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Old 04-12-2013, 03:33 PM   #16
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Sump Pump/Water Flow HELP


We have a high water table, finished basement, sump pump, well water setup a lot like you. Our sump is in the utility room of the basement behind a wall and door, so we never hear it so I guess we're lucky.

Ours basically only runs in the spring, and it can run a lot in the spring. Thankfully we're getting tons of rain this year and it's really cranking. Severe drought last year to a normal spring and water is standing everywhere. It's running every 5 minutes or so right now.

I was advised to change the sump pump every 3 years regardless. We have a zoeller too. They're just like $140 so you might as well. They are incredibly easy to change. It took me 10 minutes to do mine and that was with re-doing the PVC. Now that I have a checkvalve compression fitting right above the sump it would take me literally 3 minutes to swap it out now. Having a backup in a box on hand is not a terrible idea.

I was also advised to have a cheap (4-500$) generator in the garage to pull out to run at least the sump pump should things get crazy.

We also chose porcelain tile for the flooring in the basement rather than carpet or whatever, partially for this reason. (To be honest, we love it, the way it looks and feels and don't feel like we had to sacrifice for water resistance).

Home ownership is great, eh?


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Old 04-12-2013, 03:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
The purpose of your sump pump is to keep water from flooding the basement floor. The footers are typically concrete, and do not care if they are wet. I have set the float on my sump pump so the pump turns on when the water level is approximately 4 inches below my basement slab level. Some people like to set the float so the pump turns on when the water reaches about six inches from the slab. The lower you set the float, the more often the pump runs, which as you have noted leads to the sound of the pump running, water coming into the basin, and the pump only has so many cycles in it before it fails.

The float switch is typically set so the pump turns off while there is at least six inches of water in the basin. This is to prevent running the pump dry, which can damage the pump.
Your footings don't care about the water table---as Daniel suggested---raise the float so the pump runs less----there is nothing to gain by pumping more water than it takes to keep the slab from getting overwhelmed---

Spring raises the water table---in houses with a naturaly high table, I frequently set the pump to only go on when the natural (typical) height is exceeded---

For high water table homes,I also use good quality pedestal pumps--these are easiest to fine tune the float height--or change the height when the water table drops.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:29 PM   #18
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Sump Pump/Water Flow HELP


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One response saying you shouldn't let the tiles fill up, like my home inspector said, and one saying its no big deal. lol

Fyi- the grade of the ground is sloped away from the house, but as I stated in the original post, the water table is very high. Also, gutter extensions are at least 10ft long. The one thing I am not sure of is how far the discharge pipe from the sump runs away from the home. I will have to call the former homeowner and find out.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:32 PM   #19
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Your footings don't care about the water table---as Daniel suggested---raise the float so the pump runs less----there is nothing to gain by pumping more water than it takes to keep the slab from getting overwhelmed---

Spring raises the water table---in houses with a naturaly high table, I frequently set the pump to only go on when the natural (typical) height is exceeded---

For high water table homes,I also use good quality pedestal pumps--these are easiest to fine tune the float height--or change the height when the water table drops.
I respectfully disagree, after constant research on the topic. When your tiles are filled with water, they don't allow any more water to enter them, thus creating seepage in areas you don't want (ie; basement walls, slab, etc)

By keeping the tiles empty, you are allowing the tiles to do their job, which is to transfer water away from your footings, slab, walls etc and empty it into a basin to be pumped out away from the home.

Also, if your tiles are constantly full of water, the area surrounding the tiles is always full of water, thus the drying out process in late spring/summer takes alot longer, OR, may never happen.

But, I do thank everyone for their responses. I love this forum.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:45 PM   #20
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No offense taken---I speak only from experiense in this area,where high water tables are common.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:18 PM   #21
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Bp, an earlier poster asked if you have a check valve installed. Do you know if you have one? If not sure some pics could allow us to tell you.

Also, I may have missed this somewhere in the thread, but do you know where your piping goes?
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:27 PM   #22
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I'm sure these are going to sound like a silly questions, but how does one get a building permit to put in a basement in a pond? And why would anyone build a home with a basement in such an area? And why would anyone finish a basement in such an area? Seems like going to war with mother nature and gravity, and both of them always win.

I would check the wording of my insurance policy really close, and not take anything for granted, or take lame explanations for questionable clauses. If push comes to shove, what is written on your policy is going to take precedence, not what an agent told you.

