A River Runs Through It

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... my basement, I mean.
We badly need a sump pump. Maybe two, but definitely one where the water pools every spring.
<warily eyeing the melting snow>
How hard is it to install a sump pump? Is that a job for a pro, or can I do it with power tools? We have a fieldstone basement, with a cement floor. There is no well yet, just a low spot that collects water.
Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Donna
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since should have been done before pouring the floor. A bit of major remodeling will be required including some brutal manual labor not to mention the plumbing and exavation for the pump and line. An experienced plumbing company would be best cause you really need a crew to put this thing in.
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wrote:

local big box home store and run a hose or pipe out of the basement...
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wrote:

A pedestal type pump will work in a 5 gallon sump if you use a check valve to prevent backflow so you have to dig is a 10 gallon hole. You can do it with hand tools if you must. You will earn what you don't spend.
But first figure out the best way to do it. Is the water coming up through the floor? Or in through the wall and collecting at the low spot? From one section? Or more?
A slightly better picture of the situation will allow some one to better help you.
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Don't listen to this guy, it is easier than you may think. Yes, it does take a bit of labor though to break concrete and dig. .
You buy a pump and you buy a plastic sump liner made for exactly this purpose. The hard part is cutting the concrete floor. You can score it with an abrasive blade in a circular saw, they with a rented jack hammer or muscle and a sledge hammer, you break out the concrete. Dig for the sump, then put some stone and the liner, put the pump in place, then run a drain line.
They showed this on Ask This Old House a couple of months ago. Sorry Lawrence, maybe you are not up to it but Tom and a woman did the job in her house. Check out some information on episode 425. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/tvprograms/asktoh/showresources/episode/0,16663,1110925-1173062,00.html
Here is the basin http://www.akindustries.com/
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My good man, the show you refer to is very popular and you are right to say it is possible to do it yourself. Note: A professional plumber was onsite for that installation and that is what I recommended. Also, those shows are quite a lot more scripted than you think. They make it look easy because that is what they are paid to do. Laborers are often available off screen.
Yes, it is easy to throw a pump in a hole as long as your are comfortable with manual labor. You will have a higher likelyhood of a job that you will be happy with for years to come if you hire a real plumber and laborers.
Since your have called me out personally I have to tell you... I am capable of solving any plumbing problems that I have including a drywell if necessary. I answer questions in this forum, I do not post them. My goal is to be helpful rather than confrontational. This person specifically asked if I thought she could do it. She did not ask if is possible. I gave her good advice having a high likelyhood of success.
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It looks simple because it is. A sixteen year old with a sledge hammer and shovel can do the excavation. It is not a job for a highly skilled plumber at $90 an hour, but some work for a $9 an hour teenager.

Really? I would not be. Why a pluber at all? This is not what I'd classify as tru plubing whee you have to solder joints, lay out the toilet rough in, repair a leak at a main valve, etc. This is running some PVC or even a hose. This type of job is a perfect traing ground for a DIY person that would like to eventually try plumbing. No pressure involved, no feeds to appiances,, no fancy hardware.

Never questioned your personal skills. I have to disagree with your assessment of the situation though. A plumber and crew will take this job to be about $500 to $800 plus materials instead of $50. If the OP is not comfortable doing the job, hire a handyman for $30 an hour instead of a $90 plumber.
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I have answered quite directly the questions the OP asked. She asked if we thought she could do it and I answered her. She has since agreed with me. You seem to be more interested in replying to me that to the OP.
You can hire anyone to do a crap job that's for sure. There have been many, many, posts from people with sumps that don't work usually because they were installed by amateurs. Excavation and installation of the drain line is usually where they fail.
You are right to say anyone can do it. It is just that I do not reccomend it. She will be happier longer if you hire a pro
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wrote:

I thought you meant an experience plumbing company, as opposed to a minimally experienced one, and that the OP's doing it herself was out of the question.

I don't want to argue, but I didn't get this impression from your first post. And I think the OP should have understood just be looking at the job that manual labor would be involved, with a cement floor, and even more so after people recommended a jack hammer ("See if you can lift the lightest electric jack hammer they rent,... ") although these posts came after yours.

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What I meant is open to quite alot of interpretation, isn't it?? I never said doing it your self was out of the question, never. The reason you are confused is because I answered the question simply and directly without adding any extra information. More posters should do the same, ANSWER THE QUESTION. Attacking my posts serves nothing. This person has already admitted that this is beyond her ability. This makes my answer a correct one. Some people seem to think that if the pros on TV can do it then anyone can. That is simply rubbish.
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wrote:

