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Old 09-13-2008, 10:38 PM   #1
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Basement Seepage from Below


Greetings: We have had steady rain all day and around 3.5" (so far) BTW it is suppossed to continue thru tomorrow evening..flood warnings, etc..GRRR...

Water is coming up through cracks in my concrete floor in my basement. Fortunately after making a bit of a mess, most of it is draining out a drain at a low spot on the floor. (See Photos/APlogise would have cleaned up the basement if I knew you were going to visit Water is hard to see..it's clear - Duh..)

When I jump (lightly) up and down on the floor, the water spurts a bit out of the cracks. It seems the water is all under the floor but just coming through in several spots along crack lines. There is one spot where there is a hole about the size of a quarter and the water is rising up out of that.

This is rain water, no odor and there are no leaves, etc. so not sewage.

Other than ripping up my basement is there any way to seal this or will water find a way? This rarely happens and the water is not coming in along the sides by the foundation or the corners where the downspouts go into the sewers.

There is no sump pump...is that what the solution would be..House is 130 yrs old..never had a sump pump..

Any ideas comments or just "get used to it" ?

tx,

Tom
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Last edited by roztom; 09-13-2008 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:59 PM   #2
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Yeah, isn't this rain great. It hasn't stopped for three days here. Makes me nervous with my old creaky foundation walls!

A sump pump in a pit would certainly help your problem. Hopefully there's some gravel under your slab, which will let the water migrate horizontally to the pit.

You can install a pit and a pump in a day or less usually. I'd pick the lowest spot in the basement, or close to it. Dig down as deep as you can stand to, and install a pre-formed sump pit. Perforate it with a small drill bit all over. Then backfill the hole with gravel all the way around the pit, and put gravel in the bottom of the pit too. Re-pour the slab around the pit's rim. Drop in a pump and pipe it out and you're good to go.

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Old 09-13-2008, 10:59 PM   #3
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Basement Seepage from Below


Where does that drain in the floor go?

I would put a sump pump with a battery backup in if it was me.

Hopefully there is a layer of stone under the slab. I'd pick somewhere where you can break a hole in the cement, get a perforated sump basin or cut the bottom out of a solid sump basin. Dig a hole for the sump basin, put crushed stone in the bottom of the hole then put the sump basin in the hole. Put the lid on the basin, fill in the space around the basin with crushed stone and pour cement around the basin. Next place some thin cement blocks in the botton so the pump doesn't suck up stones, insert the pump, plumb, apply power and watch it suck out the water.

If it's on dirt, the sump basin may still work but not as effectively.

I just built a 3300 sq ft basement on the highest land in the area. Water should never get in the basement but I installed perimeter drainage inside and out along with two sump basins side by side. One will have a battery backup and one will not. The cost to do so was minimal and it's a just in case thing like what you are experiencing.
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:55 PM   #4
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Basement Seepage from Below


THanks for the replies. Seems like a sump pump has won the vote.. the drain hooks in to my waste line... out thru catch basin to street..

Water is just running out to that drain.. it is a slow running water but it is continuously running. I assume the way this works is when the ground gets saturated the water rises...right?

With a sump basin being lower than my floor hopefully the basin would fill up but what stops the water from being at the top level of the basin or does it fill the basin before it gets to the floor level and it is pumped out before the level rises?

If the water level is rising all around me, how can the sump-pump pump out enough to keep it from rising in my basement anyway since it's probably the whole watertable?

Tx,

Tom
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roztom View Post
With a sump basin being lower than my floor hopefully the basin would fill up but what stops the water from being at the top level of the basin or does it fill the basin before it gets to the floor level and it is pumped out before the level rises?
The pump has a float switch in it, which you'll set to turn on when more than a few inches of water is in the pit. Ideally, the pit will be at least 2 feet deep.

If the water level is rising all around me, how can the sump-pump pump out enough to keep it from rising in my basement anyway since it's probably the whole watertable?
Most of the time the pump will keep up pretty well. If you find that it doesn't for some reason, you can put two pumps in the same pit.
I'm confused by what you said about the sump hooking to a waste line. No, the sump drains should be piped to discharge in the yard as far and downhill from the house as is reasonably possible.
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roztom View Post
THanks for the replies. Seems like a sump pump has won the vote.. the drain hooks in to my waste line... out thru catch basin to street..

Water is just running out to that drain.. it is a slow running water but it is continuously running. I assume the way this works is when the ground gets saturated the water rises...right?

