Flooding - French Drain


I have a French drain with a sump pump in my basement.
For 11 years I NEVER got any water down in my basement, the drain took care of business.
Now suddenly in the past 2 years I have had 3 major floods (including this morning) where the water has soaked /ruined my carpets in the basement.
Any ideas why the French drain would suddenly stop working. The Sump Pump is working fine. It is turning on and off and ejecting the gathered water from the sump well.
Would blockages/debris that fell into the drain area around the perimeter of my basement wall be the culprit?
Or could it be a case of the ground outside being so saturated the water has nowhere else to go but in my walls/French drain and the French drain can not handle the capacity of water coming in.
Option 3: I had home construction done (new siding, windows, doors, deck) about 2 years ago. Could they have damaged something? I have looked all around the areas that they added new doors, windows, deck, ect.. and I can not find any water seeping in.
By the way, I am in NJ where we were hit with 7-10 inches of rain in the last 15-20 hours and a state of emergency was declared.
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Is the outlet of the french drain going to daylight? If not, your french drain might no longer be able to handle the output due to a failure.

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Is this "french drain" installed inside the foundation under the concrete floor? Or is it a perimeter drain around outside the foundation wall? If it is the first, your water may be coming in through the wall or wall/floor seam. If it is the latter, it may be water table coming up through the ground under the floor.
If you have both systems, you should have no problems.

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I don't know if it is an actual "French Drain"
It is on the INSIDE perimeter of the basement and has a concrete "channel " that is about 1+ 1/2 inches high that collects the water and routes it around the basement perimeter to the sump well.
The house is about 60 + years old.
Also, I cannot find any sign of wetness on my walls, this is very strange.
Currently I am trying to get behind my walls and trying to brush/vacuum out any debris in the channel.

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I live in northern NJ, too, and have an outside French drain that normally carries away water that runs down the back yard towards the house (the yard was mis-graded sometime in the early 1920s, no way to regrade it now). The drain forms a "U" around the whole back and sides of the house and empties down the driveway where the water flows into the street.
This neat little drain system works great in normal rainstorms, but yesterday sure wasn't normal. We got 7.06 inches of rain in less than 18 hours and it was still raining this morning at 11:30.
Here's what happens to my drain: the gravel-filled trench the perfed pipe is buried in fills up because the pipe cannot take all the water away fast enough, even though it's a 6-inch pipe. When this happens, water flows over the top of the trench and soaks the narrow strip of ground behind the trench and eventually seeps into the basement.
Yesterday, it got so deep in one spot, an inside corner next to a door, that the water started flowing under the threshold of the door and pouring into the basement. Fortunately, it's a short trip to the basement drain, which was able to handle the flow easily, so not much got damaged. The only other time that happened was in 1999 during Hurricane Floyd.
So my guess is that yesterday your system could not handle all the water and overflowed.
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Postal68 wrote:

dug it up and found there was no sock on the 6" pipe. Every foot of that pipe was absolutely filled with sand and stuff from the dirt. It was totally filled up and useless. Even the pipe that went out into the yard was filled.
French drain 6" pipe is slotted, where regular pipe is not. Slotted pipe is only sold with a fabric sock around it by outlets that know what they are doing, such has Home Depot. I saw the same thing in a cash and carry builder supply here with a sock. I've seen descriptions of a french drain field on the internet without a sock. Every time I see it that way I think of my filled-up pipe.
The rest of what I could tell you is all personal-experience stuff. Your situation could be so much different, as some of the other posts have pointed out. In my unusual case, there apparently had been a ravine between the houses when they were built that was filled in with a sand or gravel filler. We are on the downhill side of the resultant slope. When it rains in the neighbor's yard, it settles down and fills in the sand and gravel, all the way under the yards to my house. When they built an addition on to our house some years ago, they put the new brick corner right on top of one of the main runs for this groundwater run.
It caused no problem, but as I was waterproofing my foundation, I struck water. Every time I dug more than two feet deep, I had water in the hole. I started digging in other places to get the flow of the water by the various levels I found, usually two feet below the surface.
To fix it, I hand-dug a 6' deep trench 50' long and 2' wide. As I cut, I found the top 6-12 inches were dirt; below that I found this construction filler sand. My moisture meter found moisture in the dirt, but not in the sand, being above the water level. I concluded the dry reading showed that the sand could easily transport the water underground.
Once dug, I lined it with a roll of 6 mil plastic. At the bottom, I laid 6" french drain piping in a sock. At the end of the run, I put regular 6" pipe out to the street. I got permission from the city to put a hole in the curb, where I put a drain piece.
Technically, what I did wasn't a french drain. Since I already had sand and gravel in the ground, I didn't have to change it, saving me a fortune in labor and expense. Also, a real french drain is to catch rainwater running downhill on the surface of the ground, eventually seeping in. Since my groundwater was always more than two feet below the surface, it was not your typical french drain, especially since the pipe was six feet deep. And of course my 6 mil vinyl sheet along the trench blocked a potential of six feet of water seeping under my house. After a major rain, my drain will run for up to six days, hopefully indicating that the system works.
I also ran my gutters into it. A sewer guy from the city said to always use "Y" pieces to feed other runs into it, not "T"s.
One run was from our small basement. It was slimey due to no waterproofing on the foundation. Water was always standing and the former owner had plywood on concrete blocks set up to do her laundry. Six months after waterproofing, I had it bone-dry.
Since I am 72 and retired, I could take the six months necessary to do the project. If I had a contractor do it, it would have cost $5-10,000. Needless to say, it was good exercise.
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