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Old 03-30-2009, 11:35 PM   #1
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Basement Flooding HELP!


We just bought an "as is" property. The builder is nowhere to be found and I have this huge problem with basement flooding. Everytime it rains constantly for 3 or 4 days water accumulates to about 4 or 5 inches in my basement. When I walk through the water I can hear and see bubble in the water from the floor and from the seams where the concrete floor and the concrete wall (unfinished basement) meet. Keep in mind I have never had a basement before and this is terrifying me. I also have this hole about 1.5 feet in diameter near the basement door to the outside with 2 or 3 pipes coming out of it. This hole has a plastic cover on in that seems like it is split down the middle and the pipes are capped. However this opening seems to have water seeping out of it. The reason I know that is because I had a water pump pumping water out however after 30 min. of having it dry I checked it and now it is again under 2 inches of water. The house was built in 2007 and I live in Georgia. We have tried drain extenders and also capping open pipes that previously had water coming out of them however this did not solve the problem. Someone please help.
BTW: there was alot of vandalism and theft to the property befor we purchased it so we are not sure it there needs to be something else there that isn't or what supposed to be there in the first place.

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Old 03-31-2009, 12:24 AM   #2
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Basement Flooding HELP!


Sounds as if you have a sump pump pit and NO sump pump. See if those caps on pipes in there are glued on or just stuck on. If that is perimeter drain tile pipe they should be open to pit and pump installed to keep water down in the pit. Any plumber should be able to help with this. When the pit gets pumped down,,,does water run out of those pipes someplace?? Do you live on a hill where you can gravity flow that pit to outside without a pump?? Like into a drainage ditch??

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Old 03-31-2009, 12:42 AM   #3
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Basement Flooding HELP!


I totally agree. You SHOULD have a sump pump in that pit and you either dont have one or the one you have isnt working. Water accumulating from the drainage tile around the house dumps into the sump pit. After that the water is pumped by a sump pump to a point of discharge. You need to install a sump pump AND pipe it to a safe place of discharge. Sounds like this was once the case but for whatever reason isnt anymore.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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Basement Flooding HELP!


(copied from another forum)
Don't forget, a sump pump pit it is supposed to collect (accumulate) water that may seep into your basement. You are not supposed to pour (or drain) waste water such as from a washing machine or gutter downspout down there.

Perimeter drain tile (aka a French drain) whether just inside or just outside the perimeter is supposed to bring water from under the house to the pit for frequent periodic removal, not disperse water from the pit to dissipate under the house.

It is not unusual for the pit to fill rapidly in wet weather. A short term if not permanent solution is a sump pump big and strong enough to pump more water out faster.

After you get the 4-5 inches of water out of your basement and a "real" sump pump or a makeshift pump keeping the pit from overflowing you can think about better solutions if any (if possible), such as mentioned above.

Meanwhile, if water ponds (accumulates) on the ground just outside the house and laps up against the house, you need to fix things (such as by doing grading) so that does not happen.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-31-2009 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:22 PM   #5
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Basement Flooding HELP!


Thank you to all that replied. Turns out in the breaker box there is a switch labeled septic pump. There is one outlet in the basement that is near this covered hole (Which apparently where a sump pump is supposed to go). So when I flip the switch in the box that oulet goes out and does not work, however there is no pump plugged in it. So my fiance' called a plumber and he said it sounded like some kind of injection pump or injection pipe, couldn't really undestand what he was talking about. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
BTW: I just finished getting the water down in the basement except where this whole is,(I think it is just over filled there) and it is set to rain for 2 days starting today. Anything I can do temporarily so that I am not dealing with 5 inches of water in the basement? The plumber can't come out til Friday. Should I open the whole and put a pump in? If so how? and can I buy one from Home Depot or Lowes? What kind should I buy
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:05 PM   #6
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Basement Flooding HELP!


