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Old 05-15-2006, 01:31 PM   #1
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Rain water draining into sump pit


I had a thread in the Plumbing section anout a pipe draining into my sump pit, I was trying to figure out where it was coming from. I figured out that it was a drain pipe from around the foundation, or at least that the best explanation I could come up with.

http://http://www.diychatroom.com/showthread.php?t=2407

So now my question is this:

If there is a pipe from the around the foundation of my house draining into my sump pit, is it normal for there to be a decent amount of water draining from it. It is not a huge amount of water, but it is enough that is causes my sump pump to kick on a few times a day. I do not see any water in the basement, so if it is draining the foundation it is doing it's job well, since we've had six days of rain here.

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Old 05-15-2006, 01:43 PM   #2
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Rain water draining into sump pit


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So now my question is this:

If there is a pipe from the around the foundation of my house draining into my sump pit, is it normal for there to be a decent amount of water draining from it. It is not a huge amount of water, but it is enough that is causes my sump pump to kick on a few times a day. I do not see any water in the basement, so if it is draining the foundation it is doing it's job well, since we've had six days of rain here.
An average house roof will discharge about 2,500 gallons of water when a rain storm drops an inch of rain.

Do your downspouts drain right near the house?

If so, then try and get the downspout discharge as far away from the house as possible. You may want to run a drain line to the street if there are storm drains there.

Do you get water from the pipe in the sump pit if is has not rained in a few days?

Six days of rain will saturate the ground near your house and the water is draining threw the pipe.

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Old 05-16-2006, 07:33 AM   #3
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Rain water draining into sump pit


The downspouts in the front of my house drain into platic tubing that moves the water away from the house. The tubing is is covered after the first foot, so maybe I need to check and see that it hasn't cracked.
In the back of the house it appears the downspout drains irectly into the sewer, but I am goint to doube check that.

If it hasn't rained in a few days I still get a little bit of water every once in a while, just drips really.
I'm waiting for som dry times to see if it continues once the ground has dried up.
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Old 05-17-2006, 07:30 AM   #4
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Rain water draining into sump pit


You could put some food coloring in the front downspouts and see if it appears in the sump pit.

Then wait a few days until it is clear and then put a different food color in the back down spouts and see if that color shows up in the sump pit.
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:42 AM   #5
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Rain water draining into sump pit


I tried just running the hose down the back down spout, it didn't cause any more flow into the sump pit, I'm going to try the same thing with the front down spout but even when we were getting alot of rain it was a slow constant amount of water....
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:04 PM   #6
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Rain water draining into sump pit


Have you had a longer stretch of weather without rain?
Did you still get water from this pipe into the sump pit?
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:26 PM   #7
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Rain water draining into sump pit


we had rain for the last 8 or 9 days in a row....
so no time without rain
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:29 PM   #8
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Rain water draining into sump pit


Any progress??
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:33 PM   #9
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Rain water draining into sump pit


It could be coming back through your sump pump pipe??? If you have a crushed pipe for your downspouts and the sump pump is hooked into thoses same pipes, then it will backflow into something... that something being your sump pump.
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:48 AM   #10
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Rain water draining into sump pit


Quote:
Originally Posted by ERIK2173 View Post
I had a thread in the Plumbing section anout a pipe draining into my sump pit, I was trying to figure out where it was coming from. I figured out that it was a drain pipe from around the foundation, or at least that the best explanation I could come up with.

http://http://www.diychatroom.com/showthread.php?t=2407

So now my question is this:

If there is a pipe from the around the foundation of my house draining into my sump pit, is it normal for there to be a decent amount of water draining from it. It is not a huge amount of water, but it is enough that is causes my sump pump to kick on a few times a day. I do not see any water in the basement, so if it is draining the foundation it is doing it's job well, since we've had six days of rain here.


Sounds like it is working fine and doing the job of what it is made to do. If your french drain around your foundation was not tied into a storm drain,it was installed for this reason or as an added measure to keep water out of your basement. Working just fine.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:03 AM   #11
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Rain water draining into sump pit


As just stated, this is a classic french drain doing it's job.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:39 PM   #12
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Rain water draining into sump pit


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Have you had a longer stretch of weather without rain?
Did you still get water from this pipe into the sump pit?
I'm joing this a little late - but I do have a situation where I get water in my sump pit from my drain tile, even when there is no rain. Not a lot - but the pump will be activated every so often and there will be a trickle of water into the pit.

What does that imply?
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:29 PM   #13
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Rain water draining into sump pit


Your drain tile may be down close to a water table and picking up some minor moisture from the water table. No big deal and it shows your system is working.

Sometimes, surface moisture from lawn watering can get collected by the utility trench or by the access ramp dug when constructing the basement. The soil filling these ares is more porous than the natural soil, so the trench/ramp becomes a funnel for lawn watering and other minor water sources.
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:36 AM   #14
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Rain water draining into sump pit


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Your drain tile may be down close to a water table and picking up some minor moisture from the water table. No big deal and it shows your system is working.

Sometimes, surface moisture from lawn watering can get collected by the utility trench or by the access ramp dug when constructing the basement. The soil filling these ares is more porous than the natural soil, so the trench/ramp becomes a funnel for lawn watering and other minor water sources.
Thank you for the response. Here is my full strory - in addition to having water trickle in very slowly when there is no rain...

I recently put an addition on my house (finished a year ago). We built a full basement under the addition, and dug about 3' deeper than the existing basement. The foundation company laid 4" corrugated black pipe around the new foundation, terminating in a sump pit in the corner of the new basement closest to the old basement.

