Sump pump question

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Hello, Got alot of water in the basement last month during the floods. The water came up from below the floor. It was recommended I install a couple of sump pumps. How do I know this is going to work? In other words, how can i be sure the water is going to travel under the basement floor (sideways)? thanks.
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The house has two sump pumps in opposing corners of the basement and they work just fine when we get water in the drains. In a third corner, at eye level, is a 4x4 electrical box with a cover that has "Barnes Pumps" printed on it. It has a siren and a momentary contact rocker switch with a light on it. Above the rocker switch it says: Press the switch to silence the alarm or test the sump alarm.
Coming out the top of the box are four wires (red, white, red, and green; about 14 gauge) that go through the wall to the outside and into a conduit that goes into the ground. The side of the box has two 14/2 gauge Romex cables going in (or out).
If I press the rocker switch, nothing seems to happen. Can anyone tell me what the siren and switch are for?
Thanks in advance,
Mike Shapp snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com
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Is there power to it ? The siren I think is to let you know if the sump pump fails.
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Mike Shapp wrote:

I can only guess but I would say it is part of an old or no longing functioning alarm system that would tell you when there was a pump failure and the water rose. I believe I have been in the plant that makes them.
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Joseph Meehan

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Since you say its going outside and underground, my guess is that it's an alarm for an effluent pump that's in a pit next to your septic tank. These are used in areas where the effluent is drained off the top of the septic tank and pumped uphill to the fields

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RBM wrote:

That makes since since I believe Barnes does product this type of pump.

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I'm also speculating that if you need two sumps in the basement, you probably live in a bog and have to pump your septic out of it!!

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Thank you for the replies. It turns out that it's for an effluent pump for my septic system, not the sump pumps in the basement.
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The correct way of doing it is to install draintile (perforated plastic pipe) around entire perimeter leading to one sump. If you have gravel under the floor, the pipe is probably already there and you could just install a sump pit and pump
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hwm54112
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you won't really know until you dig the hole and wait for the next flood condition. first ask the neighbors if they have similar homes they have solved this problem already. but consult a local plumber and perhaps your local building permit office for the proper local advice.
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"The correct way of doing it is to install draintile (perforated plastic pipe) around entire perimeter leading to one sump. If you have gravel under the floor, the pipe is probably already there and you could just install a sump pit and pump "
I agree, except for that if a proper drainage system is put in when the foundation is built, the sump pump pit is almost always installed at that time too.
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On 19 Nov 2005 05:40:19 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I would think so.
While we're on this topic, a related question.
DO my town house neighbors who have only one sump pump, at the front, also have the perforated pipe in the back of their house with a long non-perforated pipe leading from the back of their houses to the sump pump in the front?
Background, probably not worth reading: I do have the perforated pipe (corrugated plastic, 6" I think). I'm in a townhouse, end of group, and I see two pipes coming into my sump. One from the side that I'm sure goes along the side of the house and wraps around the back, and one from the frontat the front that goes along the front.
My neighbors all have sump pumps like mine, only one, which I guess is fed from the front.
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Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of the yard, I am the only one to get water. Lots and lots of water. There is no pipe already installed. Looks like I am getting my self a jackhammer.

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Does that mean they have no sump pumps, or have NO water coming out of the sump pump if they have one.
Maybe you can grade the yard a bit near the house.

For the basement floor, right. If you are going to do this, that seems like the first step. Most soils will let the water go sideways to the sump. You know, Water finds its own level. That means it goes down.
So ISTM dig the sump first and put in the sump pump. Later you may have to put the perforated piping around the outside walls, but not necessaryily.

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Before anything else, I would do all in your power to change "the circumstances of the yard". Get some good landscape folks, a professional engineer, so someone who specializes in drainage out there to look at it. Speaking from experience
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I agree with this, shifting some dirt and topsoil around the yard is MUCH easier and has better results if it's possible to do it. If you have no way to keep the water out and you do need to install a sump, consider renting a concrete saw in addition to that jackhammer. If you cut the perimeter of the areas you want to remove before breaking it up, you'll get a much cleaner edge, less mess, and an easier time patching it back up when you're done.
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It is a continuous loop of perforated pipe around perimeter. Water can come up from any where under floor, not just along front and back walls
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On Sat, 19 Nov 2005 14:06:55 -0500, hwm54112

I should have said specifically that my neighbors have town houses that are not end of group. They only have front and back walls. That's why I'm thinking maybe there is a non-perforated pipe from the rear to the sump pump in the front. Does that sound correct?
Or does the pipe in the back of the 6 middle houses all empty into my sump and the sump of the guy at the other end?
If I got along with them better, I'd just ask to see their sump. :(
(I'm assuming your post was in answer to mine.)
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mm,
In your situation, each house will have it's own drainage system. All the pipe will be perforated.
Generally. drainage systems will consist of
1)Nothing or
2)Gravel or
3)Gravel with drain tile leading to a sewer, street curb, daylight drain or driwell. In this instance, a continous loop of perforated pipe (draintile) would be placed around perimeter of basement connected with a tee fitting with a pipe leading to the sewer, curb etc.,. no pump needed.
4) Gravel with drain tile leading to sump pit. Again, continous loop of pipe, both ends terminating in sump pit. From there, the water can either be pumped out or another pipe can be fitted to sump pit leading to sewer, street curb, etc.
As the systems ascend as listed, they obviously ascend in price. The second two do the same thing, it just depends on the grading of the lot and the age of the houses. Nowadays, it;s cheaper just to put in a full, pumped system than to do the extra digging to extend to daylight drains
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mm,
This thread has gotten a little confusing. Specifically to you, each townhouse will have it's own seperate system. It will consist of a continous loop of perforated pipe around entire perimeter of house with each end of pipe terminating in sump pit. From there, one of two things can happen
1) A third pipe can be installed leading to a sewer, street curb, driwell or daylight drain and water will drain out naturally
2) From sump pit, water can be pumped out.
Just because they are connected doesn't mean that all houses will act the same. It is quite possible that you have water in your sump and your neighbors are dry or vice versa. As such, they may or may not have pumps. All of the systems may have drained to daylight at one time and some of those daylight drains have fouled and now need pumps. It's hard to say.
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