Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


05:12PM | 04/12/03
Member Since: 04/11/03
1 lifetime posts
I am asking this question on behalf of my parents. They have a sump pump that hasn't been working well. Finally we had a big rain and today there was 3 inches of water down there. They called the fire department which pumped out the cellar.

Question one... 6 hours later -- although there is no more rain, about an inch is back on the floor of the cellar? Is this to be expected? Is it from the ground being soaked with water? Or do we have a problem? Is it to be expected that some water will come back in when the ground is soaked? I just need to know if we should pay the weekend rate to get a plumber in there tomorrow or wait until Monday

Question two... I believe strongly that whomever is selling them the pumps is selling them bad ones. Every pump we get is on constantly when it rains and doesn't always stop the rain. We used to have a pump -- one pump ago -- that worked great and usually only went on about every 20 minutes in the height of a hurricane. Any advice on how to make sure whatever pump the plumber installs is a good one. Or advice on making him check for back ups or problems? We just had a plumber out who told us all was fine and it was supposed to be on all the time when it rained.


Jay J

12:06PM | 04/14/03
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
95% of water-in-the-basement problems are associated with leaking gutters, missing gutters, improperly INSTALLED gutters, missing or improperly installed downspouts, water-dumping at the foundation, and wrongly-sloped landscaping around the house. The next time you get a heavy rain (and you don't have to wait for a Biblical Rain), don your raincoat, boots, and an umbrella (watching out for lightening), and look UP and DOWN. Look at both. See if you have leaks, excess runoff on the roofline, watch where the water is running to or collecting at, and so on. The KEY to fixing these problems is relatively inexpensive. Sealing up walls and installing perimeter drain systems and sump pumps are usually 'bandaids' on a forever bleeding wound. Over time, water that is 'permitted' to leak into the basement may be undermining the foundation, or causing cracks to enlarge, or who knows what else. FIXING the problem from the outside should be, IMO, the FIRST line of defense.

Extend your downspouts at least 3' from the foundation, make sure it's properly sloped away from the foundation so that water doesn't run back towards the foundation, and if you must, have a Pro (or someone) go up on the roof to see if the gutters are clogged.

Now, it's not abnormal for sump pumps to run what would seem like forever and ever. Depending on how the water is entering the pit, address that first (as I stated above). Even after a rain, again depending, the pump may run for days, on and off. If you're going to spend good $$$ for a good pump, buy one w/a battery backup. DO remember that the batteries need to be replaced every few years. I'm sure that's a whole lot CHEAPER than having to spend your $$$, otherwise, to clean up AFTER the mess! So, weigh your options.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J - Moderator

PS: God Bless America!

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