How do I fix this basement leak?

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Agree with the above, CL, Chomper, etc. This isn't right. Wood should not be below grade. We don't know what the rest of the grading/design is, but I would start there and figure out how much wood is below grade and what it would take to rectify it. Since this wood is kaput it's likely the rest is in trouble too. This was probably designed correctly, but then when the final grading was done, they did not grade it correctly.
You could bandaid the current problem somehow, but it's not the right solution and if you have other similar wood, it's going to be causing problems before long. One other thing, this kind of condition is a prime target for termites.
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As you can kind of see from that one pic (looking at the pond) all the houses are landscaped exactly the same. Grade was brought within an inch of the bottom of the door wall. If it doesn't rain today I'm going to dig in front of the doorwall and on the far side to see what they did. The more I think about it, I might have to pour some concrete to replace the wood AND maybe pour a small concrete landing/patio couple inches under the doorwall, which won't require too much of a slope away from the house (like 1/4" per 1'). This should get all wood above grade.
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On 4/27/2013 10:30 PM, CraigT wrote:

Bad design! You must not have building inspectors where you live, or it wasn't inspected correctly. How many more of the sills around the house are below grade?
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
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Agreed.
Well, it's raining today and I noticed something that is making the problem even worse. The perforated drainage tube that goes down to the drainage tube, that empties into to the sump pump (then it is pumped to the pond), well because the footing sticks out about 6" at back of the house this drainage tube is sloped at an angle and a lot of the rain water is emptying out of the perforations and being deposited right next to the wall.
http://i.imgur.com/d3mWoCj.jpg
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I have no idea that all that means and the pic doesn't show it in context.
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I have no idea that all that means and the pic doesn't show it in context.
The downspout should have had a gooseneck in it to get it 6" away from the siding so that when it runs into to the drainage tube the drainage tube would end up more vertical and not at an angle. The drainage tube being perforated, all the water is just running out at the bottom of that slope.
http://i.imgur.com/6iJMuPL.jpg
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OK, that makes more sense. So, you're saying the water from the gutters goes into a PERFORATED pipe and that in turn feeds into the sump pump? That, IMO, is really dumb for 2 reasons:
1 - Why would it be perforated?
2 - Why would you channel water into a sump pit where it has to be pumped out, instead of just running it over to the lower area, pond etc directly? Among other bad things, what happens if the electricity goes out during a rain storm?
Are you sure it doesn't go over to the pond directly? Perhaps the output from the sump pump feeding into the same line?
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OK, that makes more sense. So, you're saying the water from the gutters goes into a PERFORATED pipe and that in turn feeds into the sump pump? That, IMO, is really dumb for 2 reasons:
1 - Why would it be perforated?
2 - Why would you channel water into a sump pit where it has to be pumped out, instead of just running it over to the lower area, pond etc directly? Among other bad things, what happens if the electricity goes out during a rain storm?
Are you sure it doesn't go over to the pond directly? Perhaps the output from the sump pump feeding into the same line?
Nope. ALL the rain water collected from the roof goes into the drainage tubes that run around the perimeter of the house. This runs to the sump pump which pumps it into the pond. This is typical for the entire subdivision.
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You really live in one screwed up place. You only pump water from the gutters if it's absolutely necessary, for obvious reasons. And with that nice grade you have down to the pond, no reason for pumping it. Reasons it's a bad idea:
Gravity drain is simple, zero energy cost and realiable
You want water going away from the house, not down into the weeping tile system to add to what's there
If most of the roof water goes to the sump pump, I'm suprised it can even handle it during a downpour.
If power goes out, it's bad enough if the sump pump was just removing ground water. With the way yours is done, even if there isn't any ground water flowing into the pit, if power is lost, the sump pump fails, etc, you're gonna flood the basement from the roof water. And if it does start to flood, you could have an enormous amount of water in no time.
If that were my house, I'd change that ASAP.
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On Sun, 28 Apr 2013 11:33:33 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

I came home one day and found my sump pump runing full blast and still the basement floor was flooded. Just a little bit but the entire floor and not deep because all the boxes on the floor had sucked up lots of water. Much** of the water from my downspouts goes indirectly into my sump pump but it takes hours or days to get there. It's not piped direct ly into the sump pump, like Craig's is.. **And much of the water from the roof and downspouts seeps to the edge of my property and into the stream bed on two sides of my house.

Trader's right on everything. They sell battery run sumppumps that can be hooked in parallel with the 110V pump, but their capacity is much lower that the 110volt pump.. They sell water-powered pumps that can also run in parallel, but even the biggest of these has a much lower capacity.
Where do you live? What's the annual rainfall? What month has the highest month's rainfall? How much is that?
Unless you live in Death Valley, I think you have a problem. And I don't think you can rely on the buildre's judgment considering his use of wood.
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wrote:

