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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to start digging a hole for my sump basin. I plan on drilling some 1/4" holes all around the basin and use "River Pebbles" from Home Depot for 6" under the basin and 6" all the way around the basin.

However I have heard many say filter / landscape cloth should be used. I already have quite a bit of it and was planning on using it. But it seems many say the cloth should line the pit, then the stone, then the basin (so ground water flows from dirt, through fabric, through rock, then into basin). But other say to wrap the basin with the cloth and put it in the pit then pour in the gravel. (ground water flows from dirt, through rock, through fabric, then into basin).

Which method is best? Having the fabric between the dirt and rock sounds good because it would keep any silt from getting into the rock. Having it wrapped around the basin seems easier and keeps anything (including smaller rocks) from getting into the basin, but I think it would be possible for silt to clog the fabric over time and prevent water from getting in the basin.
 

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retired framer
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I am about to start digging a hole for my sump basin. I plan on drilling some 1/4" holes all around the basin and use "River Pebbles" from Home Depot for 6" under the basin and 6" all the way around the basin.

However I have heard many say filter / landscape cloth should be used. I already have quite a bit of it and was planning on using it. But it seems many say the cloth should line the pit, then the stone, then the basin (so ground water flows from dirt, through fabric, through rock, then into basin). But other say to wrap the basin with the cloth and put it in the pit then pour in the gravel. (ground water flows from dirt, through rock, through fabric, then into basin).

Which method is best? Having the fabric between the dirt and rock sounds good because it would keep any silt from getting into the rock. Having it wrapped around the basin seems easier and keeps anything (including smaller rocks) from getting into the basin, but I think it would be possible for silt to clog the fabric over time and prevent water from getting in the basin.
And others say not to use any at all . Filters need servicing, changing or cleaning. I would guess that is not in the plan. Cleaning the pot from time to time might be a better plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I guess that is a very good reason not to wrap it around the basin and maybe just put it between the dirt and the rock, or not use it at all. Thanks for the input.
 

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Master General ReEngineer
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Ayuh,.... I too, would skip the fabric,....

Once yer basin is installed, the slit should clear up to clean water in a very short time,.....

You don't even need the rock, but it won't hurt anything,.....

I did one in my old house, 25 years ago,.....
Nothin' but 1/2 of a plastic 55 gallon drum, drilled fulla holes,.....
Knocked a hole in the floor big enough to drop in the basin, a couple of bricks to keep it from floatin', 'n dropped in the sump pump,.....
The mud cleared up in a couple of weeks, 'n it's still there, still workin', to this day,.....
Been through a couple of pumps, but never an issue with the basin,.....
 

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Wrapping the basin and/or the perimeter drain pipes with the cloth is the worst way to do it. The cloth will cling to the outside of the basin and/or pipes and only the 1/2 or inch circles worth of cloth directly over the holes will filter the water and clog very quickly, blocking all collection of water shortly thereafter.
 
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If I was installing a sump pit, I'd dig the hole over-depth and over-diameter for the basin/bucket, then lay some filter fabric on the bottom and sides. I'd lay a few inches of gravel in the bottom of the hole, then place the bucket in place. Connect any laterals that need connecting. Then fill gravel around the bucket, between it and the fabric.
 

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Hammered Thumb
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Wrapping the basin and/or the perimeter drain pipes with the cloth is the worst way to do it. The cloth will cling to the outside of the basin and/or pipes and only the 1/2 or inch circles worth of cloth directly over the holes will filter the water and clog very quickly, blocking all collection of water shortly thereafter.
This is a WRONG blanket statement and illogical. Studies have been done on the clogging of drainage geotextiles, and as long as you are using the proper type for your use, the performance of it remains intact.

You might have dug up old fabric and see it "clogged" with silt or sludge, but usually this wall of muck is more permeable than the soil next to it. The Army Corps and every transportation dept in the US use it on underground drainage, and their specs account for this soil migration into the geotextile. They also spec pipe sleeves, so yes "clinging" is acceptable.

