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Old 11-17-2010, 04:03 AM   #1
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Sump pit under vinyl flooring


Bought a home, 14 years old built from an existing structure. I noticed in the basement where the water heater is a sump pit with liner and cap was covered over with vinyl flooring. I got curious and cut out the flooring to find stagnant water cob webs, no smell really. After shocking it with clorox I wet vacd it out and it's been dry ever since even through the most rain I've seen in Jersey in February. At the bottom of it were a hand full of 1 or 2 inch stone and building material. The Columbo in me thinks the water heater may have busted at some point and water got in that way. Any ideas on what the explanation is for a sump pit with no pump? Also what do I do with the pit now? Fill it in? Leave it alone? Is it right to just vinyl floor over it?

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Old 11-17-2010, 06:19 AM   #2
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Sump pit under vinyl flooring


You are very fortunate to have a house that does not need that sump pit for its intended purpose. I would not fill it in, your perimeter drain is connected to it, and may start working sometime in the future. I had a dry basement for 32 years, then suddenly have water, but no sump. Ground water had shifted to under my basement. I had to install a sump.

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Old 11-17-2010, 07:48 AM   #3
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Sump pit under vinyl flooring


Leave it open or make a cover plate to fit over it. Optionally the cover plate can be made strong enough that you can stand on it.

If the pit has holes at the bottom, it can be used as a very limited floor drain for plain water when it is otherwise empty.

There should be no debris in the pit although there may be gravel or crushed rock there. If/when you install a sump pump, the open space in the pit should not be crushed rock taking up some of the depth, only enough gravel to keep dirt (for a dir bottom pit) from being stirred up.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-17-2010 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:32 PM   #4
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Sump pit under vinyl flooring


Thank you for the replies. I will definitely cut out some plywood and fit it with some rubber make it more solid to stand on. So there is more to the story. Just on the outside wall the wall where the sump pit is I have a terrace that had terrible tile on a porrly installed foundation with nonpressure treated wood so I had the concrete removed & pavers installed. When the concrete foundation was removed I could see perforated tube in the dirt all crushed/filled with dirt and rock and the tube clearly was snaking down from the entry way door to the boiler room (see photo). Clearly the tube was no longer functional. Is it alright to just patch this up and leave it?
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:38 AM   #5
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Sump pit under vinyl flooring


The tube should have been cleaned out and/or replaced and set in a bed of gravel. Ideally it should slope gently down towards the sump pump pit but if there isn't enough vertical clearance, it can be perfectly level. Do not excavate below the bottoms of foundation footings to gain slope for a perimeter drain pipe.

Many perimeter drain installers recommend using a mesh to keep dirt from getting into the perforated pipe. There should be some gravel between the mesh and the pipe all the way around; do not wrap the pipe with mesh before laying it in the trench.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-20-2010 at 06:41 AM.
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