I was thinking about what I wrote here. It probably doesn't take days for water, on top of the current water table, to get from the backt of the house to the front.
What I do, and the OP can do, is look at the water level in the sump when it's not raining. I always have a little water, but it's almost 2 feet below the basement floor.
Then look when and after it's been raining. My sump pump goes on and t hen stops for 5 minutes, or more or less. That one time it was runnning constantly, and even then that might have been enough to keep up with the water if the water input had been less. I've had flooded basements for various reasons, and the water level never gets above 1/8", and only once has it gotten out of the laundry room. I glued a piece of wood in the doorway, so it won't get out of the laundry room again, but it is a big sign when I sell the house that I've had flooding, even if I've solved all the reasons it flooded. Oh, well.
But none of this helps when there is a power failure, or pump failure, or you're out of town for a long time and had forgotten to pay the electric bill so you were behind before you left,l and they disconnect your electricity.
IIRC, they make a pump of the same configuration that's bigger than what I have 1/2HP instead of 1/3, or 1/3 instead of 1/4. I keep meaning to replace mine. I also keep looking for a basepump, but I've decided after years that all of the ones on Ebay will be almost as expensive as new.
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I wonder how much of the roof water goes into his basement sump pit? If it's all of it or most of it, I'm surprised that he hasn't had a flood even with the pump running. It depends on his roof area and the rain rate. But just looking at a gutter downspout from any reasonable size roof, during a heavy downpour, it's a hell of a lot of water. And you're gonna pump all that plus some ground water too, througha 1 1/2" pipe? As Bart Simpson would say, Ahye Karumba!
Sometimes you have to use a sump pump for some rainwater as a last resort because of geography. But in his case, he has a nice sloping backyard going down to a pond.... In the house I grew up in, we had a gravity drain that went several hundred feet down to the flood plain of a creek. It was more work, more install cost, etc, but far more reliable than a sump pump. And our roof water didn't go into it....
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On Tue, 30 Apr 2013 07:10:26 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Absolutely. He should fix this.
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gravity drain to daylight is always a better choice, even if its a overflow drain.
years ago we had a hurricane come thru pittsburgh, it knocked out power for many, including those using sump pumps.
one neighbor prevented a flood by bucket bailing for 24 hours. I suggested a siphon since his home sits well over the street level...
for unknown reasons he refused to consider a gravity drain till the next storm, he and his family were on vacation, the flood ruined his basement that had just been remodeled, after that I noted digging had occured, when I asked him about it he wasnt happy and swore under his breathe......
kinda like the neighbor who mounted his dish to the chimney, I told that fellow I was a dish dealer and the chimne was a poor choice, the pan acts like a sail and can bring down a chimney.... he said antennas always go on the chimney....
within a month a big storm came thru and took out his chimney the falling bricks damaged his deck and deck stuff..
his dish went on his deck where it should of gone from day one
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Some people just have to learn the hard way.... :)
Reminds me of the time I was living in a condo that was new construction. Sump pumps were "optional" even though there is no question they were needed. Some time after closing I discovered that the discharge pipe from mine ended just short of the sidewalk outside, buried in the soil, instead of continuing another 25 ft over to a swale.
So, no worry, it's part of the outside and the condo assoc. problem, not mine. So, they were fixing it. My previous digging had established that not only was mine going nowhere, so was the one from my neighbor in the adjoining unit. They were built like mirror images, so his pump was near mine.
So, I show him how his ends underground in the dirt. He's like, "Isn't it supposed to be like that? " You'd have to be a bird brain to think that you can just end a pipe a foot underground and pump volumes of water out. But I couldn't get the point across and instead of having his taken care of while they were doing mine, he just went on his merry way. Don't know if the basement ever flooded, but I would bet it did.
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On Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:34:59 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Arnie, start here:

Is there a practical upper limit to the diameter of a siphon?
Is there a way to make a siphon of any diameter start automatically when water level gets high enough, or do you have to be there to start it?
I've used a small diameter garden hose as a siphon, but I'm not sure I could get a bigger diameter to work.
When I was in college, our apartment bathroom had separate hot and cold faucets, and the hot water was too hot to use. They sold mixers at the hardware store, but because the two faucets were "pigeon toed", the mixer wouldn't stay on. I twisted each faucet a little to make them closer to straight, especially the cold water. A few days later, the cold water started to leak under the sink.
Put a bucket under the leak, but what to do when the bucket filled up an hour later. I could empty it but what about night time? I put the waste basket upside down and put the bucket on it, then some rubber tubing to make a siphon towards the toilet. A big soda straw to go the last 8 inches, under the seat.
Not only did it siphon water out of the bucket, it turned out to be self-regulating, and would siphon faster when the bucket was more nearly full, and slower when it was more nearly empty. So it required no attention at all and siphoned for 5 days until the plumber came.
Oh, I put a washcloth along the path of the leak so we did't have to listen to that either.

-- End here.
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wrote:

I'd be selling while the selling's good and finding a place that was built properly.
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leakage problems are the most worst problems it ruins the beauty of your home you should take care of all these leaking issues and make sure they all are be fix on time. http://www.pondpro2000.com/epdm-pond-liner.html
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The OP might want to check with the local building dept to see what the bui lder was suppposed to do and see if it was really that screwed up when the original plans were approved. I can't imagine anyone with an ounce of brai ns that would run roof rainwater into any sort of system that would not mov e 100% of the water 8 - 10 feet away from the edge of the house. And, who in their right mind would put wood, treated or not, in direct contact with earth that gets saturated every time it rains.
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