Sump pumps, storm drain, french drains and flooding

Page 2 of 2  


I try to inform anybody building a house, garage, barn and etc. that the work that is done underground is very expensive to go back and fix, so it MUST be done right. Everyhting above ground can be fix relatively much cheaper.
I went to look at a new house that my daughter was thinking about buying. The basement had about 4 inches of water in it. It also had a sump pump. I looked at the pedestal type pump and noticed that the elec. cord was laying over the switch lever and not allowing the float to come up. I took a chance and made a very low offer for my daughter because we wasn't sure if that was the only problem. I didn't tell the realtor about the wire. The builder took the offer. After my daughter closed, I went and re-routed the wire and pumped out the basement. A little water had gotten into the block, but it had seeped out in a few days and everything was fine. I got lucky and it paid off big time. She sold the house 5 years later and doubled her money.
Hank
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I try to inform anybody building a house, garage, barn and etc. that the work that is done underground is very expensive to go back and fix, so it MUST be done right. Everyhting above ground can be fix relatively much cheaper.
I went to look at a new house that my daughter was thinking about buying. The basement had about 4 inches of water in it. It also had a sump pump. I looked at the pedestal type pump and noticed that the elec. cord was laying over the switch lever and not allowing the float to come up. I took a chance and made a very low offer for my daughter because we wasn't sure if that was the only problem. I didn't tell the realtor about the wire. The builder took the offer. After my daughter closed, I went and re-routed the wire and pumped out the basement. A little water had gotten into the block, but it had seeped out in a few days and everything was fine. I got lucky and it paid off big time. She sold the house 5 years later and doubled her money.
Hank --------------------------------------------------------------------- Whatever happened to this house happened a bit before I was born. The last of the original owners died about 8 years ago, IIRC. What you say is true, of course, but sometimes you have to play the hand you're dealt, not the one you'd like to play. Also, since these houses were built to handle the overflow of government workers that were needed to fight WWII, they were built quickly and during a shortage of all sorts of luxuries - like the absence of a layer of builder's paper which results in fine plaster duster "raining" in the basement, even through two layers of suspend ceiling, which were in place to conceal the termite damage . . . You get the idea. That's why they call them fixer-uppers.
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I think it has been determine NOT to plug the hole at the basement. If you do, water may get under the basemant concrete, raise it and possibly crack the floor. Besides, it would still seep in around the foundation.
Those rubber plugs are mainly to keep out sewer gases, Radon and etc.
Hank -------------------------------------------------------------------------- I went to plumbing supply store yesterday in search of both a "test plug" and cartridges for my "Lifetime" faucet (FWIW, the valves didn't last a lifetime and neither did the company). I found several models of the plug - a plastic lever action deal that didn't look very sturdy and the kind with two metal disks sandwiching ribbed rubber plug. You tighten it with an oversized wing nut.
The plug can't be tested until the next 100 year storm which should be coming along this year if things continue the way they are going, weatherwise. <grinning but not really!> We just wanted to have it as an option. When water begins to come up in either of our floor drains, we will install it and then carefully monitor for water entering from other areas. I also bought a three-foot long video inspection camera with a waterproof, LED lighted probe.
My concern at this point is whether the French drain around the perimeter of our house is connected to the floor drain. My friend is quite adamant in his belief that they are interconnected, but I don't. I think the addition of French drains and the outside sump was meant to control the damp wall, not the floor drain emitting a steady surge of water. I believe they may have THOUGHT they were also fixing the backflow floor drain problem but were mistaken.
As a side benefit, even though the big plumbing supply house (Ferguson's on RT. 1 in Laurel, MD) had the test plug, they no longer carry faucet replacement parts so they gave me the name of a retired plumber whose specialty is older gear and has a little shop across the tracks and under a bridge. On my next trip north I will stop by. Also made my first trip to Harbor Freight, but that the subject for another post.
We got two sets of small (300GPH) pumps, one runs on AC, the other 12VDC. Both will have their inlet pipes pushed down into the floor drain along with electronic water sensors that can trigger a relay for each pump with the battery powered pump sensor positioned a bit higher. Essentially the floor drain will be a "micro sump." So far, I'm about $100 in on the project. Well, $219 if you add in the Harbor Freight Centech inspection cam. That really has to amortized because I saved myself the price of a second RF enabled key for my van by locating where it was stuck behind the seat. Then I located the elusive drain hole for my Honda's sunroof that I might have ended up taking the sunroof off to find without the little inspection cam.
Found where the dog hides under the bed, could read the label off a pill bottle stuck behind the huge bookcases, was able to read the date off a quarter in a bucket of water. It's got a three foot long waterproof gooseneck cable, a micro cam and 2 LEDs on one end, and a trigger grip head end with an LCD screen and controls. Runs on 4 AA's and feels relatively well balanced. Image cuts out when you flex the cable - not happy about that. All in all a self-lit eye on a stalk is a pretty useful thing.
Ironically the only place where I had real problems showing me anything useful was, of course, in the floor drain - the very reason I bought the damn thing! I could tell that it needs a very thorough snaking - actually both my drain and my neighbor's drain probably do - I only looked at mine.
Saw what could be white PVC entering the drain from the side, but it could also be a white piece of paper. Image is small on an 2.4" LCD and although instructions said "includes video cable" to attach to a much larger screen, no such cable came with it. Nor did any cable that *should* have worked do anything. I got a bad feeling about this purchase. Called HF to get the cable they omitted and the gentlemen said "6 to 8 weeks." Not a very good first HF experience.
While I'm usually pretty good at placing English accents (learned that Aussies hate being called Brits and vice-versa) I could NOT localize this guy. He'd go from American to Irish to Scotch to South African to Australian. He'd go from sounding like Groundskeeper Willy to the Lucky Charms Leprechaun and back to an almost Texan cowboy twang. So I had to ask him. He said "We are located in India." Of course! They probably learn English from a variety of foreigners.
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Geez, nothing like a thread hijacking from our two resident America bashers to turn a useful thread into political BS. A drain backs up and Harry's right there to bash America? Could TTD be far behing chiming in on his favorite "Harrylike" belief that Obama only became POTUS to destroy America as we know it?
Geez. Follow the logic carefully to see where it evaporates . . .
Prinz Harry > > I must say I am amazed at the porr standard of construction of Prinz Harry > > basements in America that have all these problems.
Harry, when you generalize from a single example to damn an entire country, don't you think you're reaching?
Who's gonna believe anything you say if your logic operates so sloppily? We are talking about the tiny sample of two 70 year old houses built quickly and on the cheap so that American workers making and shipping all YOUR war supplies would have a place to live. Ironic how now you damn the very houses and country that saved your warm beer and unremarkable food from extinction, all because of a plugged drain.
BTW, I just bought a set of newly remastered DVDs of the British series, "World at War." While I'll have to go back to get the name, one of your officers described how it was necessary to tell Brits during the war that *they* were the ones winning it, and not the endless flow of supplies and troops from the US. Of the Americans they would only somewhat humourously say "Overpaid, oversexed and over here!"
He talked about the psychological "need" for the bombed out, beaten down Brits to feel that they were finally turning the tide. He acknowledged how much American flag officers (and probably everyone else) despised Montgomery for his continual credit stealing. So now I know it's not necessarily a lack of intelligence that leads you to believe Britain won WWII.
There was a determined effort by the British government to make that story the official word on the matter, hence there's a generation or two completely ignorant of the facts, or as the old joke goes. "If you're so smart, who won WWII?" Not Merry Olde England, Harry. Without us, you might have grown up learning how to recite "Mein Kampf" in the original German.
And of course, one bash at America below the belt deserves another bite on America's ear.

