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gottabee 12-31-2008 02:58 PM

Help With Basement Flooding !!!!
Hello...I'm new and need some hel:eek:p...we live in 10 year old home in a rural area on drilled well (which delivers 10gpm) and septic. We have a high water table but when we bought, records showed we were not on any water although there is a lot around us. That being said, we have a sump pit and at the beginning of this year our basement flooded...we replaced our sump pumps with new and piggybacked them so in combination they will get rid of 66 gpm and we run this water straight out the house well enough's the problem....Last week the temperature went up to 10 degrees and melted A LOT OF SNOW already received and it rained very hard for 2 days. We have no pooling of water outside our house ANYWHERE but here is the problem...this sudden thaw happened and our sump pump started to kick in ...everything is fine.....eventually both are going....everything is fine.....but turns out they weren't enough to keep up with the flow coming into the sump pit and the water is covering the inlet....this was so for about an hour we see water coming into the basement from the wall/floor joint and a couple of hairline cracks in the basement floor .....we now shut off our sump pumps and get our gas pump the water is below the inlet and water is going outside properly BUT.....for the next 24 hours we still had water coming in the perimeter of the basement floor.....that has since stopped but the water is still coming into our sump pit which requires the gas's been 3 days (which is difficult because you have to fill it with gas every 4 hours) is starting to slow down and soon we will put our regular pumps back on and stop the gas one.....I guess my question is this.....ONE could this be from an already high water table (remember no water is outside on the lawn) and would doing a french drain inside fix this problem....I've already been quoted $85/foot which will cost $10,000.00
ANY HELP OR SUGGESTIONS IS MOST WELCOMED.....This is making me sick thank you and I'm sorry it's sooooo long:eek:

bob22 12-31-2008 03:59 PM

Not sure about the french drain concept: do you want it outside or inside the basement?
Have you/are you able to slope ground away from house so water doesn't run up to it or down to it?

buletbob 12-31-2008 04:01 PM

The problem I see with the french drain is that you are collecting water from all four wall locations into one or two pits. which makes me think that your water input would be about the same, you will still need your gas pump to keep up with the water level, or could you get an electric pump that pumps out the same or more GPH as the gas pump.
it sound as tho you are on the down side of some slope. or could be inline with an under groung spring. BOB

gottabee 12-31-2008 04:21 PM

That's what we were thinking of doing...adding another sump pit with a stronger pump....a really strong pump ....I thought about the underground spring as feels like I'm on Gilligan's Island but I'm not laughing....the only thing is in the summertime...spring...fall...nothing...the pump rarely goes off.....more from just the air conditioner or furnace and that takes a while !! There is one slight slope on the east side of our house but the majority of that property belongs to the's actually an empty field but oddly enough when the water was coming into the basement that was the last wall to get wet ...the worst was the north wall and we have a deck back there, a pool, and field....we got one of those documents that show the watersheds and all that stuff when we bought the house and by that document....we are nowhere near any underlying water.......the remainder of the sides look like there is a slight certainly would't appear that we sit below....and who would I go to to find out any different...?? I know we have a lot of rock in our area which as I understand is excellent for drainage....yeah, but not into my basement....I'm truly at a loss ....I just don't want to spend that kind of money and end up with the same problem ....:(

4just1don 12-31-2008 07:38 PM

how the blue blazes do he "MAP" underground water?? AND what conditions do they map it under??? Spring thaw and excess moisture,,,OR drought parts of summer???

While we are talking on the worst sides of intruding water, take a level and TELL us dirt to foundation being ZERO whats the dirt level at 1' out from foundation(like -2 being 2" lower than foundation dirt) now 2 ' out,,,now 4' out,,,and 10 and 20' while we are at it?? make it the worst spots,,,ie the MOST level spots!!

SOOOOO there isnt even a puddle outside in worst conditions?? How far do your downspouts extend from house??Do they leak??Water run down outside of them??

