Prior to sump pump:
For 27 years, basement was dry as dust. No problems. This year, a
small dampness began in one corner. Salesman persuaded us to get sump
With sump pump:
As I understand it, they drilled "weep holes."
Assume that the sump pump isn't working:
1) Do these "weep holes" allow water to run in the basement faster,
and because the pump isn't working, the situation is worse than if you
had no sump pump system installed?
2) Or does the new drainage ditch which is part of the system hold a
lot of water that will seep into the ground and not overflow into the
basement unless you get a great quantity of rain?
What I'm asking is whether the drainage ditch compensates for the damn
Most sump pumps are very reliable and only go down when the power is
Not really. The weep holes only allow water that already entered the
wall to exit the wall and be pumped out. That water if not drained at the
bottom, will build up and seep out all over the wall and still get in.
I am going to guess they are going to put a drain around the outside of
the foundation and then provide a way to move it away from your foundation.
This is the most important part of the system, it gets the water away from
your foundation so you don't have a problem to start with and the stuff on
the inside is just a back up.
The design will determine how much it can handle before it is
You do want this it is a very good thing.
It is also possible that you are talking about something inside the
foundation, see below. The contractor may have determined that the outside
system is OK and you just need the inside backup system, or decided it would
be more economic to try an inside fix. We can't tell from here. In any
case you want to make sure you have a good working drainage system outside
your foundation before you consider anything inside. You want to keep the
water away from you home not pump it out after it gets in.
You want to make sure the ground, driveways etc. all slope away from
your foundation in all directions for at least 10-20 feet and the water from
the roof is also directed away from your foundation. Do this before doing
This may be a small depression next to the outside walls of your
basement. If that, they work by moving the water from the weep holes to
move it to the sump where the pump moves it away from your home.
If your basement was perfectly dry for 27 years and only has slight
dampness in one corner now, I sure wouldn't be in a rush to fool
around with adding a sump pump system and spending money. What has
changed? Has there been an unusual amount of rain? Or is something
going wrong outside, like clogged gutters, leaders not directing water
away from the house, change in landscape grading etc?
On 5 Sep 2004 08:02:54 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Chet Hayes)
OK, the original house was built in '77 with an addition in '93. The
dampness started this year and is in the area where the old basement
wall meets the addition wall. Apparently the sealer or parging or
whatever you call it used by the 2nd builder has deteriorated.
Salesman insisted it would only worsen and because we're stupid when
it comes to home repair, we bought the sump system. Too late to turn
back now. He said it would've cost three times as much to fix it from
the outside because of OSHA safety regulations, etc.
Power outages here have gotten more frequent with time, even in calm
weather, and that's my biggest worry. Don't like the idea of these
two big marine/rv batteries charging 24/7 as recommended by the
waterproofing co. The first charger apparently couldn't go into
trickle stage, overcharged, and caused the batteries to throw off H2
that triggered the CO sensors. The new charger seems to be OK but I
disconnect it at night for peace of mind.
Don't need this crap at age 60.
Yea, it may cost more to fix it from the outside (don't blame OSHA, it
is just more work) but in the long run that is better than putting a bandage
on the inside.
I suspect however that the end result will not be all that bad. I wish
you luck. If for some reason the fix fails, don't bother trying to make it
work, just do it right from the outside.
If you are on city water, there is a jet type pump that uses the city
water pressure to pump the sump. You may want to look into that at some
time in the future.
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