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Old 02-03-2017, 06:42 AM   #1
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Sump Pump Pit Install Question


Hello,

I have a sump pump pit that seems to be getting a lot of ground water through the weep holes (at the bottom of pit) and from small gap around the PVC pipe that enters the pit. Please see picture below (red arrow shows the water coming in). This isn't actual setup in my house but just as an illustration. I have exterior drain tile setup.

I rarely see water actually coming through the PVC pipe other than during heavy rain.

I presume this is OK given that water needs to go somewhere but the gap around the PVC may be filling the pit sooner and keeping the sump pump running more often.

Is it advisable to fill this gap around the PVC to slow down the water entering the pit? If so, what could I use? I think it's about 1/2" gap but enough to force ground water into the gap... I currently have the pump being actuated at the bottom edge of this PVC pipe

Thanks


Last edited by sbkim; 02-03-2017 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:59 AM   #2
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


You do want the water in the pit where it can be ejected via the pump. I would rather have it coming in and manageable than not coming in and just filling up under the slab.

How are the grading, guttering, and general exterior conditions?
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:26 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. Gutters and grading are good however I am towards the lower end of the neighborhood but have not seen any puddling around the house. I also tested for leaking city water. I am accepting the fact that I have high water table but thinking about ways to prolong the sump pump so it doesn't turn on all the time. Luckilyi have adjustable float switch so I can let the water rise a bit but seems to stabilize around 10" below concrete floor.
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:09 AM   #4
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


First, where is the pump ejecting to?
Second, if you have perimeter perforations as shown in the illustration the water should be entering those before it gets up to the pipe.

If your foundation was dug into the ground creating a pong under the surrounding grade it could take quite awhile to lower that level. If you can't lower that level with your pump, ie water is entering to replace what you pump, then an exterior solution would be needed. Once water seeps into the soil id drains along an underground contour that we cannot see. Often it is the original grade that existed before the area was built. Major project would be to determine where that water is coming from and divert it before it enters the pond under your house.

Bud
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:21 AM   #5
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


More facts on this home:

1. New construction with 10 ft basement. Previous home was a ranch with probably no basement but not sure;
2. Water from Sump pump ejects about 10ft outside which ties to the storm sewer system. I was concerned with water recycling back into pit but did a dye test and don't think that's my issue
3. Water level in the pit doesn't fluctuate much. Even after pumping, the water level quickly shoots up to about 10" -11" below the basement floor. The pit is about 22" deep.
4. Bud - only if I had xray vision that I can see what's going on below my basement foundation I tried running the pump more often by lowering the switch but the water level goes up after rain/snow. I am hoping someone builds a new house next to me diverting underground water elsewhere.
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:32 AM   #6
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


Water is clear in this case?

What is the water usage like at the home and where does the main come in?

Artesian spring maybe?
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:46 AM   #7
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


It's very common for water to come in around the pipe entering the crock. Draintile systems aren't designed ot be a sealed system like sanitary plumbing/etc... Water flows with the path of least resistance and to the lowest point, and with the well-perculating stone around the crock and under the entire floor, the system is doing exactly what it's supposed to.

IMPO, 10-11" below the basement floor at rest is fine for the water level. When you get under 8" or so is when I'd be more concerned.

Two quick questions though:
- Is there a check valve in the discharge line?
- How long does the pump run (inn seconds) before it shuts off again?
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:58 AM   #8
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Windows on Wash View Post
Water is clear in this case?

What is the water usage like at the home and where does the main come in?

Artesian spring maybe?
Yes, very clear. I had city do water test twice and they claim little to no chlorine etc. to be considered a leak. Water usage remains consistent and reasonable. I guess there could be leak from my neighbor that is trickling down to me.

Also, there is a house behind me sitting about 5 ft higher than me. I also have another home who's backyard is on my side yard (drains towards me). I think it's far away enough (about 30 ft from me) to make a huge difference in ground water.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:02 AM   #9
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
It's very common for water to come in around the pipe entering the crock. Draintile systems aren't designed ot be a sealed system like sanitary plumbing/etc... Water flows with the path of least resistance and to the lowest point, and with the well-perculating stone around the crock and under the entire floor, the system is doing exactly what it's supposed to.

IMPO, 10-11" below the basement floor at rest is fine for the water level. When you get under 8" or so is when I'd be more concerned.

Two quick questions though:
- Is there a check valve in the discharge line?
- How long does the pump run (inn seconds) before it shuts off again?