Oh boy, we go from Harry's Universal Bad Actor, the US, to Duf's number one favorite American Bad Actor, Obama. Duf, you don't really think lowering our economic ranking is the President's goal, do you? Can you point to the things he's done that are "turning the US into a third world country?" Or is this just a general belief on your part based on evidence not yet introduced into reality?
The budget cuts demanded by Boehner will cost what the CBO says could be 65,000 Headstart teaching jobs. How will higher unemployment numbers help us to avoid third world country status? Where does Boehner think those teachers will go once his cuts get them fired? I'll take a guess - they will either go on unemployment or welfare or find non-living wage work at Wal-Mart or Wendies. They'll lose benefits and wages. The budget cuts of Obama's sworn enemies, the Republicans, sound like a force very capable of pushing us into third world wage-slave status, at least one understandable in terms of economics instead of magical thinking.
In a time of a sluggish economy, throwing even more people off the work rolls helps no one except Big Business, who can now get educated employees like former teachers at little more than minimum wage. We are beholden to the God of The Current Dow Jones Industrial Average. Firing workers makes stock prices go up, the theory goes, because the company is now becoming "more efficient." We all know what that really means when we can't find a clerk to help us in a store. "More efficient" means "Understaffed!"
When Bush managed to get us united in an effort to invade Iraq, I just can't remember even hearing a *whisper* of what we're hearing now: "What about our children?!? How can we saddle them with this enormous war debt?" Not a peep out of either side, really. Now the Republicans are involved in mostly revenge funding cuts. And yes, I know you're not a Republican. I am sure they wouldn't have you. But denying that specific label doesn't mean your political views don't fall to the right of Gengis Khan. (-:
So when you lapse into your kneejerk couplet "I am not Republican" and "Bush isn't President anymore" whenever you see the word Bush in the screen, remember this: I'll stop talking about Bush when we've finished paying for the two wars he got us into without a care about the future bill. The two wars where we are still knee deep in our own blood and treasure. I figure that' going to take another 20 years to pay for.
Do we really need to spend as much on defense as the next 15 most powerful countries combined? Don't you think that being unwilling to cut defense means that the "kill NPR and Headstart" proposals are NOT genuine money saving cuts. My dead grandmother could see what they are: attempts to punish the left by killling off their pet projects and *she* wondered why Alan Shepard didn't see the angels.
I'm pretty sick about either side doing it. The Democrats whined and moaned about Bush's firing of USDistAtty's around the country. The law SAYS he can, yet the left went at it non-stop - not at changing the law - but insisting that somehow by following the law, Bush did something horribly wrong. It was a colossal waste of taxpayer time and money. It went exactly no where, the way I said it would when that witchhunt started. Now it's time for the Republicans to hunt witches while Rome burns.
What witches plague Republicans: Unions, HeadStart, NPR and everyone else on their enemy list. They believe so strongly that these cuts are meaningful they'll shut down government to prove it. God does this ever sound like Gingrich v. Clinton, the last century's "Fight of the Century." You can *always* count on history to repeat itself. Especially bad history.
Now that everyone's had their huge off-topic belch, can we get back to thread at hand? Please?
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/8/2011 12:30 AM, Robert Green wrote:

