I have a poured concrete full basement (not walkout), about 900 sqft
(house is from 50's). This basement has an interior french drain that
empties into a sump pit. My house has a slight hill in front and one
side (slopes AWAY from house), and a flat back yard and other side.
We also have gutters that drain away from house as well. My basement
floor is approximately 6.5 feet below ground. During very heavy
rains, say 3 inches or more in a single storm the sump starts to take
on water (anything less than 3 inches of rain and the sump is bone
dry). Even during these very big storms it looks like the french
drains aren't taking in any water as the outlet pipe into the sump is
always dry. If the rain continues the pump will run for about 5-10
seconds every 5 minutes. Is this too often? Again it's only during
what I'd call big and rare (say 3-4 times a year) that the pump runs
at all. None of my neighbors have sumps (all similar houses and land)
and none get water in the basement. Is my pump simply fighting rising
This pump simply ejects the water though a 3/4 inch pvc pipe to the
front yard about 10 feet from the house (very slightly downslope from
the foundation). Should the pipe go further away? Is there a better
way than having it shoot all over the yard, looks like a fountain.
Hi, I unfortunately got a fair amount of experience with sump pumps at
my previous house.
It sounds like you're the lucky land holder with the underground water
table outlet. As Doug said you're going to want to check the float
and see if you can adjust it.
For getting it away from the house, run it as far as you can. Not
sure how your land area is, but farther is better. ;-) One thing you
can do if you're limited is dig a dry well to have it empty into...
Dig a hole, fill it with large stones, cover with a layer of dirt and
sod, and have the pipe empty above it. Friends of mine did that and
it worked great.
Good luck.. Hope you stay dry!!!
I'll look into running it say 20 feet (which is about 2/3 of my front
yard) away from the house. What is considered "normal running" for a
sump pump? I'll definitely see if I can adjust the float switch to
run less often. I guess I'm trying to gauge the importance of my
getting a backup pump (either battery or water pressure based), and
how much worry and effort I want to put into this (and just how much
this pump is needed). My house and my neighbors is at the top oh a
high point along the road, why would my lot have a higher water table
than anyone else's?
Why stop there? The farther away you can get it, the better.
Depends a lot on how wet your ground is, but 5 to 10 seconds every 5 minutes
is waaaaay too much. The problem there isn't really so much the frequency, but
the extremely short duration. Much better to have it run longer, less often.
How important is it to you, to keep your basement from flooding? Homeowner's
insurance may or may not pay for that... and, in any event, the cost of a
battery backup system (e.g. Basement Watchdog) is probably less than your
Maybe your gutters aren't dumping your rainwater far enough away from the
foundation... or maybe your neighbor's gutters drain into your yard.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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