I have just discovered that my basement floor has a 3-foot long crack
in it. This crack has begun to seep water through it slowly. The
crack "starts" from a PVC pipe that is in a vertical direction which
is used as my washing machine's drain. On the other side of the crack
(but not directly where the crack ends), there is a drain that goes
under my basement floor.
Is it possible that there is a pipe underneath my basement floor that
connects the drain to this PVC pipe that may have burst? If there is
a pipe and it has burst, would applying that basement floor/wall
crack patch stuff (and then sealant) fix the problem? Or, should I
use a jackhammer to get to that pipe and replace the pipe and then re-
apply concrete to the area? Any other suggestions?
I can send pictures to anyone who wants to see the damage.
Your help is appreciated!
Pictures always help, but I'm more inclined to think that maybe the
water table is rising in that area after a heavy rain, etc.
Of course, maybe you live in Arizona, or something and you already
know for a fact that's not the case.
I think you will find that the crack is from water pressure under the
concrete that is due to a high water table (or possibly, from not a good
enough runoff of water away from the house on the outside).
The solution will probably be a sump pump which will operate as the water
table rises. If you do an Internet search on sump pumps, you'll probably
find some explanations of this.
Thanks, everyone, for your replies. I have found that most of the
water is actually not leaking from this crack in my basement floor,
but from where the floor and the wall meet close to that area. The
larger crack that I've talked about in previous posts is also leaking
water, but is doing so at a slow pace.
Also nearer to where most of the water is coming through, there also
appears to be some hairline cracks that are allowing water to come
through. There is one other location where water appears to be coming
in from where the floor and wall meet, and there are several other
locations where water is coming up through small, hairline cracks in
With regards to the big crack that I've talked about in previous
posts, within the next couple of days, I'm planning on patching up
this crack. It looks like the previous homeowner(s) already tried to
patch the crack, but they did not create any dovetail grooves in the
crack. Any idea how far apart to space these grooves along the length
of the crack?
Also, I do have a sump pump already in place, and it kicks on every
2-3 minutes. Not sure why this is not removing most or all of the
water from around/beneath my foundation.
Thanks for any and all replies.
I'm not quite sure what an outflow well is, but if you're referring to
the place to where the water from the sump goes, that is an
underground sewer about 50 feet away from my house hear the street.
Ironically, about a year ago, we were having problems where my sump
pump did not seem to be working properly (it would never shut off) and
it was discovered that the sump pipes underground that lead to this
sewer were clogged and cracked due to tree roots and they had to be
Do you have perimeter drains around your foundation? If so what
elevation(s) are they at? Footing, a few feet below the surface, etc.
Does the surface slope towards your foundation from a higher level, or
does it slope down and away?
For water to rise through the crack in the floor it must be under
pressure. Remember, 0.433 psi/foot of elevation change.
We had gutter problems in the past that have been corrected for the
most part. Ironically, there was a lot of water dripping from the
gutters almost exactly at the point where I'm seeing this crack with
water coming into it (on the roof, 50 feet up, of course).
There are not perimeter drains around my foundation.
I can say that the sloping away from the house is not the greatest in
some areas, but it's good for the most part.
In addition to this large crack, I have noticed a few very small,
hairline sized cracks on the basement floor that also have very small
amounts of water coming up through them.
I think you have ground water problem, probably from roof run-off and
rain that is a bit above the basement floor. I'm assuming that the
washing machine drains to a sanitary sewer, not just under the slab.
The PVC pipe you describe is likely not the culprit. If you are still
concerned just drop a sewer dye tablet into the washing machine drain
when the machine isn't running.. If the water coming up through the
floor shows color, then the drain is defective, if not it isn't the
source of the water.
I'd get outside and make sure the yard is correctly pitched away from
the house on all side. Why is that gutter overflowing? Where the
downspouts end, the bare minimum is to have a long splash block to get
the water away. Much better is a length of flexible pipe that can
take it 6ft or so away, but that can't always be done.
And get outside in a heavy rain and see what is really going on. You
may find water screwing things up that you never expected. I was
having a problem and went outside to find that the flex pipe on the
downspout was not shoved on high enough. When there was a heavy
rain, the pipe was overflowing right at the foundation. If I didn't
look during a heavy rain, I'd never have realized it.
Yes, the PVC is a drain for the washing machine. But, as mentioned in
my first post, there's a floor drain about 3-4 feet away from this PVC
pipe at the "other end" of the crack.
One other thing to note, when the washing machine is emptying water
out during the spin cycle (just prior to the rinse cycle), soap suds
bubble up through the floor drain. This leads me to believe that the
drain and the PVC pipe that you're seeing in the picture are connected.
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