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Old 08-20-2011, 02:43 PM   #1
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sump pit question

Hi. We have decided to install a back up battery operated sump pump. Our primary pump failed in March and flooded our basement. We are almost finished with all of the flood repairs, new carpeting etc.

A few questions about my sump pit.

1. When I replaced the failed pump, I noticed that there was a significant amount of concrete in my much so that there was no way to put second back up pump in. Anyone know why the builder would fill a good pit of my sump with what looks like junky concrete?

2. I decided to get rid of of some of the concrete to make room and as I was doing so I exposed a drain tile hole that is knocked out but not being used. The drain tile comes in on the opposite side. Anyway, the water level gets above this knock out and flows out before the sump kicks in. Is this a problem? Should I remove more of the concrete to get the water level below that unused knockout?

3. Out of curiosity, is it typical to have just one drain tile entering the sump. I thought there would be two.

Thanks to anyone who can help.


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Old 08-20-2011, 03:56 PM   #2
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A long time ago I stopped trying to figure out why people, contractors, computers, you name it, do what they do. Now I start by trying to understand what I have, rather than speculate on why I have it.

As for the sump pit, it is unusual to have only one drain line. If in fact you have a perimeter drain, it should run all the way around the house, and enter the sump pit from two sides. Perhaps you do not have a perimeter drain.

As to the concrete in the sump, maybe it fell in, hard to figure any reason for putting it in deliberately. Removing the concrete will not lower your water table, that is a function of rainfall and the setup of your perimeter drain system. Your sump should be deep enough that the pump intake is at least six inches better 12 - 18 inches, below the level of your basement floor. The float is typically set so that the pump turns on when the water gets within about 3 - 6 inches of the basement floor slab, and turns off when the water is about 4 -6 inches above the bottom of the sump.


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Old 08-21-2011, 06:36 AM   #3
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It is perfectly okay for water in the sump pump pit to go out a seemingly superfluous hole at the bottom. It is only when this hole won't absorb all the water that you need the sump pump.

If this extra concrete is removable pieces, remove it all. This gives more space in the pit for water to accumulate and the pump then runs less frequent and longer cycles which is better for the pump.

YOu may find it desirable to put a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pit to keep dirt from being stirred up and getting into the sump pump.

It is best if the sump pump turns on when the end of the drain pipe as seen in the pit just starts to get submerged. Sometimes this results in excessively short and frequent pump cycles so you have to go higher. But do not let the drain pipes ends become mostly or completely submerged. Otherwise the perimeter drains will become saturated and flooding of the basement can happen even with the water level in the pit still several inches below the top.
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; 08-21-2011 at 06:44 AM.
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