For instance, I do not see a high water table as an Act of God, or an unusual condition. I see it as a known geophysical condition.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:51 PM   #23
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Bp, an earlier poster asked if you have a check valve installed. Do you know if you have one? If not sure some pics could allow us to tell you.

Also, I may have missed this somewhere in the thread, but do you know where your piping goes?
Yes, have a slow close check valve installed that works properly.

The piping goes about 50ft out into the side yard.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:05 PM   #24
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I'm sure these are going to sound like a silly questions, but how does one get a building permit to put in a basement in a pond? And why would anyone build a home with a basement in such an area? And why would anyone finish a basement in such an area? Seems like going to war with mother nature and gravity, and both of them always win.

I would check the wording of my insurance policy really close, and not take anything for granted, or take lame explanations for questionable clauses. If push comes to shove, what is written on your policy is going to take precedence, not what an agent told you.

For instance, I do not see a high water table as an Act of God, or an unusual condition. I see it as a known geophysical condition.
That, I do not know. I also dont know how high the water table is. I will have more information/knowledge of what I am dealing with after the spring thaw/rains end and things dry out.

I can only assume, based on what the previous homeowner had told me, that this is primarily a spring problem, as I seriously doubt ANYONE would spend 20-30k on a basement finished like this is, if the problem was bad year round, as he built the home on 2002 and didnt do the basement until 2009. He also didnt have a battery backup installed until he lost power in 2011 and the basement flooded (he caught it quickly enough to where they only needed to replace the carpet).

Also, I have specific sump pump insurance, should the basement flood due to loss of power and or sump pump failure.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:18 PM   #25
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Your footer sits on dirt... Figure it out...
Not sure what you mean?
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:08 PM   #26
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If there's no lid on the crock now, you can certainly retro-fit one on. You'd be amazed at how quiet a set-up you can have with a good submersible and a sealed crock.

As for the draintile being full or not, it can be confusing to understand, as the vast majority of draintile I've seen in my career dive off extremely fast as they enter the crock. We still do this today with most of our draintile installs, unless we're using "Form-a-Drain" and the crock is extremely close to it. For reference, it's most likely that the top of your draintile are 3-4" below the top of the basement floor, and the bottom is 3" lower. Probably much higher than the pipe as it enters the crock, so it doesn't mean much that the tiles are getting a little wet before the pump kicks in.

On another note, I lowered the sump pump in my house back to the bottom of the crock, where I believe it belongs in most cases, when I moved in. I removed 16" of brick underneath, that had been there for decades. The previous owner didn't like how much the pump ran. When I lowered it, it ran excessively fo r3 weeks in summer, but once it finally drained all that excessive water out, it's been fairly average cycles at the lower height........
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:43 PM   #27
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If there's no lid on the crock now, you can certainly retro-fit one on. You'd be amazed at how quiet a set-up you can have with a good submersible and a sealed crock.

As for the draintile being full or not, it can be confusing to understand, as the vast majority of draintile I've seen in my career dive off extremely fast as they enter the crock. We still do this today with most of our draintile installs, unless we're using "Form-a-Drain" and the crock is extremely close to it. For reference, it's most likely that the top of your draintile are 3-4" below the top of the basement floor, and the bottom is 3" lower. Probably much higher than the pipe as it enters the crock, so it doesn't mean much that the tiles are getting a little wet before the pump kicks in.
I am going to be sealing it with a cover to hopefully quiet the sound of that water splashing in.

The 2nd part of your post, can you dumb it down a little. I'm confused as to what you mean.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:42 PM   #28
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Translation - the drains pouring water into your pit should be sloped towards the pit, so just because the end you see in the pit is under water doesn't necessarily mean the entire line is full of water.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:14 AM   #29
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For peace of mind you need both of"
1. A second sump pump,
2. A backup power source.

With two pumps, one will almost always kick on first and do most of the work. You would need to, every so often, go downstairs and manually trigger the other pump to make sure it is working properly. And of course replace a non-working pump quickly. It is extremely rare for two pumps to break down at about the same time.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:59 AM   #30
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If all those precautions aren't enough you could invest some serious money into a whole house backup generator that would automatically kick on during a power outage. They aren't cheap but if you have two water alarms, two pumps and that generator setup it would be as close to fail safe as you can realistically get.

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