Just to clarify: it sounds to me that doing this correctly, which seems to involve a significant amount of plumbing, is beyond my abilities. If I have to hire a plumber to install drainage, I might as well get one guy to do the whole thing. Not that you asked, but... :) I'm pretty good at holes. I'm lousy at plumbing *in* holes. Sadly, Bob Vila, I'm not.
Thanks again for all of your input and advice. I'm leaning towards spending money on a pro to put in the sump pump and drains, and investing my energy in excavating and sealing the source of the leak: the coal chute. All of the suggestions and advice I've received in this thread make me think that might be the best approach, all considered. So thanks, everyone. :)
Donna
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Very good reasons not to attempt it but I was referring only to digging the hole and sticking a hose out to somewhere. The proper installation after the hole does take knowledge/experience. If you are hiring a job done, they might as well do the entire thing as digging the hole is the least part of the job.
Harry K
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I put in a sewer backflow valve myself. Not the same thing but cutting the concrete floor starts the same :) I tried a concrete cutting disk in electric saw and the dust was horrible so I stopped after an inch. Then I went to local rentall place and he advised the biggest size of electric jack-hammer that you can plug into a 120v socket. I think it was Bosch, it came with a pointed chisel, and a flat chisel about 1" wide, I started the hole with the pointy chisel and it was really hard to get through to make a start. I even used a normal hammer drill to drill a series of quarter inch holes in a circle and 2 inches diameter to loosen it a bit. Finally I managed to make a 3 inch diameter hole all the way through the slab. after that I could switch to the 1" wide chisel and was able to gradually enlarge the hole until it was about 24" by 18". It took me a whole day. Then I rested a week (after all the shaking) and dug out the whole hole, cut my sewage pipes and installed the backflow valve.
The best bit was... the plumbers wanted over $1000 to do the job, it cost me $44 for jackhammer rental, $52 for the backflow valve, $10 for cutting disk (which I abandoned due to dust) and $10 for quarter inch drill bits.
David
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was a serious question by saying:

From my experience in most cases a sump & pump is just a way to throw money at a problem on the cheap and still not fix the issue. If you've really got basement water problems spend the bucks on something like the B-Dry system and be done with it. Just be sure to check out the contractor in your area before hiring though, there are a lot of 'not so satisfying' operators in the basement waterproofing business. Not to mention a lot of people selling systems that will fail or not work at all. Do some serious research, call a lot of vendors for assessments/quotes, check out the vendors you are considering with BBB and whoever else you can find in your area.
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Jackson wrote:

The "B-Dry system" list two types of products. The first I found listed was a fancy name for a sump pump system. The second is the useless paint - spray on trash. I think I would avoid B-Dry based on the way the market their product if for no other reason.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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attempted to ask what they

Yes, I don't know anything about B-Dry marketing spray on stuff, paint, etc. I was referring to the company that digs the interior trench, places piping for drain, covers it with stone and then cements back over it. If you have a block foundation they will also drill weep holes into the bottom of the blocks and install some sort of material to catch any water that might seep into or through cracks in the blocks/mortar. They will sell pumps attached to their system to discharge the collected water away from the structure if you need one, but if you can run a gravity drain your even better off. Here's a link to what I think is their website, but do your homework because the local shops are all independent franchisees:
http://www.bdry.com /
There are others, Basement Systems, etc, but B-Dry is the big name in the business from my experience. Yes, any type of coating inside like paint is only a temporary (if at all!) solution.
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Waste money? For a total of around $150-200 (today's prices) I can (and did) install a sump pump in my basement changing what had been a flooded floor into a dry basement all year long. Any system that is going to keep water out of the basement to begin with is going to run in the thousands.
Were I to do it today I would do the same thing, using the same tools and I am now 72. Wouldn't have a problem at all using that electric rotarly hammer to drill the perimeter holes every 3-4 inches then bust out the concrete with a sledge. My drain line is buried and exits into a ditch 100 ft away.
Harry K
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wrote:

You go Harry! A man of action <G>.
-- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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On Wed, 21 Mar 2007 21:56:11 GMT, "Donna"

Is that in the middle of the floor, or near the edge. Like the other guy asked, how is the water getting there?

So is the water coming in through the rocks? Are the walls painted?

You need to give more details.

iiuc is likely to be 6? inches thick.
The hard part about getting through the cement imo would be keeping the boundaries of the hole you are making within bounds.
If it were a one-inch piece of cement, you could draw a boundry and use a cold chisel and a heavy hammer, and by all means goggles, to chisel a quater or half inch line to mark the border, and then when you went after the middle**, the hole would probably remain within the lines.
**See if you can lift the lightest electric jack hammer they rent, or is there a better tool for this. The jack hammer was easy to use. And lifting it was easy the first few times, but that got harder quickly as I got tired. I'm 5'8" and my arms were almost parallel to tthe ground. If I had been taller, or had stood on something 4 to 8 inches high, it would have been easier. But if you rent for a whole day, you can rest in between. But there must be something smaller and lighter for a little hole like this, even if it 6? inches thick.
But since it's a lot thicker, is that what one uses a power hamnmer for? Or an air chisel? Can she rent a compressor and is there a cemenmt cutting device?
Or should she just make the hole and then replace whatever cement breaks that shoudlnt' have.
After you are through the floor, digging the rest of the hole should be pretty easy, and then you have to line the hole with a cylinder of some sort so that the earth doesn't collapse. Then make an exit for the cisharge pipe, and run the water away from your house. Putting in the pump and connecting it should be pretty easy.
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Donna wrote:

Hi, Donna.
BTDT. One option (worked for me): 1. Get a decent quality pump (submersible, whatever)., with float- valve. 2. Get/rent/borrow a hammer-drill and drill holes to outline a hole, say 8-12" larger in diameter than the pump, in the slab at the low point, say 1' from the wall (footings); clean out hole down to a depth of, say, 16-18". 3. Mix up some stiff mortar mix, get rubber gloves, and apply mortar to make stable sides for hole. If any drainage channel in the area, leave open. 4. Place pump in hole; run pipe (plastic is simplest) with appropriate couplings, outside house (not to sewer!) maybe even with some garden hose coupled on, so it drains away from house. 5. Plug it in and relax; you'll relax more if it has battery backup. 6. See what you can do to make sure gutters drain away from house, of course.
HTH, J
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