Another Sump basin question from a noob...
Hello everyone. Thanks for your time.
Lived in my house for 8 years now (SE Minnesota). Two story house with below ground basement level. Construction circa 1998. Previous owner disclosed basement water at least twice. They had a beaver system installed to fight it. House has sump basin but no sump pump.
My house is on the top of a small rise in the neighborhood, and I'm at the highest point on the street.
Home inspection report when I bought the house in 2004 noted water in basin, recommended sump pump.
The basin has two black drain pipes leading into it. They are about 4 inches wide each.
I have not once in 8 years had a problem with water in the basement. We had a very bad flood in town about 4 years ago, many people, including at least one neighbor, had water in their basement as a result. I did not.
Here's the question/concern:
Sump basin always has water in it. It fills to a point where it touches one of the drain tiles, then sits there. The level never changes. I even drained the basin a couple of times with a shop vac. It slowly refilled over the next few hours, but only to the same point as before. Had not rained in a couple days at least.
The reason its pressing in my mind right now is my next door neighbor (same house construction, same point on hill in neighborhood) says her pump runs quite a bit when it rains, and made me think of it, given the similarities between our houses (same model of house, same point on hill, her previous owners disclosed water in basement previously, and also installed a beaver system) it made me curious.
Why does the water level never change in my basin? Why does my neighbor apparently need a pump, and I don't? Should I have one installed, even though I have had no problems?
Why not prevent a problum, instead of having to deal with the clean up when it does happen.
Install a pump and check valve.
If they disclosed there has been water issues before that would have been enough info for me to add that pump.
There's lots of things that you can do to prevent water damage during a bad storm. Make sure there's gutters, no mulch piled up againt the foundation.
No flower beds forming ponds for water to collect. Make sure the grade on the outside of the foundation slopes away from the house.
The water level in the sump pit generally reflects the groundwater table, which apparently does not change much at your house. This is unusual, since groundwater levels generally vary seasonally, and are highest in the Spring and typically lowest in the early Fall, however the amount that the groundwater level varies depends on the topography and soil type in your area.
If you put in a pump, do you have a place to connect the outflow pipe to? Typically you want the pipe to connect to the storm drainage system on the street, however it is essential that you verify with your town that this is permissible, since there are still combined sewer systems in use throughout the United States, and the town may not permit connection if that is what they have.
YOu have to realize that the water is backing up into the drain tile (gravel) under your house. The sump basin is supposed to be the lowest point where the water drains out of the tile.
I have 2 sump pits side by side and they fill up quickly when it rains. In a prior year before I had a battery back up sump, when the power went out the water filled to the floor level and then just stayed there. That means the drain tile under the house is then "filling up" and once it gets full, there is more chance it has enough pressure to push up higher than the hole.
You still don't really want lots of water around your foundation because more chance it pushes it through cracks in the foundation. That is the point of the sump...to drain the water to a low point then GET RID OF IT.
I'd buy a sump pump if I were you. Battery backup is even better but at least get an A/C one to start.
I agree with Joe and Hogan, get a pump .....
as Daniel said check with the town for any requirements for sump pumps, you may or may not be allowed to connect into the town storm system, or discharge across your lawn. some towns are very restrictive
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