There exists such a thing as a "septic pit" to hold sewage to be pumped out periodically for example from a toilet that is in the basement below the level of the main drain pipe. But your pit is not (should not be) one of those because of the loose fitting cover.

It takes some expertise to choose a sump pump to go in the pit. I don't have that experise. It depends on how deep the pit is, what the volume of the pit is, how fast it could fill up, and how far you need to pump the water so it doesn't tend to flow back towards the house. The most common kind of sump pump has the motor above floor level mounted on a column with a stand for the bottom of the pit. They also make sump pumps that are submerged in the hole and don't need to protrude through the cover. Sump pumps, unlike sewage pumps, don't pump viscous or semisolid matter.

Where do the two pipes that come up through the pit cover come from or go?

The outlet pipe or hose from a sump pump should empty onto the ground and must not go to a drain connected to a septic tank.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:29 PM   #7
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As stated previously we bought the house as is we have no idea where these pipes lead. However there are some retaining ponds in the subdivision that these could be emptying into. The top of the pipes in the basement are coverd one with a yellow cap and the other two with black caps. They are capped above the thin plastic cover that is covering the hole.
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:04 PM   #8
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Basement Flooding HELP!


Hey Cgavrilas, don't let this get you down. It sounds like you just need a sump pump. The plumber should be able to help you out. But in the meantime.......

I am assuming the water in your basement is not sewage or wastewater from the bathroom/kitchen. Is that correct?

Have you opened up the plastic pit? What is inside?

Can you take some pictures of these pipes and the inside of the pit?

As a temporary measure, I would go to HD or Lowes, or wherever and buy a portable sump pump. Maybe you can even rent them. I have one that attaches to a garden hose and can be submersed in water and it does a great job of handling these little issues. It doesn't have a switch so you have to "Man the pump" at all times to ensure it doesn't dry up. It will burn out in no time without water.

I would stick the garden house out a window and hopefully the pump has the power to push the water high enough. That is the only issue I see from this temporary solution.

I would even consider sticking the pump in the pit to drain the water that is in there. But again you don't want to do that if it is a sewage pit.

Try to get us some photos.
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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Basement Flooding HELP!


There is no sewage coming in and the lid is hard to get off let me see what I can do in regards to getting pictures. BTW I had a portable sump pump but took it back when the water level was low but when I got back it was about 2 - 3 inches deep again.
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:31 PM   #10
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Basement Flooding HELP!


Yeah, that is the thing with those portable units. That is why it would be nice if you can submerge it in the pit and get the water levels to well below floor level. That would buy a couple more hours of time before the water starts to be a problem again.

Were you renting that portable sump pump. I would suggest you buy/rent one for the rest of the week until the plumber can have a look.
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:41 PM   #11
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Basement Flooding HELP!


I'll tell you a funny story when we moved into our first house. This is my Tim the Toolman episode.

It was spring time and we had just moved in a couple days before and I heard a noise coming from the basement. It was our sump pump trying to pump water out of the sump pit. The pump was operating but the water was not discharging. So I thought the pump was bad so unplugged it and started to take it off. Well when I unhooked that sump pump and dropped it down, all the water that was sitting in the pipe (about 7 feet worth of pipe that goes up and out of the basement) came pouring out and hit the pump and sprayed back all over me. I was soaked. My wife laughed at me. I wasn't impressed at the time, but when you think about it it is kinda funny.

I then took the pump to a "Pump company" and paid $75 to some theif who replaced the switch when in fact, the switch was fine and the pump was fine. The problem turned out to be a metal back flow valve had rusted shut. All it took was a couple of taps with a hammer.

I could have bought a whole new pump and switch assembly for $75 had I known any better at the time.

So someday, you will look back upon this experience and laugh about it. You have just commenced the journey of "Home Ownership".

Last edited by drtbk4ever; 03-31-2009 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:22 PM   #12
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Basement Flooding HELP!


LOL thats a funny story. I will keep you all posted on my progress. Thanks for all the information.

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