What kind of predominant soil types?? Clay underpan in subsoil with sand over in pockets make bathtubs whole houses can set in!! What does your soil conservation service say about your soil type and suitability to foundations and basements?? Enough homework for now,,,it is a hollyday!!

gottabee 12-31-2008 10:04 PM

I'm not much of an expert on soil types but it's not mucky clay..there is a garden on the west side of the house.....but softball size rocks around the whole perimeter of the house...the north and south sides both have decks and the east side is grass to the house wall.....the downspouts of which there is only one goes out about 7' from the house....and no leaking or clogging up.....

jamiedolan 12-31-2008 11:12 PM


Originally Posted by gottabee (Post 205150)
I'm not much of an expert on soil types but it's not mucky clay..there is a garden on the west side of the house.....but softball size rocks around the whole perimeter of the house...the north and south sides both have decks and the east side is grass to the house wall.....the downspouts of which there is only one goes out about 7' from the house....and no leaking or clogging up.....

A call to the tech folks over at Zoeller will help you size a new pump...

They make very very large pumps that can easily accommodate your needs.

You may want 2 pumps, one that is set at a different level, so the smaller pump runs in the summer and the large pump kicks in when there is a larger amount of water, i.e. snow thaw.


AllanJ 01-01-2009 11:16 AM

A French drain is intended to prevent seeping of water up into different places in your basement.

You still need to get rid of the water once it arrives in the sump pump pit.

Where does the sump pump send the water? Any chance the same water is coming back to your house after being pumped away?

concretemasonry 01-01-2009 11:47 AM

An interior french drain is a great way to reduce the water and pressure on a slab and can help to help to reduce the water outside the footing.

You probably have a "perched" water table that can be affected by short term weather and moisture.

Will still have to get the water out with a plenty of pump capacity AND get it far enough away and downhill, so it does not come back into the shallow perched water table.

gottabee 01-01-2009 02:04 PM

:)our septic tanks and tile bed is located in the front of the house in front of that we have a protected area and we run our pipe down to it because it's clean water....the hose we are currently using is 50' so I don't think it's coming back towards the house.....last night was very stressful got very cold -15 and we had to stop using the gas pump because it was seizing up ....but luckily the two pumps in our sump pit were able to handle the water coming in...actually only our first pump....we have is on the floor of the sump basin and the other is the water is slowing down the pump is running continuously's very stressful because if you look at the property it doesn't appear to sit low....and quite frankly last night I had a bit of a meltdown....this is my dream home but I don't know if I can do this every spring or the odd thaw in the winter....but...I am going to ask another question.....let's say that we had a super crazy pump that could handle anything that came into the sump pit......would we still not get water coming in from the perimeter because the weeping tile around the house is only 4" and simple cannot handle anymore....??? I was thinking and this may seem funny but the water starts to thaw...or rise up from the bottom....and it says okay weeping I come and the weeping tile says ...bring it on.....and then then the weeping tile says...okay....that's enough and the water says nope....still coming.....and then it comes up through the perimeter between the floor/wall joint and cracks...???? Is that a possibility????? If it is ...will a french drain alleviate that problem? and the other question I have is ....let's say we have a crack in the middle of the basement floor......the french drain is around the does the water come to the french drain and not up the crack which would result in water in the basement again???and just so everyone is an INTERIOR french drain and not an exterior.........

Jamiedolon....thank you for the link....I will check it out definitely....having the gas pump has its own stresses as have to monitor flow coming in versus how fast to suck out....because you don't want the pump to run dry........but answers to some of those questions I posed is greatly appreciated....:yes:

concretemasonry 01-01-2009 02:31 PM

Your 50' hose does mean much unless you are on a mountainside, but if it is not big enough or is corrugated, it could be limiting the ability of the pumps to discharge.

The big quaetion is - How much lower than your basement is the "hose" discharge?

The lateral distance does not make much difference if your house is in a big saucer and the water can flow back into the hole (or swimming pool) that was created when the home was built.
The fact that your problems are related to very recent rains or thaws indicates that it is a relatively local condition.

Many areas have deep wells that tap a similar "saucer" (only much larger) that will collect from narrow areas as far away as 75 to 200 miles and a perched water table is just a smaller example of something that can be common, especially is an area with a mixture of clay and rock.

