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Old 03-09-2011, 08:31 AM   #1
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Water in Basement


Sorry, first off if the thread is in wrong topic area. Couldn't figure out where exactly to post... This Buy/Fix/Flip is getting ugly.

Found old broken sump pump in unfinished (dirt only) area of basement submerged in @20" of water. Concrete part of basement floor 'permanently' wet in places - not flooded, but - after a good rain as much as an inch of water pools up in low areas.

Located in the concrete floor part of the basement is one French drain (which is practically useless) and one another drain, which is operational what with a working check valve, a concrete encased tank and what appears to be 4" pipe that is hooked up to the line running to the street. It must have been installed ages ago (pre sump pump, I'm thinking) in order to deal with excessive flooding.

I installed a new sump pump with a vertical float last week. The damn thing is cycling every 5 minutes or so. It runs for about 40 seconds per cycle. Once the new sump pump was working and drained the water out of the basin, I was able to observe the direction that the incoming stream of water was coming from. It is a steady flow. No abatement. There is one area in the 'finished' part of the basement at ground level along the foundation in direct line with where the water is flowing toward the sump pump that is very wet as well.
This leads me to conclude that the source of the water is coming from the side of the house. The house is situated on a fairly level piece of land. Some old timers in the neighborhood claim that there used to be several streams in the area years and years ago. I may be dealing with the remnants of an under ground stream and/or spring. The only way I'll know, I guess is to take a sledge hammer to a section of the side walk adjacent to the area it seems to be entering the building and dig down.

Okay. Say I find the source of the water. What next? Apply something like .060 rubber and a mastic? Try to redirect water source to the street? Just curious if anyone else has had to deal with this. Sorry for the length of this tome.

Dick

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Old 03-09-2011, 09:44 AM   #2
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Water in Basement


Two things----Are you sure that you don't have a leaking water main under the slab?

Get the city to shut off the main for a few days.

What is the drainage outside look like?

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Old 03-09-2011, 09:55 AM   #3
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Water in Basement


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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Two things----Are you sure that you don't have a leaking water main under the slab?
I'm not sure of anything... That's definitely a possibility. It is fresh water for sure.

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Get the city to shut off the main for a few days.
That might be a good way to test. However, one issue with this theory is that the water is migrating into the building about 15 feet away from and slightly uphill from where the water service enters the building. That sort of leads me to believe that the leak is not associated with the water main.

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What is the drainage outside look like?
City owns small plot of land butting up against the sidewalk that runs alongside the building - and the source of the water incursion. The grade is ever so gradually toward the building proper.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:17 AM   #4
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Water in Basement


Yuck---Keep us posted!
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:37 PM   #5
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Yuck---Keep us posted!
I'm sunk. I found out today from a Home Improvement guy working on a property 'down stream' from me that both sides of the street have the same issue. The city knows about the issue. It is a genuine underground stream. Been there since the last ice age probably. I'm gonna have to live with a sump pump. I'll try to isolate the sound as much as I can. Maybe separate the 2.5" PVC going out with a couple of Fermco couplings. Sigh.

At least I found out before tearing out a stretch of side walk and digging down.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:25 AM   #6
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Water in Basement


With that situation, you might want to consider a battery back up for the pump unless you have a standby generator.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:18 AM   #7
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With that situation, you might want to consider a battery back up for the pump unless you have a standby generator.
Ron
It's not all that bad (the stream I mean). Plus were the pump to cease operations, the water by 'design' flows toward a sort of cistern that has a check valve. This deal is connected to the soil pipe running out to the street. Neat thing I found out yesterday though is the fact that they make a quiet check valve. It is most often used in houses where someone builds, say, a powder room and commode under a stairwell and the sewage has to be pumped out. If I can solve the problem with the current noisy check valve life will be good.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:34 AM   #8
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Water in Basement


time for an indoor koi pond
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:44 AM   #9
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time for an indoor koi pond
That's why the DIY Forum is valuable.
Ya get all kinds of helpful suggestions. Never gave a thought to puttin' in a koi pond. This is a buy/fix/flip. I've read so far three books on buying investment property. 1. Flipping Confidential. 2. FLIP: how to find, fix, and sell. and 3. Find it, Fix it, Flip it!. Not one of these books mentioned koi ponds. Kitchens, lighting, HVAC, etc. yeah. No fish. You may be on to something.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:01 AM   #10
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Water in Basement


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City owns small plot of land butting up against the sidewalk that runs alongside the building - and the source of the water incursion. The grade is ever so gradually toward the building proper.
How much space is there between the sidewalk and the building? You might add soil to that buffer space (and plant flowers on top) so the water does not lap up against the building.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:13 AM   #11
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How much space is there between the sidewalk and the building? You might add soil to that buffer space (and plant flowers on top) so the water does not lap up against the building.
No space. Sidewalk runs alongside building. Sidewalk slopes to street so rain water does run off. The source of this water coming into the basement is definitely subterranean. It is coming from the direction of city property. I about ready to call in my first inspections (framing, electrical, & plumbing). I'll ask the inspector what he would do. The guy owns property all of the city. Not that this city is likely to do anything even if they acknowledge that the source of the water comes from public property. Owner is responsible for everything up to the curb.

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