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Old 07-14-2012, 12:03 PM   #1
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Building a containment tank around the sump pit


Greetings from Chicago

My sump pit is 16" dia x 26" deep. The drain tile 6" pipe top is at 21.5" from the bottom. The ground water level is almost at the top of the drain tile. The pump trip switch is at 22" and it works on average once every 3 hours in summer and 2 hours in spring (during normal rains). We had heavy rains Friday and it quickly filled up the 4" and overflow the pit. I had about 20 gallons of water in the basement counting the number of times I had to empty the wet vac tank.

The closet that the sump pit sits is 3' x 2'. I want to build a containment tank 3 x 2 x 2' high (which will hold 90 gallons). This will give enough chance for the pump to catch up with flash flood and pump out in future. The floor is concrete

I thought of getting a rubber channel glue to the concrete floor and build something similar to a fish tank (with plastic sidewalls)

I am trying not to pour concrete.

Any other thoughts ?

Thanks
Shaw

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Old 07-14-2012, 11:03 PM   #2
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Building a containment tank around the sump pit


Simply gluing something to the floor will leak at least a little because uneven expansion and contraction of the concrete versus the containment tank will break the glue joint.

At the very least the containment tank should have a lip that goes down into the pit and fits reasonably closely around the pit perimeter, as opposed to just set on top of the concrete floor.

But first a checklist of other things.

1. Have gutters so roof water does not all land near the house.

2. Use downspout extensions so roof water does not collect against the foundation outside.

3. Stop using underground pipes for the downspouts unless you are sure those pipes are not perforated and don't have leaks or unsealed joints and do have a downhill destination well away from the house for the water they collect.

4. Stop rainwater from pooling against the foundation. Regrade the land if needed.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 07-14-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:40 AM   #3
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Building a containment tank around the sump pit


What he said(wich will probably fix the problem), and get a pump with a higher output.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:15 AM   #4
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Building a containment tank around the sump pit


Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
What he said(wich will probably fix the problem), and get a pump with a higher output.
First thing I thought too,buy a bigger pump,and make sure your discharge line is clear as well as the pick up on your pump.

Is your pump elevated up off the bottom of the pit?
There is a lot of things in play here,how long is your discharge line,does it have a check ball,vacum breaker?
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:43 AM   #5
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Building a containment tank around the sump pit


Consider using a high quality pedestal pump--they are much easier to adjust the float levels in a pit with a high water table---Make sure you have properly sized discharge pipe---

Just a thought----
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:38 AM   #6
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Building a containment tank around the sump pit


Yes, pump is sitting on a ceramic tile that I place on the bottom. Pit is clean, water is clear. 14.5' height from the bottom of the pit to the point where the pipe exits the house for discharge. As the pipe is running at an angle, the actual length of the pipe may be a little more.
Check valve and vacum breaker ok


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First thing I thought too,buy a bigger pump,and make sure your discharge line is clear as well as the pick up on your pump.

Is your pump elevated up off the bottom of the pit?
There is a lot of things in play here,how long is your discharge line,does it have a check ball,vacum breaker?
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:48 AM   #7
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Building a containment tank around the sump pit


One more question - water table near my house is 4" below the basement concrete floor. If I build a containment/retention area 2'x3' x 2' high (approx 90 gallon of water storage capacity), would the water table has to rise 2' 4" near my house for the tank to overflow (even if my sump pump is not working ?)

If that is the case, would the water find some cracks in my basement floor and try to rise through that ?
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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Building a containment tank around the sump pit


Quote:
Originally Posted by shaw22
One more question - water table near my house is 4" below the basement concrete floor. If I build a containment/retention area 2'x3' x 2' high (approx 90 gallon of water storage capacity), would the water table has to rise 2' 4" near my house for the tank to overflow (even if my sump pump is not working ?)
If the water table rose to even slightly above the floor level, water will find other cracks (such as between foundation wall and slab floor) and get all over the place, long before the containment tank is full.

In your case the first place where the water got out happened to be at the pit, prompting you to ask the original question.

The water table does not as fast as rise inches per minute. When your pump kicks on it should pump out almost the entire contents of the pit. The purpose of the containment tank would be to accommodate a very sudden inflow of water and give the pump a chance to catch up before the water found it way through other small cracks. But I suggested earlier finding out if there are other factors that might cause a sudden large inflow and correcting that first.

I do recommend a pit with about 3 cubic feet (about 20 gallons) of capacity below the lower lips of the drain pipes that enter the pit and not occupied by crushed stone and rocks. This lengthens the time before pump starts and also cuts down on problems if the check valve on the outlet does not close completely and the water in the outlet pipe falls back down after the pump stops.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 07-15-2012 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:09 AM   #9
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Building a containment tank around the sump pit


Thank You, then the real solution will be to have a system to pump it out faster than the rate of flow even in a flash flood ?. I will get some pictures and post soon.

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If the water table rose to even slightly above the floor level, water will find other cracks (such as between foundation wall and slab floor) and get all over the place, long before the containment tank is full.

In your case the first place where the water got out happened to be at the pit, prompting you to ask the original question.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:15 AM   #10
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Building a containment tank around the sump pit


The black flex hose is for the battery backed up sump pump - I think the check valve there is gone, i can some water coming down to the pit in the black flex hose. I will fix that.

Can I get a third pump going ? I don't have room in the pit to put it in, but if the pump can stay above the pit and have a 1.25" hose going down may be 12" into the pit ? So the two pumps together can get the water out fast enough in a flash flood too ?

Tks
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