I posted this also in misc.consumers.house but this seems a better place
since its about a repair.
I had someone come look at a crack in my basement floor and they said it
was due to hydrostatic pressure (water under the house). The crack was
damp. I also had a toilet installed in the basement and the cement we
relaid is also damp along the perimiter and some of it is just plain
damp/moist (simply darker due to water presence). There was indeed
water under the house when we removed the cement to lay the toilet pipe.
The guy suggested I install a drainage system under my basement. The
house is 2.5 years old and seems to have an existing foundation drainage
system. It has a sump pump and a bunch of cleanouts along the perimeter
of the basement (I havent figured out how to open the countersunk
slotted cleanout plugs) Is it really necessary to suppliment the
foundation drainage system with an internal one? Could the foundation
drainage system be clogged?
I live in Michigan, and running by my house is a swampish/streamish
thing. So the water table is not too low.
I recall shortly after we moved in (when spring came) the sump water
began to run dirty, and the pump got clogged. I cleaned the pit of lots
of dirt and also about 3-4 cups of tar. The sump got clogged again
within 6 months and had to be cleaned again. The pump runs about every
minute at this point.
Then I turned down the sprinkler system and it seemed to slow
appreciably. About every 5 minutes.
I am wondering if maybe some of that dirt got stuck in the pipes and the
system needs cleaning? Is it possible to clean the foundation drain or
is this something that is just bad now?? Should I patch the crack
without dealing with the water? Is it ok to just put some sealant over
the cement floor to prevent the moisture weeping up through the cement?
Not sure what to do.
Thanks for any tips!
2.5 years old? Are you the orginal owner? What was the warranty from the
builder on the structure?
I would check with my neighbors and the local authority about this before
paying anything out of pocket. The builder may be on the hook for this. You
need a pro to evulate the situation and advise you.
I had a plumber out today. Of the 7 cleanouts in my basement one is
actually the sewer cleanout. The other 6 are for the house. Like so
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The two at the topside are filled with sand. The lower left 2 are
working well. The bottom middle one is full of tar. And I didnt open
the bottom right one. The sump is the ().
So I'm going to call the builder and see what she will do about it. The
sump pit is also loaded with dirt, but that dirt looks like it probably
came out of the clean pipes as its not the same as the black sand on the
Those that I say are 'filled' with something also means they are full of
water too. 2 work, 3 don't 4th unknown.
I think this is a good time to snap some photos.
A properly designed and instaled drain tile system can remain clean.
mine is 80 yrs old and is not clogged. Normaly the tile should be
surounded in gravel but today tile are avalaible with plastic filter
socks. Filter socks and imbedding it in gravel should make it non
clogging. I suspect you builder cheaped out on the details and it is
clogged. It may be possible to flush it . Get a pro out and look at your
warranty and bldg specs
When you say "pro" what do you mean? We had a plumber. He also said it
was likely they skimped on the sock installation. What kind of person
do i need besides a plumber?
This whole thing started as floor crack patch which was still under home
warranty, so its likely the builder will have to cover it due to the
home warranty they gave us.
Had a plumber out again. He snaked all clogged pipes. Turns out that
tarred pipe was just superficial, and it too is filled with sand. After
snaking them all, there was no change. I then on my own bought a shop
vac, a snake, and some food dye. vacuumed out the sand I could see.
Snaked as best I could. Then I dumped a bucked of green dye in the
topmost cleanout. It went through the pipe as if there was no problem.
I ran hot water right in behind it with full flow. The water level
did not raise, and the water according to the dye, went straight to the
sump, and not out the other way.
So it turns out none of my pipes are "blocked" they are just sand-dammed
for lack of a better term. I looked in each and the water level is 3.5"
high, the exact diameter of the pipe. So I'm thinking the plumber
should have run the snake thru the pipe, and let it run for about 10
minutes while running water through the pipe.
So essentially my water level is 3.5" too high. If I can drop it these
3.5" I dont think it will be seeping up into the cement and weeping out.
I can lay my carpet then.
I have a snake and I'm going to try this, though I cant seem to get the
snake all the way thru the pipe to the sump. It wont turn some corner
or something. I'll give it another hour tonite. If I clean that pipe,
then Ill make the plumber come back out and clear the other 3 since I
paid $350 already for the job...Wish me luck.
where do they drain to? out the back or to the sump pump? if out the
back try snaking from there back to the house. friend of mine had
similar prob and drains ran to retaining wall but builder failed to vent
pipe out from behind wall. once he found them and drilled big hole
for them to drain, no prob. anymore.
I'd also take a good look around outside and make sure all rainwater is
directed away from the house as far as practical. Take a look during a
good rainstorm to verify that everything is working. The grading
should slope away from the house at all points.
Yes, pretty much on the top of a small hill I think they created for the
house. back yard slopes away for probably 30'-40'. The sump dumps the
water into a pipe in the back yard that empties in a small swamp about
25' away and quite a bit down, but still higher than the basement floor,
and likely lots of it does come back in. Small stream/swamp thingy goes
next to the west side of my house. about 30' feet away and 1/2 basement
height I would say. Im going to speak with the city and see if they
will allow me to pipe this thing and extend it back to the end of my
yard to get some relief. Its a new home so I would hope they wouldnt
just allow a home to be built without consideration for the area ground
and surface water.
If you look at the small text diagram I drew, there is a sump pump in
the corner they run too. The ones next to the pump flow freely, the
rest do flow freely as well, but have elevated water level. The
original installer suggested I try snaking it back from the sump pit.
He also suggested running water though the pipe would erode the sand
away, though I dont know how long this would take. I might give it an
hour and see.
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