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Old 05-25-2010, 09:13 PM   #1
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Need a return brainstorm


This one's for my house. Slab on grade home with existing returns under the slab and into a pit under the furnace. The pit is 2' deeper then the lowest return pipe. Problem is the ground water table is high enough that every time it rains the pit gets a foot or more of water which raises the humidity in the house too tropical levels. Seriously it will be 70% RH and higher without the AC and upper 50's with it. Down spouts are ran well away from the foundation so that's not the issue. No water in the pit except after rains so no broken pipes.

I should reroute the return into the attic but am looking for an easier solution that won't reduce the living room size. Not much pitch on the roof either so working in the attic is a real treat, swimming through 60 year old insulation. Thinking about building a platform in the pit then placing a plastic vapor barrier on that and capping with concrete. Good enough or a waist of time? Other ideas?

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Old 05-25-2010, 09:56 PM   #2
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Not sure if this makes sense but I imagine you have a galvanized return duct on the bottom of the furnace and down into a pit? Can you slather a bunch of red duro dyne duct sealer on all the joints from the inside and make the box watertight? Stinks like heck for a day or two but is pretty tough stuff and sticks well to galvanized.

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Old 05-25-2010, 10:23 PM   #3
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get a condensate pump and set it in the pit......will pump most of the water out
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:33 PM   #4
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The pit is concrete with no liner. I don't think a sealant would stick well enough to work on concrete.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deanr221 View Post
get a condensate pump and set it in the pit......will pump most of the water out
Thought about that but it's not a good idea. Could be moving tens of thousands of gallons of water so it would get expensive fast. Also can't legally pump into the sewer system so would just be constantly recycling the water.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:03 PM   #6
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Marty, from the replies that you've posted I get the feeling you may have access to a sheet metal shop. If it were me I would make a either a 3 sided pan or a channel (whichever works best to allow the existing returns to get air back to the furnace while still covering the bottom of the pit). Something like this...probably out of 18 gauge galvanized, 20 gauge minimum.



Disconnect the furnace and move it aside. Then get a small sump pump into the pit, hook up the electric and run the discharge hose to a convenient location. Suck out all the nasty water that's in the pit now and add some bleach and fresh water and scrub all the crud out that you can. Leave the sump pump there permanently.

Drop the pan into the pit and caulk all sides with Vulkem or Pro-Seal and set the furnace back on the pit.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:21 PM   #7
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So the moisture from the pit is rising up and thru your floor into the house? I have an open sump pit in my basement and it is not a problem, I run a portable dehumidifier to keep it below 40%RH but it is not terribly humid where I live. I am wondering if spraying that Icynene insulation underneath your floor would slow down the moisture from rising up and add R value to the floor? It is waterproof from what I hear.http://www.icynene.com/
There may be some gov't grants for adding insulation to your house?
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Last edited by yuri; 05-25-2010 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:49 AM   #8
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Use an epoxy sealer. Made for concrete. Yes, you will have to clean the concrete before you use it.

Then pour more concrete in the return until its up to where the water level would be.

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