sump pump drainage

About three weeks ago we noticed our sump pump in the basement started running every three minutes. We ignored it for two weeks (not very handy or pretty much clueless about home ownership). Then we notived water in our foundation wall in the sump pump room and finally called rofessionals (water proofing company, plumbers). They found that the drainage pipe (plastic 1.5 inch) that comes out of the house and the sump pump was broken right near the foundation and there was standing water. By putting a 5 inch 20 foot hose we diverted the water away from the house. The pipe goes underground after it comes out of the house but we cannot tell how far it goes underground and if it is connected to anything else. There was an area further down in our backyard that was soaking wet 5 days ago but it seems to have dried now. We had the city engineer and the water department to come over and look at it and pretty much everybody agrees that the sump pump was just draining into the yard underground without connecting to the storm sewer (which runs through our backyard as well). Even though it has been almost a week since we diverted the sump pump water away from the house our pump still runs every 10 minutes. It has rained once in the past week and we are at a lower level than our neighbors. We have lived in this house for four years now and never noticed the sump pump woorking this frequently. I have talke dto several plumbers and they are telling me to wait for the ground to thaw (we live in Chicago) and dig the back yard and install 6 inch pipes 3 feet underground as far away from the house as possible. What I am worrided about i sthe sump pump just dying due to the frequency it is working at in the meantime. Does anyone have good advice on how to get the water further away from the house (other than digging the backyard). We have gone through our options at Menards and Home Depot and could not find anything that works.
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"1. snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com Jan 18, 12:45 pm About three weeks ago we noticed our sump pump in the basement started running every three minutes. We ignored it for two weeks (not very handy or pretty much clueless about home ownership). Then we notived water in our foundation wall in the sump pump room and finally called rofessionals (water proofing company, plumbers). They found that the drainage pipe (plastic 1.5 inch) that comes out of the house and the sump pump was broken right near the foundation and there was standing water. By putting a 5 inch 20 foot hose we diverted the water away from the house. The pipe goes underground after it comes out of the house but we cannot tell how far it goes underground and if it is connected to anything else. There was an area further down in our backyard that was soaking wet 5 days ago but it seems to have dried now. We had the city engineer and the water department to come over and look at it and pretty much everybody agrees that the sump pump was just draining into the yard underground without connecting to the storm
sewer (which runs through our backyard as well). Even though it has been almost a week since we diverted the sump pump water away from the house our pump still runs every 10 minutes. It has
rained once in the past week and we are at a lower level than our neighbors. We have lived in this house for four years now and never noticed the sump pump woorking this frequently. I have talke dto several plumbers and they are telling me to wait for the ground to thaw
(we live in Chicago) and dig the back yard and install 6 inch pipes 3 feet underground as far away from the house as possible. What I am worrided about i sthe sump pump just dying due to the frequency it is working at in the meantime. Does anyone have good advice on how to get
the water further away from the house (other than digging the backyard). We have gone through our options at Menards and Home Depot and could not find anything that works. "
If you have the water discharging from a hose that takes it 20ft from the house and the yard isn't graded backwards toward the house, then that should be far enough. If you want to go farther, just get a longer hose. Don't worry about the pump burning out from running every ten mins, that is what it is made to do. And you don't need a 5 inch pipe, just a 1.5 or 2" line is fine. Make sure the sump pump line has a check valve, otherwise some of the water left in the pipe is gonna run back into the sump hole, making the pump cycle more.
I would not follow the advice to run a discharge pipe 3 feet underground as far as possible. The question is, to where? If you start out 3 ft down, you have to go deeper from there. What does that leave for an option of where to take the water? Most cases, it means using a dry well, which IMO, is not a very practical solution.
In your case, if you can drain it into the storm drain, that would be ideal. If not, I'd try to have it exit the house near ground level and run it 20 ft to a lower spot where it can drain on the surface. As long as it slopes continuously downward, the piece of pipe throught the foundation wall slopes down slightly, and the water doesn't pool in the yard, freezing will not be a problem.
I would also install a second pump set to trigger at a slightly higher water level. If you have city water, you could consider getting one of the backup pumps that works off city water, which will function if your power goes out. Or there are battery backup solutions that will give you coverage for intermediate length power outages.
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Thank you for your kind advice. Couple more questions for you:
"Make sure the sump pump line has a check valve, otherwise some of the water left in the pipe is gonna run back into the sump hole, making the pump cycle more."
How do I check for this? Is it supposed to be close to the actual pump or the pipe that comes out of it? What does it look like?
"As long as it slopes continuously downward, the piece of pipe throught the foundation wall slopes down slightly, and the water doesn't pool in the
yard, freezing will not be a problem. "
We seem to be at the low point of the whole neighborhood which probably explains some of this water so getting it away from the house in a downward slope is not an option. Our neighbor has a storm drain in their backyard and we are trying to figure out a way to extend the drainage pipe to their yard and into the storm drain (50-60 feet). Our worry is that the water will not be pushed strong enough to go that far (uphill) and will freeze in the hose/pipe.
"I would also install a second pump set to trigger at a slightly higher
water level. If you have city water, you could consider getting one of
the backup pumps that works off city water, which will function if your
power goes out. Or there are battery backup solutions that will give you coverage for intermediate length power outages. "
We have a battery operated back up pump.
Thanks for your help again.
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"How do I check for this? Is it supposed to be close to the actual pump or the pipe that comes out of it? What does it look like? "
The check valve is in the pipeline between the sump pump and where it exists the foundation. When the pump shuts off you should not see water, or much water running back into the sump hole from the drain line. Without the check valve, the water in the pipe will run back in.
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However you can, adapt pump discharge (with pipe nipples, reducing bushing(s), whatever) to connect large id garden hose to pump. Then run hose our as far as possible into the yard. Maybe cover with hay, whatever, to keep from freezing.
Then make it nice come summer. Meanwhile, drain the swamp.
HTH, J
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That is certainly not a trivial concern. If I had a water problem I would certainly have a backup of some kind. (at a earlier house I had two sumps, each with it's own pump and backup pump)
But a good pump will do an awful lot of pumping before failing. At the house I referred to above, my pump would cycle every couple minutes for weeks at a time. It rarely went more than 10 minutes without starting. (guess why I moved...)
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

My sump runs about every 3 minutes. The pump itself has never burned out, but what does happen is it gets coated with sediment and needs to be cleaned. The pump unfortunately was not made for such cleaning, and thus this killed the pump. My current pump handles the cleaning much better. Also has to snake out and clean the pipes. but your water may be cleaner.
My pump exists my house about 2 foot above the soil level. So we can see what its doing. Then it drops into a vented verticle pipe and goes back underground and down toward the end of the back yard.
I wouldnt be concerned about the high pump rate. Its not expensive and not dangerous, IMHO. Give it 3 months to a year. You dont know how long it took to build up. I would be concerned if too much dirt has eroded from the side of the house though.
--
Thank you,


CL Gilbert
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