As a side note, the "old" and higher basement got seepage due to hydrostatic pressure during EVERY heavy rain - something the prior homeowner failed to mention. We installed interior drain tile (PVC this time) and a second sump pit - it has cured all of our problems in the upper part of the basement.

Now, on the new lower basement, I'm not having problems per se, but I'm amazed at the amount of water that gets pumped out. Last night in Chicago, we had HEAVY rains - probably got 2" in an hour. My lower pump was cycling almost constantly, and when I went near the pit, it sounded like someone had a hose emptying into it. After the rain subsided, the pump still cycled pretty frequently (I counted about every one to two minutes). This morning, with no rain, the firehose sound was obviously gone, but there was a slow, steady flow of water that I could hear running into the pit. And of course every so often the pump would cycle it out. Now, I have noticed in the past, that even when there is no rain for days, my pump will occaisionally pump water out of the pit, and I can sometime hear a very slight trickle of water into the pit, again even when it is dry outside.

This evening, the pit was somewhat quiet - just a very slow drip (the surface of my lawn is still damp from last night's rain), and over a 3-hour period, I counted the pump cycling 3 times at 48-50 minute intervals.

Some other facts -

- Both of my pumps empty into the sewer - my suburb allows that (in fact they prefer it when your house is close to your neighbors, as mine is).

- Both pumps are Zoeller. My upper pump has a battery backup with an AGS battery installed by the company that did my interior drain tile. As of now, my lower basement does not have a battery back up, but I plan on installing one because even though the area is currently unfinished, I do not want water coming out of the pit. Someone suggested to me that I use a backup pump activated by water pressure.

My questions -

1) Should I be concerned about the speed and volume of water that was coming into my pit during last night's storm?

2) Should I be concerned that this morning there was still a steady flow of water into the pit?

3) Should I be concerned that even when it hasn't rained for days, my pump still cycles water out? Or, as concretemasonry suggests, it may just be minor moisture from a water table and thus not a threat?

4) I assume that the soil around my addition is still much looser than virgin earth, it's been less than two years since the hole was back-filled, and just over a year since the topsoil added to bring the yard back to grade. Is the pourosity of the area just something I have to live with, or is there something I can do about it? My lawn is still maturing and thickening - I plan on overseeding again in the fall - will that help?

or...

5) Should I just shut up and be happy that even during last night's storm, I didn't get a drop of water in the basement?

and finally...

6) Is the frequent cycling of my main pump going to reduce it's life - and am I at risk of that pump dying?

Thank you in advance for your help. I know this is a lot - I'm completely clueless on this stuff - I just know I hate wet basements.
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:28 AM   #15
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Rain water draining into sump pit


Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkahn View Post
1) ...speed and volume of water that was coming into my pit during last night's storm?
No, water moves through the ground all the time and depending on the soil type, at different rates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkahn View Post
2) ...that this morning there was still a steady flow of water into the pit?
No, the water is going to leave at it's own rate...you can't hurry it up or slow it down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkahn View Post
3) ...that even when it hasn't rained for days, my pump still cycles water out? Or, as concretemasonry suggests, it may just be minor moisture from a water table and thus not a threat?
No, the water table there must be pretty high...you can change it but I doubt you're interested in placing another perimeter tile around the house 20-30 feet out in the water table.

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4) ...My lawn is still maturing and thickening - I plan on overseeding again in the fall - will that help?
No, your lawn while the roots reach to the water table, your lawn will not appreciably affect it.

Quote:
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5) Should I just shut up and be happy that even during last night's storm, I didn't get a drop of water in the basement?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkahn View Post
6) Is the frequent cycling of my main pump going to reduce it's life - and am I at risk of that pump dying?
If you think it might go out...get replacement on hand.


Right at a year ago, I dug a basement hole and before they were finished there was about an inch of water covering the floor. One could walk the perimeter and many places along the way you could actually see the water percolating out of the soil. It looked much like a very small fish tank recirculator, but it was crystal clear. If you take one of these running non-stop 24/7 that's a fair amount of water...multiply that by hundreds and you have an enormous amount of water.

Given that it looked like this was going to be a very wet area, we trenched below footing depth to daylight with a 4" PVC tile. And from the day it went in to now...it has NEVER stopped. It takes about 2-3 minutes to fill a 5 gallon bucket at it's normal flow. At 3 minutes that would be 100 gallons an hour, 2400 gallons a day, 72,000 gallons a month, and 864,000 gallons a year. Of course the flow is significantly more in the spring.

This is an self built ICF house, so we had the hole exposed for quite a while, and in the profile of the soil, the face of the hole would be dry down to about 2 feet, from there down to the footing, maybe another 6 feet, the face of the hole never dried out....we're talking the middle of a mid-west summer here...think HOT, windy, and humid.

We used form-a-drain for the footing drain, a perimeter tile around that, and a series of tiles under the basement floor. We put a sump pit in....but to this day it has not had a pump....and the level has never changed. I'm thinking seriously about putting a pump in and using it for irrigation for landscape plants. A small pressure pump and pressure thank and I'd be set!

What I'm trying to illustrate is that there's a huge amount of water in the soil naturally. We people come along, dig a hole, disturb the ground structure, creating an artificial fracture in the soil profile. We all know water takes the path of least resistance. Given that, water will try to go to the lowest it can, anywhere it has to. if it can't go down, the water moves horizontally through the soil until it either exits to the surface, or reaches a ditch/stream etc, or reaches the artificial fracture we have given it. The next things that happens depends on how well the builder anticipated moisture...all too often not well.

Water in the soil isn't your enemy...but you have to use common sense when trying to deal with it. Keep surface water at bay by using down spouts, and grading away from your foundation.

Best of luck to ya!

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