Sorry, sometimes my comedy/irony goes right over the heads of some folks. NEVER TAKE ME TOO SERIOUSLY! I have had people get bent out of shape at me because they take a disagreement as a personal attack. They come from both sides so I don't pick on one more than the other but those of a Liberal bent react with the most emotion and hysteria which makes them much more fun to jape. ^_^
You must remember, I'm not a Republican, Republicans disgust me but Democrats are special, they horrify me. :-)
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/8/2011 2:39 AM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

disgusting. Dem's don't horrify me at all, they just don't apply tough love often enough. What they all have in common is the stuff they want to obtain without paying for it...Republicans only for themselves, Dem's for everyone.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How about Obama's recently submitted budget, that according to the CBO, will add $9.5tril to the national debt in the next 10 years. Any more questions?

Boo hooo. If that's the solution, then let;s just run even bigger deficits and give everyone another make work job. You sound like the idiot Harry Reid, crying about how the nasty Republicans would cut funding for the cowboy poet festival held in Nevada. He claimed 10,000 people wouldn't exist without that federal spending. And at a time when the US is drowning in debt. Unbelievable.
>How will higher unemployment numbers help

By allowing the non govt economy to create real, productive jobs, just like it always has.

Not Boehner or anyone elses problem, any more than it is when Intel, IBM, or the local restaurant has to lay off employees.,
>I'll take a guess - they

Maybe. But if they have any qualifications or motivation, they will find another job just like the rest of us.

Yeah, those nasty Republicans want to cut $75bil or so out of a $3.7 trillion budget and you lib loons act like it's sooooo extreme. What a crock. EXTREME! that's the talking point message of the libs.

The Dow went from 1000 in the 80s to 12,000 today. And until the last few years, unemployment was lower than ever before in history. So much for that crock. And most of that huge growth in the DOW was accompanied by huge amounts of job creation. You really need to take a course in economics.

