Water in basement from floor outlets

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Old 11-26-19, 04:22 PM
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Water in basement from floor outlets

Need advice or suggestions: We have a 5 year old house. We had electrical outlets placed in the concrete floor of the basement. The outlets are above small plastic boxes. However, they stopped working. We pulled off the covers and the boxes are full of water! Interestingly, the water always comes to the 2/3rds level and they never overflow. Where is the water coming from? What can we do with it? We are willing to just cement in these boxes to be sure there is no water coming into our basement from this site. Any suggestions are welcome.
 
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Old 11-26-19, 04:43 PM
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You will need ti fin out where water is coming from. Sealing boxes will not solve your problem. The water will eventually find a way to basement. Do you have french drains around house or under basement floor?
 
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Old 11-26-19, 07:38 PM
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The 2/3 level you mention is the water table for ground water that location. The water table can vary, even noticeably over a short horizontal difference, and can vary over time depending on rainfall or other changes in geological or meteorological conditions. Weeping tile systems and sump pumps artificially lower the water table under and near the house so as to inhibit flooding of the basement.

"Dig a hole and keep digging it deeper until you hit water." This is not always easy but when you do hit water you have found the water table. If you dug the hole for a well and it goes dry that means the water table has gone down, either due to meteorological or geological changes or because your neighbors pumped lots of water from their wells.

Rain water, gutter water, etc. should not pool up against your foundation. You may need to regrade the land to correct this situation. You should not have a depression around the foundation filled with mulch or gravel for your shrubbery.
 
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Old 11-26-19, 07:57 PM
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It could also certainly be condensation (or ground water) in the buried conduit. Since it never overflows my bet would be condensation.
 
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Old 11-27-19, 05:16 AM
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We had electrical outlets placed in the concrete floor of the basement.
I have never heard of this!
 
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Old 11-27-19, 05:31 AM
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Just knowing how concrete can absorb and transport water I don't think an electrical outlet in concrete below grade is a good idea. It's done all the time commercially above ground but below ground is asking for trouble in my opinion.

Even if you install a sump pump and drainage system to address ground water you still will have an ongoing condensation issue. I would be thinking of abandoning that entire circuit. Not just turning off the breaker but removing the breaker and wire that you can access and mortar over the outlet boxes. Then run a new, "normal" circuit outside of the concrete.
 
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Old 11-27-19, 07:24 AM
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Do you have a sump system?

If yes then that would explain why they never overflow because your sump is keeping the water under the slab at that level.
 
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Old 11-27-19, 07:27 AM
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The house has a drain tile around the foundation and a sump pump in one corner of the basement. With this being one of the wettest years on record, the sump pump has been running more than ever. We are going to replace the pump in January with a larger one (1/2 hp), with a battery back-up system. Also, having the pump placed on a separate circuit breaker.
One person says the boxes are nearly impenetrable and there must be a leak in the conduit between the three boxes, or the junction point between the conduit and the boxes. The best recommendation so far is to abandon this circuit and remove the wires, seal the conduit that connects the three boxes, and then fill the boxes and seal them. Not sure how to do this that will keep it water-proof, but will need to try.
Thanks for the suggestions. Any other thoughts are welcome.
Chuck
 
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Old 11-27-19, 08:48 AM
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How high does the water rise in the pit before the sump pump turns on?

I would have expected that if the pump turned on before the drain pipe ends as seen in the pit are more than 2/3 covered then you would not have had water visible in the outlet boxes in the floor, but I could be wrong.

If you adjust the sump pump, let it run with the new settings for a week before judging whether your changes worked or not.

Leaving the sump pump system operating normally, if y ou suctioned the water out of the outlet boxes directly (using a wet vac if you have one; a turkey baster is much too slow) several times on one day and by evening the boxes stayed dry but next morning the boxes were 2/3 full again then I would not consider condensation to be the reason.
 
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Old 11-27-19, 09:19 AM
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Decommission that circuit at the box or where ever to kill those boxes.
I would wait till the water drops, then remove the wiring and the boxes.
i would then take a chisel and chip the sides of the holes half way down so you have like a v groove.
This will help prevent your plugs from either rising or dropping.
If the sides of the holes are rough then you should not need to do this.
I would then fill the holes with hydraulic cement.
 
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Old 11-27-19, 09:39 AM
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If your current sump pump is cycling on and off then switching to a larger pump won't make any difference in the water level. The bigger pump will just drain the sump a bit faster. Be mindful that a larger pump has a larger starting surge if anything else is used on that electrical circuit.

There really is no reasonable or easy way to "seal" concrete anything to make it waterproof. You can abandon the circuit and fill in the outlet boxes so they aren't trip hazards but they will never be waterproof. Your basement is not a boat. It's not designed to be waterproof. You keep it dry by keeping the water away. If the ground water is allowed to rise a bit more you'd likely have water leaking in where the walls meet the slab.
 
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Old 12-14-19, 12:30 PM
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The next chapter (and hopefully, final chapter) is that an electrician removed the wires and squirted a foam sealant into the PVC piper that connected the 3 floor electrical boxes, and then filled the boxes with hydralic concrete. We will patch the carpet above each of the three holes and hope there is no leakage around these patches. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and help.
 
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