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sumpbum 03-18-2008 11:09 AM

Sump Inlet Under Water Table
I have a sump pump that runs constantly and don't know how to correct it. It appears the water inlet is below the ground water table. The pump sits in about a 3 foot hole that has small inlet holes drilled in the side about every 2 inches all the way down. There are also 3 french drain PVC pipes about midway down the hole. The bottom 2-3 levels of small holes constantly allow water into the hole. The system drains into the sewer. The French drain PVC's bring additional water in when there is a heavy rain, sometimes more than the main pump can handle. The pump cycles anywhere from every 10-15 seconds when there is a lot of water to once an hour when there are extremely dry conditions. Has anyone had this type of situation and is there anyway to correct it?

jogr 03-18-2008 12:13 PM

The water seeping in from the water table will not cause the level of the water in the sump basin to rise above the the level of the water table. Your pump is set to discharge when the water reaches a certain level in the sump basin. It could be that this level is set too low. If you believe that the water table level will not go above say 8" below your basement floor then you could reset the float so that the pump will not go on till the water level reaches that point. That way you are not fighting the water table all the time.

Be careful about doing this as you might find that the water table actually is above your floor level and you will want to be sure that the pump kicks in before your floor floods. It also needs to be able to respond fast enough when the rains come. You could try adjusting your level a little at a time and see how it works at that level for a while.

In most areas you aren't suppose to pump a sump pit into the sewer.

sumpbum 03-18-2008 12:56 PM

Thanks Jogr, the water will flow onto the floor if I turn the pump off so it sounds like the water level is above the floor but I can't imagine it was built like this. I'm not sure when this basement was dug, is it possible the water level has risen in this time? If a contractor was digging a foundation hole and hit water like this wouldn't they stop?

jogr 03-18-2008 01:11 PM


Originally Posted by sumpbum (Post 108827)
If a contractor was digging a foundation hole and hit water like this wouldn't they stop?

Unfortunately many do not stop. Contractors have unfortunately developed a variety of ways to keep on building in spite of ground water levels. The result is at best a house that must have a pump running nearly continuously to keep it dry.

Do you have any lower ground on your property that you might be able to run a drain to so that your sump can be gravity drained rather than a pump? Do you have a backup battery operated pump in case your pump fails while you are gone or the power goes out?

sumpbum 03-18-2008 01:32 PM

my property is pretty level actually.. I have a backup pump that works off the water pressure coming into the house but it is not sufficient when we have a lot of rain.. I have a generator as well but need to be home to run it.. is there any way I can find out where the actual water level is without flooding the basement? I'm wondering if I can raise the floor level or something.

justdon 03-18-2008 09:37 PM

Your water level is going to vary too much to get accurate with it. Wet spring,way high dry spring lower level,,,dry late summer a whole different story!! I would get that water OUT of the sewer ASAP,,,NOT a good idea and in fact illegal in MOST places. is there a storm sewer around that you can drain in,,or pipe it downhill to a local ditch OR ditch it to another ditch!!

For sure you need a better back up plan,,for huge rains and pump failure. Might want to consider a alarm for too high of water level and MAYBE an automatic dialer IF they make such a thing(somebody does)

concretemasonry 03-19-2008 08:41 AM

You can find out where your static water level is by having several holes drilled around the house for that purpose. They may even done by a hand sampler instead of a truck mounted rig. You will also be able to find out what kind of soil they are in and whether the soil is natural or fill.

If you find out the level is below your slab, the problem could be poor handling of surface water/rainfall that can be inproved.

Since the majority of the water is related to rain, your downspout extensions may not be beyond the limits of excavation for the basement - might be 12'.

Also during construction excavation, it is also necessary to dig an access trench similar to the trenches dug for utilities. They act as funnels that collect water and drain back toward the house. If you dump surface water into the fill material in the trenches, it can go to the basement.

Since your land is flat, what is the water level for your neigbors. If you are on granualr material, the water table could be relatively level. If you have some clay or rock, anything is possible.

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