1. Absolutely, there is quiet check valve. I have Proseries pump and a backup pump with battery which is tied to whole house generator.

2. I can adjust this with my switch. Right now, I have it running for 14 sec. Default is 10 sec.

Sadly, once the pit is clear of water, it fills up quickly up to about 10" and the last 1" would take probably an hour or more to fill before it activates the switch - hope that makes sense.

One more info that might be relevant. My pit is 18" wide and 22" deep. Would it help if I got 24" wide pit? I am wondering if that would perhaps lower the water level in the pit?
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:13 AM   #10
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
If your foundation was dug into the ground creating a pong under the surrounding grade it could take quite awhile to lower that level. If you can't lower that level with your pump, ie water is entering to replace what you pump, then an exterior solution would be needed. Once water seeps into the soil id drains along an underground contour that we cannot see. Often it is the original grade that existed before the area was built. Major project would be to determine where that water is coming from and divert it before it enters the pond under your house.

Bud
Bud - any idea as to exterior solutions to address this? While I've lived in this home for less than a year, I don't see this water level going down other than during super dry season. How do you divert underground water away and perhaps tie to city stormwater system? I noticed one of my neighbor has a stormwater basin that is constantly flowing water (3 ft down) as if he had tied in underground water to the basin...

I am planning to do what I can to divert all gutter as far away from home as possible but as I mentioned, water level is high even though no rain/snow for weeks.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:33 AM   #11
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


You said you are "towards the lower end of the neighborhood", that implies you may not have a good slope to help drain all water away, both above ground and below ground.

Without that xray vision it is difficult to see the water moving below your property, but it always is, just depends upon how far down the impervious layer is. When the dig a foundation they can sometimes dig out a depression in that layer which becomes a below grade pond that your basement is sitting in. Trying to pump that dry while the surrounding area is replenishing ir is nearly impossible.

The perimeter drain system installed when the house was built should be draining somewhere and that is possible what is controlling the limit to which the water table is rising.

if you have access to a lower drainage area then more and lower drains could be installed. Otherwise it would seem the current limit will remain. As long as the water level stops 10" below the floor level you are ok.

IMO I would have a couple more sump pits as back ups.

Bud
https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycleinfiltration.html

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Old 02-06-2017, 07:07 AM   #12
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


Hi Bud - sorry to resurrect again but a couple quick questions:

1. After heavy rain, I notice puddling of water in my neighbors yard which is about 20-25 ft away from my foundation. Not much I can do about it given it's their property but could that eventually make its way to my pit? I live in Chicago so it's clay based soil mostly

2. When I raised the float switch, pump ran once every 8 hours. Eventually, water level catches up and now running once every 1 hour despite no rain in days. Does this mean, water table is lowered artificially but in the end it will keep going up? I am tempted to raise the switch again about 1/2" which seems to buy me hours before pump turning on. However, I read you shouldn't raise the water level past bottom of pvc inlet pipe? Regardless, I have about 10" space between floor and pit water level.

Thanks
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:24 AM   #13
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


If it isn't raining then the water you are getting is probably due to the surrounding water level or water flow. Your neighbors pond would be contributing to that but not the primary cause of what is happening underground. If you had an old fashioned hand dug well you would see that natural water level. If you tried to pump it dry it would be difficult and if you stopped pumping it would probably recover to exactly where you started.

Long term I would consider an outside pump deeper than what you now have to lower the level below your drainage system. That would eliminate any silting issues and most of the cycling. Modern pumps are much more efficient so not all that bad energy wise and you could switch it off during the dryer seasons.

Bud
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:12 AM   #14
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


Thanks again Bud! One thing I might do this year is to run most of the gutters underground (4" pvc) about 20 ft away from house with pop up. At the moment, gutters terminate about 6 ft away from foundation with positive grading.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:26 AM   #15
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Re: Sump Pump Pit Install Question


If you are in a frost free climate you have a lot of flexibility as to how and where that water surfaces. In my climate it just means where you want your skating rink.

Well guys and soil engineers have a massive amount of information relating to what is below the surface all over the entire country. I would bet a lot of that is available over the internet if you can understand it, they do speak a different language. But well drillers have details from way back to prepare them for any new work. Even though wells may not be in use where city water has been established, the records still exist. I'm fortunate to have a couple of very friendly well guys who are happy to share their knowledge. Doesn't hurt to knock on a few doors and ask what they know about the surface water in your area.

Bud
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