With a sump basin being lower than my floor hopefully the basin would fill up but what stops the water from being at the top level of the basin or does it fill the basin before it gets to the floor level and it is pumped out before the level rises?

If the water level is rising all around me, how can the sump-pump pump out enough to keep it from rising in my basement anyway since it's probably the whole watertable?

Tx,

Tom
The sump pump has a float, and when that float is triggered at an appropriate height due to rising water, it will turn on and start pumping.

As I've heard and understood, it's generally illegal to pump this water into the sewer pipes inside your house. If everyone did this, the sewer system would be overwhelmed.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:21 AM   #7
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Basement Seepage from Below


I get it...

The water runs to a drain as in the picture, like in a boiler room. I assume it connects to my catchbasin and then out to the street.

As far as where to drain a sump water, the drain is the only place. Live in the urban jungle and have no back yard but based on the flow, which has been running all night and will run all day, the little drain handles it.

Since I don't see myself doing this myself, what kind of contractor would do this? Is this a home improvement guy, plumber or some other?

On the other hand, this kind of rain/snow melt doesn't happen too often..might just be worth letting it go... house is 130yrs old after all..

Comments? (Don't come after me with a rake)

Tom
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roztom View Post
I get it...

The water runs to a drain as in the picture, like in a boiler room. I assume it connects to my catchbasin and then out to the street.

As far as where to drain a sump water, the drain is the only place. Live in the urban jungle and have no back yard but based on the flow, which has been running all night and will run all day, the little drain handles it.

Since I don't see myself doing this myself, what kind of contractor would do this? Is this a home improvement guy, plumber or some other?

On the other hand, this kind of rain/snow melt doesn't happen too often..might just be worth letting it go... house is 130yrs old after all..

Comments? (Don't come after me with a rake)

Tom
If you want someone to take care of it completely, end to end, you should look for a basement waterproofing company that installs drain systems.

The only question, when pumping to the drain, is whether your drain is sized properly such that it can handle the sudden flow of water from the pump. Water is being pumped under pressure. It's not just a gentle flow. I would think most basement drains have traps.

That's also what a lot of people say. The storm you're getting is a freak storm. Keep an eye out for it and see if it happens again, and then take action aftewards if you don't want to spend that kind of money.

I have a coworker who had a drain system installed in his house. Included was the demolition of the floor edges, installation of pipe and gravel, then concrete, with 2 sump pits that have battery backup. That cost him 13k.

Also, your basement doesn't seem to be a finished living area. Most people would just let it be.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:40 AM   #9
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Basement Seepage from Below


Right... No living area...at least now I can "show the wife" why adding living space in the basement wouldn't work.

Thanks for the help..

Tom
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
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The sump pump is still a good idea, and won't cost you more than a couple hundred bucks if you do it yourself. DO NOT pipe the discharge into your home's sanitary plumbing...Not a good idea. Like I said, discharge to a downhill part of the yard.

Finished or not, your basement is being damaged by the water. So, it is a good idea to try to deal with it.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:41 PM   #11
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I guess it's worth an estimate...

I have a torn rotator cuffr (shoveling last winter) so the joy of beating the crap out of the concrete with a sledgehammer will be denied me...

IT is certainly worth checking out.

TNx,

tom
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:10 PM   #12
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I feel your pain. I've got a partial tear in my left rotator cuff as well.

You can easily remove a chunk of concrete using a rented quickie saw or a 35# demolition hammer. Either of those would be easier on your shoulder than a sledgehammer, and would be less hard on your slab too.

If you're going to pay someone to do it, get ready to be shocked!
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:16 PM   #13
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The rain is finally starting to let up. I just heard on the news that we got about 9in of rain over the last 2 days...might have "something" to do with the water..

I have decided to rename my basement, "A River Runs Thru It" and stock it with trout...

THanks,

Tom
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roztom View Post
Right... No living area...at least now I can "show the wife" why adding living space in the basement wouldn't work.

Thanks for the help..

Tom
I must admit, you're a brave guy for buying a 130 year old house.
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:05 AM   #15
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we used bosch 60# breakers but if you floor's as thin as you described, a smaller chipping gun'll work w/either 2", 1" chisel bit or point,,, when we ' waterproofed ' floors such as yours, we'd also install lateral sub-floor piping tied into perimeter system,,, usually, we'd have 2 pumps on systems over 100' w/1 battery-backup system.

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