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Old 04-03-2015, 03:19 PM   #1
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


Hi everybody. Your advice on my last post about the Moen shower cartridge was spot on. You guys rock. Thanks again.

We bought a foreclosure (built in 1963-64) as-is in St. Louis several months ago. While viewing, we noticed water running into the sump and didn't think much of it.

ONE day before closing, the electric was cut off for unknown use (no active account) & the basement flooded to 21 inches high. A pipe that runs into the sump pump under basement floor was (and still is) constantly has water running into the sump. Discharge pipe goes up wall & out back, but not sure how far the buried pipe goes. Discharge pipe diameter is no more than 2 inches.

We now have a water powered backup pump installed and plan to buy a spare pump, because this thing isn't gonna last forever. We're also getting seepage through a crack in basement.

Front yard seems flat. Back and side yards have slight slope away from house. However, my house is set lower than my neighbor's house. I asked & they don't have this problem. We're basically all lined up on a sloped street.

Other posts I've read show you all asking about a check valve. I don't know if there's one at this time, but we will try to find out.

What is your opinion on the cause of this running water? The water is non stop. Water company says the service line is in tact. Plus, it bypasses the water meter. Any thoughts are appreciated.

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Old 04-03-2015, 03:26 PM   #2
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


sump pump is ground water..from a spring or water run off ..with electric off pump was not able to pump out water ..not comming from main water line. normal to install sump if you have a water problem in basement...

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Old 04-03-2015, 04:04 PM   #3
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


Sounds like the water table, at least at the moment, is too high for your house.
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:00 PM   #4
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


Does your house have a street shut off for the water?

I once encountered a leaking main line (under the slab) before the meter---

Might be worth shutting the water down for a couple of days to see if anything changes
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:40 PM   #5
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


along with mike's suggestion. Unless the meter is at the street a broken main near the house could be causing the problem and the water company would not know it until it showed up as surface water.

what is the approximate difference in elevation of the basement floor of your house and the neighboring houses? If they are less than 2 feet higher, they should be experiencing the same issue although to a lesser extent.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:36 PM   #6
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


Quote:
Originally Posted by givemecoffee View Post
Hi everybody.
The water is non stop. Water company says the service line is in tact. Plus, it bypasses the water meter. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Ayuh,.... What does That mean, by-passin' which meter, where,..??
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:55 PM   #7
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


Test the water running into your pit with a pool chlorine test strip. If it reads for chlorine you have a water line break.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:54 PM   #8
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


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Test the water running into your pit with a pool chlorine test strip. If it reads for chlorine you have a water line break.

Is there enough chlorine in tap water to register on a pool test strip? I wouldn't think so. I have a pool and use those strips regularly. The stick starts off white and turns purple when it sees chlorine. The darker the purple the more chlorine. When my chlorine level is low in the pool sometimes it hardly even shows a faint purple tint. Once I had a pool leak and the pool guy was thinking it was rain water not pool water. He collected some in a bucket and tested it. It showed no sign of chlorine which he thought validated him claim, another guy came and found the leak. I would trust the test strip method
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:27 AM   #9
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


in his post ..he said water company said line was fine...why is everyone thinking broken water line...with that much water ...the break would be showing up elsewhere as well...imo
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:01 AM   #10
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


as I stated (and have actually seen in my town), if the meter is at the street, they can "see" the leak. If the meter is at the house, there could be a leak between the street main and the meter and it won't show up unless it rises to the surface. Dpending on the ground in the area, it may not show up that way.

so, let's go with this: where is the meter?


along this same thought; how many times have you seen a street collapse because a water main broke and washed out the area beneath a street and the city never realized it until the road collapsed? Underground leaks can go undetected for years if there is no visible showing then suddenly one day, the road disappears.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:47 PM   #11
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


Quote:
Originally Posted by Olcrazy1 View Post
Is there enough chlorine in tap water to register on a pool test strip? I wouldn't think so. I have a pool and use those strips regularly. The stick starts off white and turns purple when it sees chlorine. The darker the purple the more chlorine. When my chlorine level is low in the pool sometimes it hardly even shows a faint purple tint. Once I had a pool leak and the pool guy was thinking it was rain water not pool water. He collected some in a bucket and tested it. It showed no sign of chlorine which he thought validated him claim, another guy came and found the leak. I would trust the test strip method

If the strip changes at all he has a problem. Storm water has no chlorine.
He said water was running constantly I would assume that a water line break with chlorinated water is not sitting around dechlorinated.
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:15 PM   #12
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


My point was unless there are strips out there that can detect very small amounts of chlorine all the ones I have used would not pick up the trace amount in tap water
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:18 PM   #13
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


http://www.lamotte.com/en/drinking-w...s/3312-01.html
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:22 PM   #14
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


chlorine does dissipate from water so even a negative on a chlorine test strip may not be definitive. If it is present it pretty much assures one it is city water but lack of is not proof it isn't. I would test it though as it might allow for a conclusion it is city water.
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Old 04-05-2015, 02:55 AM   #15
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Water running to sump pump bypassing meter


OP's issue appears to be normal high water table sump usage. I would make sure OP has a good primary electric pump like a Liberty-brand 1/2 hp+, and keep the water powered back-up pump. If there is room in the pit I would also install a battery back-up pump due to the high volume of water infiltrating in to the sump pit.

The first time I assisted with drain tile and pump installation when I was an apprentice, the very first hole in the basement wall block I drilled had water shooting out of it like a geyser! OP's problem is common in my neck of the woods.

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Last edited by SHR Plumber; 04-05-2015 at 02:59 AM.
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