside of cracking the stairs/patio.

We had a lot of rain yesterday and I watched the drain a bit to see what would happen. It wasn't as much as when it flooded, but still a lot. The concrete around the drain at the bottom of the stairs was all dry, so that confirmed to me that it isn't water that won't go down the drain - I don't get enough there for that to happen - but rather water coming up the drain from the ground.
 
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Old 04-03-15, 11:57 AM
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Is there a point on your property near by that you could pump (or siphon) that excess water to . . . . some place where the terrain is naturally lower in elevation ?

I say "siphon" because if you can just get the drainage started (by hand or maybe with one of those cheap kerosene hand pumps and an air-tight hose) you could probably re-locate a few hundred gallons of water every day until the problem subsides.

It sounds like this is a situation you'll have to plan for every year during the Spring melt-off. Here in Vermont, I have several annual precautions that I've had to plan for that aren't required anywhere else.
 
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