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PorgyLuvzBess 08-30-2011 11:30 AM

waterproofing a basement
I have a basement with two working sump pumps that still gets a good amount of water. The water comes in through areas that do not drain toward either sump pump.

So, i'm looking into waterproofing my basement and the two options that i've found so far are french drains or soil regrading.

anyone have an opinion or experience with either method. I'd appreciate any info you can provide. Thanks.

gregzoll 08-30-2011 01:15 PM

What is the cycle rate for the two sumps (ie how long do they run, and then how long are they off, before they start running again).

icreate 08-30-2011 01:32 PM

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I have used both methods. They both keep water away from a house but they are for different types of water, surface water and ground water. First off you should always grade the soil away from a house no matter what type of drains or pumps or anything else you are using. The 2009 IRC Section: R401.3 states that grading from the foundation should be 6in. minimum in the first 10ft. from the house. This keeps water from flowing on the ground to the house.
A french drain and sump pump keeps ground water from coming up from under ground and into the basement. Without knowing where the water is coming from it is hard to recommend a french drain.
So to answer your question:
You should slope the grade away from your house irregardless of where the water is coming from.
If you have ground water coming up from below the house then a french drain will greatly improve your chances of mitigating the water problem.
Here is a drawing of a french drain designed by a soils engineer that we used for several houses in a high water table area.

PorgyLuvzBess 08-30-2011 05:08 PM


Originally Posted by gregzoll
What is the cycle rate for the two sumps (ie how long do they run, and then how long are they off, before they start running again).

They're constantly on. They when water fills the hole in which they're placed. They r never shut off. Not sure if this is what you're referring to.

They are active only during moderate to heavy rain.

oh'mike 08-30-2011 06:07 PM

Welcome--Icrete---Excellent explanation.

Simple definition here---Water table---If you unplug the pump does the pit refill when it's not raining ?

If it does you have a high water table ---much like and old well---


If the pit is dry except when it rains then you are picking up surface water-----

Both situations take a different method to cure.

gregzoll 08-30-2011 06:55 PM

If the flow is faster, than the pumps can remove, they may be under sized, or as Mike has stated, high water table. Moving the downspouts out further from the house does wonders in getting that surface water away from the home.

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