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Old 01-31-2010, 11:57 PM   #1
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Radon and Sump Pump


Hello!

I am new to this forum but since I am doing a major remodel on my own, I will sure be very active. One of the issues I need to tackle is my sump pump. Currently the sump is covered with a thick piece of acrylic and is sealed down for the Radon mitigation system. However, this renders my sump completely unable to deal with any water accumulating in the basement. How do I modify this acrylic sheet to allow water through but not affect the radon mitigations negative pressure? Also, the sump pump is attached to hoses that appear to go into a PVC pipe that I'm being told goes into septic system. I live in a rural area on a well and septic system. The acrylic is proably 1/4" to 3/8" thick so I would get a lot of water before it would crest the sheet anyway...

This was installed by the bank to satisfy the sale of the foreclosure,

--Chris

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Old 02-01-2010, 05:43 AM   #2
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Radon and Sump Pump


leave this cover sealed. But you need to address why you have water in the basement. Gutters, improperly proper sloped landscaping.... what?

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Old 02-01-2010, 06:14 AM   #3
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Radon and Sump Pump


Might have to consider a perimeter system instead of the basement sump?
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:06 AM   #4
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Radon and Sump Pump


When the sump pump is working correctly, is there water coming up onto the basement floor?

There should be a perimeter drain system so the water drains into the sump (the pit) without having to seep up and run on top of the floor first.

But first fix any problems with ponding or waterlogging on the ground against the house up above.

The sump pump outlet should not be directed into the septic tank but rather should lead to a dry well (or to somewhere in the open) not near the house.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:22 AM   #5
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Radon and Sump Pump


Whoops! I guess I have a misconception as to what and how sump pumps work. The house has very sloped grading away from foundation so unless we have the second great flood I doubt any natural water will cause basement flooding. The sump pump that is in there isn't working so I need to replace it. Knowing this I will just replace pump and re-seal.

The original owner had a utility sink draining directly into the sump which contractor who did the Radon didn't make provisions for. Should I leave that out or can I put in another? Negative pressure shouldn't be so great to pull water out of the P-trap?

Thanks!

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Old 02-01-2010, 09:58 AM   #6
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Radon and Sump Pump


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Originally Posted by dawktah View Post
The original owner had a utility sink draining directly into the sump which contractor who did the Radon didn't make provisions for. Should I leave that out or can I put in another? Negative pressure shouldn't be so great to pull water out of the P-trap?Thanks!
Not sure why the utility sink would be drained into the sump for the pump there to deal with? Doubt if it is legal in fact. You might want to plumb that sink properly to the drain system.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:31 PM   #7
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Radon and Sump Pump


Where the PVC pipe exits the house for the septic system is above where a P-trap would be for any sink in the basement. The Radon system was put in before I took possession, I am sure the hoses run uphill into the septic system. Haven't pulled them out to see how long they are.

Last edited by ChrisDIY; 02-01-2010 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:03 PM   #8
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Radon and Sump Pump


I'm not sure whether you accessing the pump pit cover will affect the radon fan at all. The point of this system is to circulate basement air out of the house, and that is not affected by unsealing the pit.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:48 AM   #9
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Radon and Sump Pump


The purpose of a basement radon system is to capture the radon before it seeps up into the basement and commingles with expensively heated air. In the same manner that a perimeter drain system is supposed to capture water before it seeps up into the basement and soaks expensive carpet.

The radon exhaust pipe is sealed above a hole in the middle of the basement floor and radon from miles around (more correctly several feet in each direction) is drawn to the hole and then exhausted to the outside along with small quantities of air also filtered through the soil and sand under the foundation, small quantities of that air was from inside and going down through any cracks in the basement floor.

Unsealing the sump may or may not cause the radon system to suck large quantities of basement air and exhaust that before radon underground, under the far reaches of the basement, gets sucked up.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:04 AM   #10
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Radon and Sump Pump


It actually sounds like that non-working sump pump is the source of the problem. The water in the sump is not being pumped out so hydrostatic pressure is building up under the floor and eventually it seeps onto the floor through any crack it finds. The sump is not really designed to catch water from the floor but from under the floor. You must replace that pump immediately and then install a good backup pump in case it ever happens again.

A water powered or battery powered system will keep you dry if that main pump ever fails again. Incidentally, the negative pressure you speak of is only minor, caused by a small fan that exhausts the air from the sump most likely to somewhere above the roof. If that negative pressure were very strong, it would cause problems for the sump pump itself.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:25 PM   #11
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Radon and Sump Pump


The twist to the radon "negative pressure" design is that a lot of homes, especially those with walk up basements, have drains on the bottom of these basements that feed into the sump pump.

As the radon evac system tries to circulate radon gas out from under the slab, it's also pulling less resistive air from the exterior drain piping. Thus, air is moving from and to the outside.

Last edited by handy man88; 02-22-2010 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:18 PM   #12
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Radon and Sump Pump


Dranjer FS2 and FR2 are drains designed for this purpose. You can find either through a google search. To install you just cut a hole in the lid, and it screws into place. You'll need a little silicone caulk on install so it's airtight.

As mentioned, the purpose of the pit is to relieve the water pressure under the house, not really to allow water in from up top. But it gives me piece of mine having the drain just in case of a burst pipe or something. Unfortunately, I've experienced that before.

For access to the pump without having to break the seal of the lid, you can install a small deck hatch onto the lid as well. The screw type have an o-ring and are air/water tight. Allows you to reach in and adjust float height etc.. Plus their only a few bucks to buy.

Unfortunately, if you don't keep your sump lid sealed, your radon remediation system will be pretty much useless.

You can buy a kit for your sink. It's basically a plastic box with a sump pump in it designed to pump sink water up to a waste line that's higher than the sink. Home depot sells them, and you could probably find better ones online. I have one of those for a basin sink in my basement as well. It was here when I bought the house. Works well. Mine is vented, not sure if they all are, but if so you'd have to run the vent.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:27 PM   #13
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Radon and Sump Pump


Quote:
Originally Posted by pkovo View Post
Dranjer FS2 and FR2 are drains designed for this purpose. You can find either through a google search. To install you just cut a hole in the lid, and it screws into place. You'll need a little silicone caulk on install so it's airtight.

As mentioned, the purpose of the pit is to relieve the water pressure under the house, not really to allow water in from up top. But it gives me piece of mine having the drain just in case of a burst pipe or something. Unfortunately, I've experienced that before.

For access to the pump without having to break the seal of the lid, you can install a small deck hatch onto the lid as well. The screw type have an o-ring and are air/water tight. Allows you to reach in and adjust float height etc.. Plus their only a few bucks to buy.

Unfortunately, if you don't keep your sump lid sealed, your radon remediation system will be pretty much useless.

You can buy a kit for your sink. It's basically a plastic box with a sump pump in it designed to pump sink water up to a waste line that's higher than the sink. Home depot sells them, and you could probably find better ones online. I have one of those for a basin sink in my basement as well. It was here when I bought the house. Works well. Mine is vented, not sure if they all are, but if so you'd have to run the vent.
My lid was not sealed, but screwed down, and after the radon fan was installed in the attic, the radon level went from 8 picu/l to .1 picu/l.

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