Any trench dug in soil allows a faster movement of water, so they should always have a geotextile.

Most don't consider a wrap on a perforated sump crock as critical because its in undisturbed soil with a concrete roof, and you can always clean out the crock if necessary. Usually though the soil type will dicate whether you use a natural filter (like gravel), but most sump crock manufs dictate a 4"-6" gravel fill anyway. So then use a geotextile encasing the gravel just like when you use it on a footing drain tile, a yard french drain, or drywell.

Make sure you don't use cheap landscape weed fabric. Use a non-woven, polypropylene needlepunched geotextile. And the gravel should be washed 3/4" angular or less, but larger than 3/8". If you can only buy bags of pea gravel, then you would need a fabric on the crock to keep the gravel out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
This is a WRONG blanket statement and illogical. Studies have been done on the clogging of drainage geotextiles, and as long as you are using the proper type for your use, the performance of it remains intact.

You might have dug up old fabric and see it "clogged" with silt or sludge, but usually this wall of muck is more permeable than the soil next to it. The Army Corps and every transportation dept in the US use it on underground drainage, and their specs account for this soil migration into the geotextile. They also spec pipe sleeves, so yes "clinging" is acceptable.

Any trench dug in soil allows a faster movement of water, so they should always have a geotextile.

Most don't consider a wrap on a perforated sump crock as critical because its in undisturbed soil with a concrete roof, and you can always clean out the crock if necessary. Usually though the soil type will dicate whether you use a natural filter (like gravel), but most sump crock manufs dictate a 4"-6" gravel fill anyway. So then use a geotextile encasing the gravel just like when you use it on a footing drain tile, a yard french drain, or drywell.

Make sure you don't use cheap landscape weed fabric. Use a non-woven, polypropylene needlepunched geotextile. And the gravel should be washed 3/4" angular or less, but larger than 3/8". If you can only buy bags of pea gravel, then you would need a fabric on the crock to keep the gravel out.
thanks. I have seen polypropylene landscape fabric, but I have not come across any that claims to be "non woven" or "needlepunched". Where do you buy something like that? So you recommend "3/4 angular". Is that the same thing as crushed stone?
 

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Hammered Thumb
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Usually you do a lot at a time, like all the exterior/interior footing drains, so real geotextile comes in big rolls. Smallest at HD is 3'x300'
Non-woven fabric
The important part is "non-woven" and "needlepunched" (to not clog).

If you only want to use the landscape fabrics or don't want the leftover good stuff laying around, you'd be better off with nothing. Just to be clear, a sump can function without a wrap.

Any angular gravel is just crushed stone, and it locks together better than rounded. The important part is "washed" (no fines). I don't think you can buy bags of this at the box store. But you can buy bags of pea gravel, which also drains, just you should have a fabric around the crock to not allow the 3/8" and smaller size to enter any holes you may have. I don't think I've ever seen someone use decorative river rock underground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Usually you do a lot at a time, like all the exterior/interior footing drains, so real geotextile comes in big rolls. Smallest at HD is 3'x300'
Non-woven fabric
The important part is "non-woven" and "needlepunched" (to not clog).

If you only want to use the landscape fabrics or don't want the leftover good stuff laying around, you'd be better off with nothing.

Any angular gravel is just crushed stone, and it locks together better than rounded. The important part is "washed" (no fines). I don't think you can buy bags of this at the box store. But you can buy bags of pea gravel, which also drains, just you should have a fabric around the crock to not allow the 3/8" and smaller size to enter any holes you may have.
Thanks.

I was going to go to a local place and get some unwashed and wash it myself. I just shovel it out of my truck onto the driveway and hose it off, then shovel it in to my wheelbarrow. It takes a while but it seems to work ok. I have calculated I just need about 7.5-8 ft^3.

I was just going to use "river pebbles" from HD because it was sized right and was available in bags. It wasn't what I was wanting to use.
 
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