Has any part of your site been soil sampled (drilled or manually) so you can find out if there are some lenses of clay between granular soil that can create a perched water table.

What part of the world are you in - that can be important.


gottabee 01-01-2009 03:24 PM

Hey Dick....I live in Ontario....I know it's a little difficult for you to picture what I'm trying to tell you but we have our basement which is 6' below grade....the water from the sump pit is discharged to grade level and then routed 50' away down a slight hill but this is where my real concern is....

When this all started after the thaw we started getting water into our sump pit....that's fine...we're good with that....the flow into our pump started to increase....eventually both pumps were 1 in the morning we went to bed....woke up at 5 am and both pumps were going but the water coming inside the sump pit was now covering the inlet......that's when we got the gas pump going and decreased the water level below the inlet and it was at that time....we started to see moisture present itself through some small hairline cracks in the floor and then seep at the perimter floor/wall joint....only for 24 hours did the water seep into the perimeter (a rough estimation would be 30 - 40 gallons that came into the basement where it didn't belong) and then it stopped and we now are only getting water into our sump pit which is fine because we are pumping it out....BUT it's now 5 days that we've been getting this flow into the sump pit....and that's using a gas pump ...the amount is now decreasing as I know it will but that is a LONG time....keeping in mind that we don't have any more water in the basement...

I know that I have to get a larger pump for the amount of water but my question is why did the water come into the basement in the first place for 24 hours when now we've had water for 5 days but it's going where it's suppose to be going? and will a french drain prevent the water that we got in the basement for 24 hours so that it doesn't happen again....

There isn't much we can do .....because money is always an issue....and the house is the way it is and built on the land it's built on we can't change that but what I want to prevent is this extra water on our basement floor from happening again....

Thanks a bunch :)

concretemasonry 01-01-2009 05:02 PM

Forget about the blow-by-blow description of the process since you have not really posted any facts. I live in a similar climate, with pobably colder weather and not as much winter snow, but a lot of quick melting and some heavy wet snows. Get get 45 to 90 inches of snow annually.

It is obvious from you general description, you are pumping a lot of water several times and when you pumps cannot keep up, it accumulates under the slab and si forced up that last fraction of an inche so you see it.

1. What kind of "hose" do you have - diameter, type (smooth and rigid or corrugated) material, and diameter?

2. Where the hose discharges, it apparently is only 50' away, but how far above or below the level of your basement bottom entry pipe into the sump is it?

Depending on the site and soil, 50' is not much especially if there is only a few few feet of fall and you are still discharging above you floor level or interior drain invert elevation.

gottabee 01-01-2009 05:40 PM

Sorry....I thought I was being pretty clear but I will answer your questions because your input is very much appreciated.

From the ground outside....our inlet in the sump pump I'd say is about 7' if not 8' definitely not lower than outside ground level.....and then going out 50' of hose into a wooded area which is another 20' from the ending of our hose towards a culvert by our road which is definitely on a downgrade ...although it is still not a steep mountain but a downgrade nonetheless.....the discharge pipe we are using is a heavy duty flexible plastic hose which is solid there are no perferations in it and it is a 2" diameter...if I understand what you are getting at ....we aren't pumping out this water so that it would be able to come back ....that is what we are conscious of to not repump pumped water....and our property size obviously dictates to some degree where we can get rid of it.

Again I ask why does the water come in the house for 24 hours then stop even though the water in the sump does not? thank you:)

concretemasonry 01-01-2009 07:34 PM

It may stop since the pressure against the concrete has been eased somewhat. Because there is still water coming into the sump, the water is still there and the level can easily increase causing more leakage depending on the outdoor and soil conditions allowing for some sort of time lag. If the pumps do not shut off, you have not removed the accumulated water.

Later when the "flood" stops, make sure you have a check valve on the lines immediately above the pumps.

I assume the drainage ditch is well below the level of your interior drain pipe. If there is a seam of gravel with clay on top, that can act like a drain line and carry a lot of water in comparison to what a 2" pipe can handle. Are you sure there are no obstructions and the discharge if free and open.

It sounds like you have many possibilities and combinations of conditions.

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