Sump Pump and flooding questions

We had a house built three years ago. Never had a problem with water in the basement...until today. Lots of water down there. We did get a massive 3" of rain in only a few hours, and the power went out for a bit so the sump pump couldn't work. This has happened before and there wasn't any problem. Also none of my neighbors had any flooding problems and their power was out as well.
Recently builders have dug up the land right beside us as a new development is going in. Sewers are getting installed. This is the first big rain since they dug everything up. I'm worried they may have broken a pipe or done something to cause water to back up into my basement.
I didn't see any water around the outside of the house. I don't really know how a sump pump works or how the water gets in there. But I need to figure this out. I'd appreciate any ideas or input on this. thank you.
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69strat wrote:

Did they lay the floor in the new house next door? This can cause pressure in the ground water and raise the level a bit causing neighboring houses to take more water.
Sump works by ahh skip it, see this website www.misterfix-it.com/keepbasementdry2.pdf
--
Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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No they did install the sewer stuff and a road will be next to us. We will be on a corner and a house will eventually be built behind us. The tractors have been digging beside us for weeks. It's quite loud and sometimes the house even shakes a bit!
makes me pretty upset, but I don't know what I can do. If it is some damage caused by them, how would I go about finding out? They'll just deny anything saying they didn't touch anything.
The sump was working when power was restored. I asked surrounding neighbors and no one got water except lucky us.
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They could have changed the drainage significantly without doing anything improper. It is unlikely they broke a pipe without noticing.

My sumppump has not pumped in 23 years (in fact, I just found out it doesn't even work, but have not decided whether to replace it), while other houses on the street have water problems. In my old house I got 5' of water in my basement during a major power outage, while the house across the street got none. It can vary...
How much water did you get? An inch, a foot? How long was the power out? Did the pump handle the water when you got power back? It is hard to give you any meaningful advice without knowing what happened.
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69strat wrote:

If the sump pump is working it should be pumping anytime there is water in the basement. Does it come on at all now? I suspect it is dead and needs replaced. You may want to consider backup plans as well. You seem to have power outage issues so a pump not dependent on the local power grid would be advisable. There are pumps that work on water pressure and water is usually available even during storms, unless you are on a well system. There are also battery backup, but I don't have a lot of faith in them as you would need a huge battery to supply enough power to handle any serious power outage and water problem.
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Joseph Meehan

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I will definitely check into a back up system. We did have record rain fall yesterday and the power was out on top of that. Still the neighbors stayed dry.
where can I find a water pressure pump?
thank you!
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69strat wrote:

Check out:
http://journeytoforever.org/at_waterpump.html
http://www.pumpbiz.com/products/index.cfm?fuseaction=pump_series&series_id 0 http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_improvement/home_owner_clinic/1275381.html http://www.statefarm.com/consumer/vhouse/articles/sumpump.htm http://www.do-it-yourself-pumps.com/homeguard.htm http://www.basepump.com/--Joseph MeehanDia duit
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Call the county / city utility departments and find out who might be familiar with the water table level around your area. What's its depth? There should be some civil engineer type who will be knowledgeable, but you'll have to ask around to find him. describe your situation to him.
With the new excavations, maybe a hole filled in with water during the rain that then fed water toward your place. If so, that will cure itself. However, if you have a high water table, and they are changing the terrain, they might be creating a more permanent problem for you. I'd get on top of this ASAP.
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