Unbelievable. The Republicans want to cut $75bil from a $3.8 trillion proposed budget at at time when the future economic security of the country is at stake because we're going broke, and you call it revenge? The budget just 5 years ago was just $2.7 trillion. A typical household that was in financial trouble could cut back it's spending to it's level of 5 years ago. If the feds did that, we'd be talking about a budget cut of $1.1 trillion, not the miniscule $75 bil that you claim is soooo severe. What a joke.

Let's look at the facts. The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, spanning a decade now, is about $1 tril. Obama's budget adds that much in new debt EACH year for the next decade. His economic stimulus program, which created few jobs, cost $850bil. How's that for perspective?

The problem of course is that the Constitution specifically says the federal govt has responsibility for defense of the nation. I'm still looking for the part where its says the govt has responsibility for forcing Americans to buy healthcare, to fund NPR, or Harry Reid's cowboy poet festival.

As long as the witches are costing us money and bankrupting us, I hope they continue. One new Republican Congressman from FL got a bill passed that saves $400mil over the next decades. That one came out of waste in the dept of defense. If every idiot like Harry Reid could do that, we'd have 550 times $400mil in savings and a lot more dead witches.

Better to shut it down today. The alternative is to just go on spending, per Obama's budget, and take the $14trillion debt to $23 trillion in ten years. If we're gonna have a calamity, I'd rather have it right now before the govt takes over MORE of GDP and we're all working until Nov to pay our taxes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

there is never a good time, there will always be some reason not to. The other problems behind the deficit (besides saddling the kiddies with our debts) is that lending to the government crowds out lending to others which is more productive, and the inevitable inflation. BTW: Head Start is another third rail, even though studies (at least from the mid-70s forward) show that any advantage is lost by third grade. It is magical thinking to think that putting off cuts in major programs will do us any good.

And people extol the virtues of bipartisanship. (g).

he made (at least in action) that if the Congress did not complain too much about his spending on the war, he wouldn't complain too much about their spending on their pet projects. When allocating blame you also to have to remember that about 15%-20% of the spending on the "war Bills" went to domestic earmarks to buy votes. Again, he definitely did not argue with anybody, but still the Congress contributed their share (and yes the Congress much of the time was GOP-Controlled which is especially galling to me.)

Nixon. They all have their witches to hunt.

--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I really question the timing of doing it in a severe recession where Wall St. is fixated on numbers that make the economy look like it's improving. As a student of history, you're well aware that this very same scenario played out after the Great Depression. Married female teachers were mostly shown the door - something I only learned recently. Fiscal hawks were determined to slash government spending then as now. Economists seem to have said, then as now, that when business has "gone off the rails" it's only government spending that can re-prime the economic pump. What I worry about most is that then it took WWII to pull us out of the Great Depression and that it will take WWIII to do the same for this economy.

I don't believe it's magical thinking to get these kids away from the TV set and interacting with a person of age and supposed authority. Studies about the effectiveness of HS are all over the map. Common sense tells me the only way to keep the next generation of kids off the welfare rolls is to smarten them up enough to know the difference between "I've been asked to STFU" or "I been axed to STFU." When the President can't pronounce the word "nuclear" properly, I wonder if he should be the one to determine when they are used. (-:

Yeah, well, I've looked at the political systems popular in Europe and I think of the Tower of Babel. There's a reason they're not the world's police - they're off in too many directions to lead.

I realize it's simplistic, but I wanted to express my revulsion for this "when we spend money it's well-spent and when you spend money it's a horrible waste" sort of politics that is now playing out. Maybe there's no changing the basic premise of: "When we're in power we'll dismantle your projects and vice-versa."

I suppose. But it really makes my stomach turn to watch Congressional hearings at times. I want to feel like an informed citizen, but as they say, laws are like sausage . . .
The fun and games begin as we watch as Boehner follows Newt "my love of my country made me do it" Gingrich in chapter II of "Stopping the Government" - which party takes in on the chin for the breakdown?
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

around 3% or more for the last 3 quarters or so. I think the re-priming is over and we need to start cutting. As I mentioned, there is always a reason not to.

kids for multiple generations with the problem expanding. If you can point me to a reason that think that this generation is somehow going to be different, I'd like to hear it. (Listen to Carter and others from the Old Confederacy. Butchering of nuclear is largely a regional thing. Heck, Carter even worked in nuclear energy. (grin).

