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Old 12-16-2009, 12:15 PM   #1
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


i just purchased a 100+ year old home a few months ago. during my home inspection, it was raining very hard - and the inspector noted that there was water seeping through one of the walls in the basement. he recommended the owner caulk along where the foundation meets the walkway along the side of the house, as there was a crack there. this repair was taken care of prior to me finalizing the purchase of the home, and this was the only noted moisture / water issue in the basement.

over the past two weeks, i have had a major water problem in our two heavy rain storms where water is literally pouring in from around the water supply line, in the front of the house (water supply line runs under the front porch). i have found another crack and hole near the front of the house near the front porch steps that i sealed yesterday with caulk to see if that solves the problem, but i won't know until we get more rain (which we're not supposed to for a while now, plus it's cold so we're more likely to see snow than another rain storm for a while).

my question is this: am i ok to seal around the supply line to try to keep the water from coming in, or will this put too much pressure on the foundation walls? if i'm ok to seal it up, what should i seal it with? i can take pictures if it will help you all figure out what i should do here...

it must be rain water that is coming in, as the basement is dry otherwise (even with melting snow that we've had over the past few days, there has been no water in the basement...only during heavy rains).

the volume of water during heavy rain is quite large...we had about an inch of rain last tuesday, and wednesday afternoon (which is when i first discovered the problem) it took me 3 shop-vacs full (10 gallon) to get all the water out of the basement. we had about 1/2 inch of rain the other day also, and it took me 2 shop-vacs...the water was pouring in so quickly that when i stuffed a shamwow around the pipe, it was soaked completely through in less than five minutes.

i'm going to have a basement water company come in and look at it, but i figured i'd give this forum a shot first to see if maybe there's something i can do myself...

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Old 12-16-2009, 12:20 PM   #2
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


We have up here what we call "pre-existing conditions" in home sales contracts.

Check your legal standings as this may qualify as one of those (as opposed to a maintenance issue) and the previous owner may be on the hook for all or part of the costs.

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Old 12-16-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


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Originally Posted by ccarlisle View Post
We have up here what we call "pre-existing conditions" in home sales contracts.

Check your legal standings as this may qualify as one of those (as opposed to a maintenance issue) and the previous owner may be on the hook for all or part of the costs.
i will check on that...but i do know the previous owner (i work for their son part-time) and they insist they had no problems with water in the basement (aside from the water seeping through the walls at inspection).

i should also mention it's a dirt floor basement, and the back half is sloped upwards towards the back porch. i am considering digging it all out to have a concrete floor put in too, but i need to figure out the water issue first...
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:30 PM   #4
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


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but i need to figure out the water issue first...
Ayuh,.... Most water issues are best dealt with at a point which is Before it's a Problem...
In your case, it sounds like surface water run-off...

What's the grade around your house,..??
Why is the water going To the front of the house, rather than Away,..??
How about gutters,+ down spouts,..?? Not pitched under the porch are they,..??

Btw,... Caulking the hole plugged woud be Tempory at Best...
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


this won't stop the problem but may help to abate it somewhat. If you can find a dry mix product called hydraulic cement you may be able to make a larger opening around the pipe mix the cement and pack around the pipe. you could also sleeve the pipe thru the wall and do the above around and inside the pipe. as stated above you need to try to relocate the water away from the foundation
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:58 PM   #6
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


"he recommended the owner caulk along where the foundation meets the walkway along the side of the house, as there was a crack there." ----- usually an Inspector will note where the water is, not the "solution". He may be partially liable, read his fine print in the Contract.

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Old 12-17-2009, 09:39 AM   #7
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


the water all does run off away from the house, except for one point that i mentioned near the steps to the front porch (which is where the small crack was that i caulked the other day).

every other gutter and downspout runs everything away from the house...i know, because i stood on my front porch and watched the runoff all run down to the curb. the area immediately up against my foundation wasn't even wet. that's why this is so confusing to me...
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:43 AM   #8
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


the only other point i noted was that the downspout that comes off the front porch roof goes into the ground, under the sidewalk and front steps and comes out next to the other rain gutter, but is directed somewhat close to the foundation (although still directed at it). i'm going to try to extend that out a bit and put an elbow on and down away with the other rain spout...i'll take pictures in a second to show what i mean...
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:59 AM   #9
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


here are pictures of the front of the house, taken a few minutes ago...in the second picture you can see the caulk line on the steps, and under the oil pipe...
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line-house1.jpg   water pouring into basement from around water supply line-house2.jpg   water pouring into basement from around water supply line-house3.jpg  

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Old 12-17-2009, 01:31 PM   #10
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


another note: the first time i had the water issue, i had the borough come up and look at the water meter box (which is actually under the sidewalk) because the plumber who looked opened up the box and noted that there was water and mud inside the meter box...the borough water guy came up and said "yeah i think it's just groundwater runoff." i told him that i never had this problem before, so it doesn't seem like that's the problem, to which he just looked at me and again said "yeah i think it's just groundwater runoff."

is it possible this is the borough's fault and something they need to fix?
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:57 PM   #11
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


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is it possible this is the borough's fault and something they need to fix?
Ayuh,... Anything is Possible....

When you were studying the water flows around/ away from your home,...
Was there any run-off running to/ into the meterbox,..??

I'd think doing the hyd. cement There, might do more good, than in your cellar at the pipe...

We have meters in the cellar, so I'm not familiar with the meterbox idea...
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:42 AM   #12
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


as bondo said, ' anything is possible ',,, but thinking this water problem start'd when YOU bought the home's horse**** & so's the ' home inspector's ' advice,,, hydraulic MAY stop the wtr at that particular spot yet it'll still be there damaging the foundation & fnd walls outside the depth of the patch,,, YOU just won't SEE it til it finds another way into the bsmt,,, block OR conc walls ? ? ?

if the wtr's as you post, injecting hydrophyllic polyurethane grout will stop the water otherwise i'm thinking sump & pump minimum ,,, stay away from apron store flotec pumps w/pendant ( floating ) switches,,, zoeller pumps ( m-53 ) are MUCH better,,, no flexible discharge line, either,,, use 1 1/4" pvc,,, do it right & only do it once move power to you IF you can get the borough to help out financially,,, btw, do you still believe in leprechauns ? ? ?

ps - i do this for a living & have a slight water problem in OUR bsmt,,, prev owner'd applied ' dry-lock ' type product from apron store & thought he was doing something good,,, before we downsize & move, i'll repair it, disclose what i did, & feel safe new owner'll have no recourse

Last edited by stadry; 12-18-2009 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:21 PM   #13
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if the wtr's as you post, injecting hydrophyllic polyurethane grout will stop the water otherwise i'm thinking sump & pump minimum
what do you mean by the first part of this statement? injecting it where? around the water line?

i have no problems having a sump pump put in if that's what it takes to fix it, it'll only be running when we get heavy rains...my main concern is where is the water coming from and why did it only just start recently? we have had other 1 inch plus rain days since i bought the house, and i didn't have this problem...

by the way, they are cinder ash walls...neither block nor concrete.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:24 PM   #14
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water pouring into basement from around water supply line


not to be thicker than usual but what is a cinder ash wall?
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:34 PM   #15
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not to be thicker than usual but what is a cinder ash wall?
the way the home inspector explained it to me is that it's like cinder block but without the block. compressed cinders and ashes...apparently a lot of homes around here have this type of foundation. my mom's house also has it...

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