Flooded Basement

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I have lived in my house for 4 years now, however the house is 14 years old, and haven't had any flooding problems until this week. There has been several inches of rain dropped on our area the past 5 days. Well of course our sump pump stopped working. I went into the basement one day and found that it was starting to get wet. Within 1 hour I had 2 inches of water covering the floor. Then we realized the sump pump was not working. When we called insurance they sent over an engineer who looked around for 10 minutes and left. The next day I got a call saying that our water came up from the cement and we wouldn't be covered. They then told me that there wouldn't be that much water from a sump pump not working. Could this be true??? It really came so fast and there are not wet walls to indicate it came in from the walls and now that the carpet is up there are no cracks in the cement. Can it really come up throught the pores of the cement that fast to cause that type of damage?? And does a not working sump pump truly cause no damage??? They told me that the sump pump not working wouldn't cause that type of damage. HELP!!!
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The sump pump removes water from beneath the floor. If it is isn't working, and the water table is higher than the floor, water will pour in from between the floor and walls. No significant water comes in through the floor or the walls, just the space between them. Does that make sense? Insurance normally doesn't cover stuff like that, but read through the policy to be sure. Then get a battery powered back up for next time.
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I would like to do that, but will both a battery powered pump and the original electric pump fit in the same standard size hole at the same time?
(I assume with a check valve in each pipe, they can share the same output pipe.)
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Mine will, anyway -- "Basement Watchdog" brand. It's not much larger than a softball.

Yep. All you need is a wye fitting to connect them together.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 30 Jun 2006 01:58:46 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

This looks pretty good, and the middle level one is, well I'm not sure what the price is or what includes the battery, but it seems under 400.
Is the middle level one, 1730 GPH, good enough? I only have a 700 sq ft/floor townhouse.

I can do that. :)
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mm wrote:

A battery powered back up will only help if you lose electricity... My sump pump went bad and the basement flooded on the weekend while my tenants were gone. If the pump is over ten year old it may not be a bad idea to replace it. They don't last forever. I had new carpet that was just put down 4 months earlier. Pulled it up let it dry and replaced the padding and it was OK. Your best bet is to check the pump often. Mine all I have to do is pull up on the rod and it will start up. Now I never walk by it without testing it...
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message wrote:

What are you talking about? A battery backup will work just as well if your main pump breaks; in fact, if the water comes in faster than the main pump can handle, the backup will help out there also, though it is not a good idea to count on it...
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On 29 Jun 2006 19:19:57 -0700, "JimmyDahGeek@DON'T_SPAM_ME_gmail.com"

Until the past 7 days, this seemed very unlikely. There are power failures, but they've never coincided with the stream near me going to flood stage. And if my sump pump didn't work, the stream wouldn't have to be at flood stage for my basement to flood.
But this week it occurred to me that if the stream were getting really high, even before it was high enough to enter my basement window, it would also be close to the local transformer, which is on the ground, and they might turn the power off intentionally. I'm pretty sure I saw that on the news. Didn't they turn off the power to a big area someplace in the NorthEast this week?
Or the water might reach the power transformer and that would turn off my power, I think.
(A mile downstream, past where my little tributary joins the bigger Gwynns Falls, 2 or 3 houses were destroyed by flooding during Hurricane Agnes, and the county or city didn't let them rebuild. I guess they condemned their land and paid them for it.) I was told once that one house in my n'hood was destroyed by flooding also, before it was finished, and that it wasn't rebuilt. But I'm not convinced. Every house is attached to 7 others. It seems either they lost 8 houses or they didn't lose any. I should have asked the guy more questions when I had the chance.

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jcmilla wrote:

Tough question. You might want to see your local attorney. I would guess that they may be trying to say it was due to flooding and not due to sump pump failure. Read your policy carefully see if you can see if there is anything in there that might give a hint.
Remember that your home owner's insurance does NOT cover flooding. That is a different policy.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Sadly you and thousands of others will not be covered. Yes, it can come up that fast between the cracks in the floor at the joints. I've heard of even faster fill ups. I've heard stories of 50 year old houses that were dry put to the recent rains last October and again this spring.
One lesson is to check your sump pump often. Once every couple of months, dump some water into the sump hole and be sure it kicks on and pumps out.
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It amazes me how many sumps are physically higher than a area of their yard.
in a pump or power failure a underground overflow line can save much damage
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If the sump were higher than an area of the yard, the area would fill up with water before the basement did. I've never had any water in my sump because my backyard is lower than the sump; but I've had water in the backyard. I suppose there are clay soils where this might not work perfectly, but in general...
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wrote:

I'm confused.
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If there is an area where your cellar can drain to without the use of a pump, it makes good sense to install a drain that goes 'to daylight'. Very often the builder or homeowner has taken the easy way out and just installed a sump that empties out a window.
One pump failure could easily cost you as much as it would cost to dig that trench and do it right.
Jim
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Your homeowners insurance policy is not a substitute for you properly maintaining your house. You took the sump pump for granted and that's what happens when you do that.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Wait wait wait - just about every mishap at some point comes down to condition before the mishap. Even location for floods. It doesn't cover *maintenance*, but it covers mishaps.
Flood policies (if he has one) does cover runoff - which ends up in the house. I've had a flood insurance claim regarding runoff that was too fast to be handled by the sump pump I had at the time (of course that means I had obtained it separately from the regular home insurance).
As to regular home insurance, it depends on what his policy says. Which depends on all sorts of things. For example, I have a rider covering sump pump backup. He may or may not have that as a rider, or may or may not have that even in his regular policy.
Banty
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Does your rider exclude compensation for damage from that, or include it? It could go either way, right?

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Includes. I had a claim based on that, actually.
Banty
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wrote:

So do you mean when the basement floor is higher than the ground outside on at least one side of the house?
Otherwise, if you mean when the basement floor is lower than the dirt but higher than the normal water table outside, one would have to have a darn good check valve, to keep the water in the ground outside from coming back into the house when it rains. Then the water table rises, or even if the table doesn't rise, the trench or whatever would collect dripping or descending water inside the earth.
I have a whole row or more of townhouse neighbors with basement sliding glass doors leading right out to the back yard**. But for my row, all the basements are entirely 6 feet below ground level.
**I'm not sure they have sump pumps. Maybe the building code doesn't require it for them.

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-snip-

No. [though that would make life easy, wouldn't it?]

No again. Your basement walls and floor should be sealed from water infiltration. So they can be below the water table. That doesn't always work, so drainage. I have an interior and an exterior perimeter drain. They join outside, about 7-8 feet underground. Then the drain travels about 40', with a 1/4" per foot pitch where it meets the natural grade and sees 'daylight'.

But is any part of your property lower than your basement floor? And if it is, how practical would it be to dig the trench and put in a drain?
Jim
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