Sump Pump & Leaky Basement

I am rehabbing a house that I hope to move in to that has had drainage problems in the basement. (Because I am not in the house all the time, it is hard to closely watch drainage issues as they occur.) About 5 days ago I installed parallel corrugated plastic piping on the western and eastern sides of the house to take advantage of a slight downward grade from west (back) to east (front) to take the water to a ditch and street that are in front of the house -- in fact, I posted questions about the piping last week.) Several days ago we had a small rain, and I noticed that the sump pump would discharge several times an hour about 4 hours after the rain. Last night and this morning we had a substantial amount of rain in Cincinnati (I would guess about about 1.5 or 2 inches) and when I visited the house at 7:30 in the morning there was several inches of water in the basement, and I did not hear the sump pump running. (Normally, there is a whoosh sound when the water is being discharged.) Unfortunately, I had a business meeting scheduled in the morning and was wearing a suit, so I couldn't go down into the water and look for the source, and I couldn't check the water flow in the corrugated piping. Because I didn't hear the sump pump running, my best guess was that the sump pump had shut down. (As far as I know, the electricity had not gone off earlier, and it was running at the time I was in the house.)
I was able to return at about 1:30 in the afternoon, and the sump pump was running, and the water had drained from the basement. My best guess is that the water overwhelmed the sump pump. Is that reasonable or are there other better explanations for what occurred. One factor that leads me to guess that the sump pump was overwhelmed was that a previous problem in one wall caused by a nearby downspout that emptied into a blocked pipe did not reoccur. [I installed a new gutter and directed the water to the front of the house and away from the pipe that was on the side of the house] I would add that water was not pooling near the house, but there was a significant puddle where the water from the sump pump drained out from a corrugated pipe about 20 feet from the house. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
JD
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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

I do not find that to be reasonable. A sump pump is a submersible by definition. Its possible that enough water was covering the pump so that you could not hear it. Since it was working later it is likely that it was working before and that you just couldnt' hear it. YOur other explantions lead me to believe that your system is working fine so far. The real test is: Is there any water damage in the basement??? If the basement is dry and the pump is working then there is no concern. If you are worried then you should buy a backup pump in case yours goes out. Some pumps even have a uninteruptible battery backup similaer to what folk use with their computers. then the pump would run for a time even in an outage at least long enough for you to get the generator running.
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You need to take a closer look at this situation. Formost is finding out how the water is entering your basement. It would take an awful lot of water entering to overwhelm a typical sump pump and if that is the actual case you're probably looking at more than a typical DIY the can address.
Places to look for ideas http://www.buildingscience.com/resources/homeowner.htm http://www.nawsrc.org/index.php

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a undersized sump pump discharge line or pumping the water to somewhere thats already filled with water might explain it, like pumping to a downspout drain line that ends in a drywell.
pumps are quiet when covered with water
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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com says...

You just had the pump too far underwater to hear it.
During TS Floyd, the power went out and my sump well was taking in a lot of water and the sump well was nearly full by time I got home from work to deal with it. Once I got the generator up and running and connected, I had a moment of concern when I didn't hear the pump working. But, once it worked for awhile and got the column of water above it more cleared away, I could definately hear it.
What do you mean by "corrugated piping? Do you mean perforated?
Banty
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5222154.stm

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The flexible black plastic pipe that is permeable to water.
JD
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