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8

First of all, it's a very good idea to get the water away from the house; in general you don't want any pooling or draining water around your foundation. The farther away you have sump pumps, eaves troughs, etc going, the better. You'll want to check the total discharge head of the pump before you do this. Pump performance is rated in terms of both volume ...


8

I can't think of any reason why not - and in fact I'd recommend it. Right now your sump is draining water out right next to the house, which means its seeping back into the ground right against your foundation, which means your sump pump is ultimately pumping at lest some of the same water multiple times.


8

I'm not a sump pump expert, but it sounds like perhaps your check valve isn't working properly. If it isn't closing fully then water in the pipe can drain back down into the sump when the pump stops. If enough water is able to drain back down then it would cause the pump to start again. Assuming you actually have a check valve, it probably looks something ...


7

It's a drywell... water goes in and is absorbed into the soil. If you are in an area with sandy soil, this is usually ok. In heavy rain seasons, the water table rises as more and more water is absorbed into the ground. As things return to normal, the water table drops. If you're interested, Google for "water budget" or "groundwater budget" and you should ...


7

Yes, generally you'll have a sump pump if the water table could reasonably rise to the level of the bottom of the basement. The sump pump is most often used in combination with a drainage system around the foundation that directs water into a "sump pit". The sump pump then pumps water out of the sump pit once it rises to a certain level. If you have city ...


7

It should definately come on before the water gets to that level. Is the float the kind that has its cord clamped to a pipe and it swings up and down? If its that kind, make sure that its not hung up on anything. You may need to manually run the pump to empty the water and troubleshoot the float. Lift it and see if the pump comes on. Does the float have a ...


6

My last house had all sorts of awful water issues like this, so I feel your pain... In a flash-flood type situation, there isn't much that you're going to do with a pump. You didn't describe the terrain too much, but you need to find a way to redirect some of the water in a different direction. If you have gutters that empty in the area, direct the water ...


6

For the case of the power outages, there's basically two options -- UPS or other battery backup for the sump pump. (which only helps for as long as the batteries hold out) A water powered sump pump As for the flash flood issues -- you might be able to either regrade the area to change the catchment area that drains towards the door, and possibly add a ...


6

From the looks of it, water could run right around your grate to the door. If the walkway is sloped toward the grate on both sides, that would probably help when the rain is light, but when it is heavy it will run right around it. I would install a grate that runs across the whole width of the walkway. Under the grate, I would have a trench about a foot ...


5

What is probably going on is that your neighbors' weeping tile systems are draining into their sumps, which are then pumped out because they're below grade and there isn't a storm sewer at a lower grade that can be drained into. The weeping tile exists to direct water that soaks into the ground away from your house, instead of letting it collect against your ...


5

In addition to the other comments, the garden hose may also be causing the problem. It may not allow enough flow of water to leave the basin fast enough. We have 1.5" pvc leaving the sump pump and that pipe discharges into the yard. Can you use the PVC that you said you have going into the yard instead of having the hose in the PVC?


4

There used to be an exception to the code, that said that a sump pump didn't have to be on a GFCI if it was on a dedicated circuit, and it was connected using a single receptacle*. And by "single receptacle" they meant a non-duplex receptacle. One like this... With that said, "officially" there should be no problem with having a sump pump on a GFCI ...


3

You have two questions here, First, I think the larger of the two pipes could be a vent pipe connected to a radon exhaust system. Does this pipe connect to any other pipes or a box with a radon sensor? Second item, the receptacle shown is a single use type. Sump pumps will often nuisance-trip GFCI receptacles. Much the same as a refrigerator is put on a ...


3

There are typically "sliders" or some sort of adjustment that mark the "start" and "stop" (or "high" and "low") water levels. Generally there's no minimum low-water level other than you want to make sure that there is always water covering the pump intake (so it doesn't suck air). The "high" mark just needs to be low enough that water never gets out of the ...


3

The main thing you will need to pay attention to is the head rating of the sump pump. I can't imagine a standard big box store sump pump would have any trouble raising the water 8 feet...every sump I've ever owned had to go at least that high. The horizontal run has a negligible effect on the capability of the pump (it's not zero, but it is very small ...


3

Well, if it's from the late 80s, then it shouldn't contain any PCBs. That liquid is probably a dielectric oil with a high viscosity. That would explain why you were thinking it's a solid. They're non-conductive mineral oils and as oil does, it displaces water. Treat it like a motor oil spill. Here's an MSDS sheet for Shell Morlina oil which is probably ...


3

If you have the clearance, you could put an air admittance valve at the high point of the drain. I'm not sure of the code on that, but since this isn't for a drain into the waste stack, it might be permitted. I would be reluctant to put it in a blind location though.


3

Contact three or four local drainage contractors and ask if they will come out and give you a quote to solve the problem. You'll learn what methods they would employ, their guarantee, and cost. Then you can make an informed decision.


2

Sort of, but it probably doesn't work like you think. I'm guessing you want a pump that works like a shop vac. But once you put in a provision to drain off the collected liquid, the vacuum effect no longer works. One could concoct a system that alternately sucks, then drains, but I know of no such commercially available package system. Maybe something like ...


2

I would favor a strategy that maximizes reliability. I would go for a pump that is rated at double the estimated worst case flow. That will mean there is a margin of safety and also mean the pump is not running at full capacity. This will be better for a longer life, as friction and heat are an electric motors worst enemies. This may be hard to estimate, ...


2

You could certainly perforate the lower section of the sump basin with small holes (1/4 inch/6mm or less would be my preference, but some might go twice/3 times as large - depends in part what you are bedding it in) Outside the basin, you'd want washed stone (depending on soil type, possibly filter fabric and washed stone) Inside the basin, a concrete ...


2

Yes, this is definitely home improvement material. What's the terrain like around your house? Could you dig a trench sloping downhill from the low point in your basement to "daylight" (ie, somewhere, like a ditch the water could drain away to without a pump?) As for it getting worse, could something have clogged up to cause more water to come in - your ...


2

It sure seems to me that a sump pump would be a good idea, especially if you don't want to keep drying it with a wet vac. I am assuming the pit you speak of is of some solid material, not just a hole in the dirt? A sump pump is pretty easy to install. A small one with a built in float connected to some tubing running out of the crawl space would do the ...


2

A sump is easy enough to install DIY. You need a precast concrete sump well (mostly to keep muck out of the pump,and keep the float switch clear), a pump, a place to dump the water to, and a GFCI electrical outlet. In general the water needs to dump outside, not to a sewer. In Berkeley CA you likely have heavy clay soils that don't drain quickly. The ...


2

Forget a septic system and instead get a waste water treatment system. The output is drinkable, clean water. However, most people prefer to just use the water for watering the lawn. This Old House installed one recently. See http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/tv/house-project/show-descriptions/0,,20587082,00.html


1

Your best answer would be to try to eliminate the water before it gets in. Your best options will depend on the reliability of your electric source. A battery pump will only last so long. A watered powered pump will require a steady flow of municiple water. If you have a well it obviously won't work without power. The other consideration is how easily can ...



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