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Old 08-30-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
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Leak in basement?

I have a leak in the basement near an outside wall and the drain in the floor in the laudry room. The house is 50+ years old and recently purchased 2 years ago. The drains in the upstairs bathroom sink and the tub drain VERY slow ( on 3rd floor). Recently had a major flood in the basement which was told was caused by heavy rains and drain would not hold it all. Everything was torn out (florring/drywall etc) and fans have been running for 4 days straight to dry it all. Was dry and went to the basement today and there is water coming up through the laundry room floor? Thinking maybe there is a leak in the plumbing/drain. Dont know how to check and would like it taken care of before the workers come in to replace everything. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!


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Old 08-30-2010, 06:40 PM   #2
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Cancel tjhe appointment with the workers to replace everything. You need to find out what kinds of ground water drainage system (if any) and what condition they are in. You need to find out whether sewage drains are is combined with ground water drains (not proper and not good).

Some limited testing can be done by running the washing machine and/or filling the bathtub and seeing whether this water comes up onto the basement floor.

Does rain water or gutter water collect against the foundation? Fix that before contracting out any work to fix anything else.

Do you have a sump pump?


The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.

Last edited by AllanJ; 08-30-2010 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Allen!!!
Had the plumber check some things out today. He seems to think the leak is coming from the drainage pipe or the outside water pipe. They are both together and it was hard fro him to tell. He just made a quick look and will go into it further tomorrow when he comes back. He is also going to snake the drains to see if there is anything there. There is no sump pump..just the drain in the floor which apparantly isnt working properly. The workers were going to fix that when they came. I have cancelled them for now until we figure out what is going on.
Hopefully something will be resolved tomorrow to some degree. These old houses!!!!!!!! Thanks again...appreciated your feed back.!!!
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:43 PM   #4
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If you are simply relying on gravity to keep that basement dry you are likely to experience the same problem in the future.

In a house as old as yours there is no saying if there is a decent foundation drainage (french drain) in place, if it was properly installed or if it is still working properly after all these years. These old fashioned drainage systems are known to fail overtime.

The only way to tell would be digging out the whole foundation to inspect the drain tile, which should be buried by the footing, assuming you do have one in place.

Then you will need to figure out where it is discharging, which, based on what you describe can be either tied to the city rainwater system or you may have no discharge line whatsoever.

Builders didn't know back then what we know now about proper drainage.

Anyway, if you really want to have a basement dry and suitable to be refinished, so that you will never again have to replace and rebuild it, consider upgrading the drainage system.

That can be done by installing an interior drain tile, along the internal perimeter of the basement and a good sump pump system.

This system will do exactly what a conventional french drain is supposed to do: intercept and collect ground water, divert it to a sump pump that will discharge as far away from the foundation as possible.

You will not need to dig out your foundation and will probably spend a fraction of what you would to pay to have a conventional french drain installed.

Here's some information on how to prepare a basement for finishing.
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