Although, we manage to go off on our tangents and directions, even with only two over-arching parties.

As I have mentioned many times (such as feelings on political jobs-grin), the problem is that both parties are now run by the shrillest of their constituents and anybody trying to provide adult supervision is taken out and in the next election. I mean just look in my backyard. Gov. Daniels is being written off as a GOP Pres candidate because he had the audacity to suggest a truce on social issues so we could work out the REAL problems. The TP are going after Dick Lugar. DICK FREAKING LUGAR for the love of Pete.

messy (grin).

--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I wouldn't worry about that. We can't finanace WWIII. Prior to WWII, the national debt as a percentage of GDP was about 25%. Today it's 4 times that and heading exponentially higher.

And if we don;t soon do something serious about getting deficits under control, how about we wake up one morning and find out long term rates on Tbonds are 7%, on their way to 15%, with mortgages and other private debt following along? Just like the stock market and real estate markets are all in the end based on perception and what people will pay, so too is long term paper.

Funny how you never miss a chance to slam Republicans. How about when Obama declared there were 57 states? And let me get this straight. You acknowledge that studies are "all over the map" as to headstart programs effectiveness, buy you're common sense over rules that? Go figure. Those programs that can't demonstrate clear results should get the axe, period.

And yet you're against cutting it, even though it doesn't work.

This generation isn't any different than my generation and we didn't have head start. Somehow we made it to the moon without headstart.

IF they went after more of them and defeated them, we wouldn't have had Republicans getting along with Dems for the last decade. Just look where that has gotten us: out of control spending.

There you go againl finding fault with Republicans. But Harry Reid, who cries about the need for federal support for the cowboy poetry festival in NV, well I guess he's just swell because he believes in your lib crap.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If the pump is outside, you want an outside outlet so you can disconnect the pump the verify that disconnect while working on or near the pump.
I would definitely us a GFCI outlet. Use the appropriate "in use" cover because your connection would be semi-permanent.
Spray some water about with a garden hose to see whether rain water might cause the GFCI to trip. Add shielding it that helps. Spray WD-40 on all electric "stuff."
No matter what you "hear" motors aren't supposed to "trip" GFCIs.

Many good hardware stores carry expanding "plugs" which, if you remove the trash cover, will fit itside the pipe to the drain. You find the right size plug, install it, and leave it in except when it is dry out and you want to wash down the basement.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good idea. If I hard-wired it I would add a disconnect switch, but I'll probably use an outlet.

Uh, oh. You used one of AHR's magic words. WD-40. Some folks here go into conniptions when they come across it. Perhaps we'll be OK because your suggestion for its use as a Water Displacer is the reason why it was created in the first place. Checking for potential trip issues is also a good idea. Thanks.

Well, I have to take small exception with that because I had originally wired my new "refrigerator only" run of 12/2 NM w/ground to a GFCI outlet and it occasionally tripped when the refrigerator came on. Researching that issue revealed it was not a good idea to run refrigerators off GFCI outlets. Measuring for leakage current showed nothing out of the ordinary. I removed the GFCI from that circuit since I don't want it to trip when we're traveling.

Got one, pulled the drain cover and discovered that the neck of the drain is broken up. I'll have to shove the plug in pretty deep and probably make a much longer "handle" to tighten it than the wing nut that's now attached because it would have to go done so far my fingers couldn't reach to tighten it. Fortunately I have an old manual sunroof crank I saved that I can weld the right size nut onto.
I am also going to build a plug that looks like a chem lab two-holed rubber stopper with holes to allow two pump inlet hoses to slide down into the drain. That's in case the warnings about water coming up through cracks in the floor or actually cracking the floor are true. If the test plug fails, I want a way to be able to pump out the water to the backyard (bought both an A/C and D/C powered self priming pumps for the task). We still don't know where the floor drain goes, but we're pretty well convinced it empties into the city's storm drain system. Haven't come up with the appropriate tests. The limited views I was able to make with my 3' Harbor Freight inspection cam only told us both drains need a thorough clean out. We're trying to find a plumber that will give us a discount for working on two houses next to each other. (-:
Thanks for your input!
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.