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My question is about basement/foundation function and the relationship to sump pumps and water. If a sump pump is supposed to pump water from below the slab out to the surface and loses power, what will generally happen with the water?

In my instance, I have poured concrete foundation walls, concrete slab, and foundation walls are painted with sealer type primer/paint. When we lost power the carpet pad got soaked. Some of that came from the water breaching the sump pit. But on the opposite side of the basement the carpet still got wet. Is it likely that water enter between the slab/foundation wall joint all around at the same time the sump pit is filling up?

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There's typically a drainage system around the inside perimeter of the basement (perimeter drain), which feeds into the sump pit. If the pump is not removing water, the drains will fill just the same as the pit.

Water always finds level, so if it's above the rim of the pit, it's also filled the drains. So theoretically, water could seep in anywhere around the perimeter of the basement.

Once it's found a way in, it could fill the basement like a pool.

  • so the water typically would fill the drain tile from below the slab and not from the water. If the exterior is sealed properly, then the hyrdostatic pressure should push the water up from below and not through the poured foundation walls correct? – unknownRenowned Jul 21 '15 at 3:03
  • @unknownRenowned: Correct: it's almost certainly coming up through the interior joint between the wall and the floor, but if there are any other cuts or cracks in the floor slab it will seep through those as well. – feetwet Jul 25 '15 at 19:41

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