I have never had a sump pump before the awful flooding of last year in the
northeast. After getting some great advice from this group, I installed
one. I bought a basin and pump from HD. I mounted the pump on top of a
brick. I drilled holes in the plastic basin starting about the height of
the float up to the bottom of the floor.
Until the rains on Thanksgiving, I never had water in the basin. The past
couple of days, the basin is filling to level with the top of the pump but
no more. I am assuming this is the groundwater level. The pump is a
high-output Flotec. The pump kicks on and empties the basin quickly. The
basin then fills up, and the cycle continues. It seems like the pump kicks
on every 45-60 seconds.
I am not sure if I have the pump too low in the basin, or if I drilled my
holes too low, or if this is really a problem. It just bothers me to see
the water in the basin and the pump cycling so much.
Thank you for your time.
If there is no water on your basement floor, it sounds like the pump is
doing what it's supposed to do. You don't tell us the most important
thing, which is how far below the floor level the water is. I would
want it about 8 inchs or less. If you want to experiment, you can set
the water level higher and see what happens. I'd also make sure I
have a second backup pump installed to trigger at a slightly higher
level. And depending on what the implications of gettting a foot of
water might be, other backup solutions.
<< You don't tell us the most important thing, which is how far below the
floor level the water is. >>
The water level is 14" below the floor level (measured from the top of the
As I wrote before, I have never had a sump, so this is freaking me out a
little. I am sure I have had water under the floor before without it
flooding my basement. Now I can see it, and just a bit concerned. Perhaps
there is no reason to be worried.
If the pump is turning on when the water
is 14" from the floor, I would think
that it should be set a bit higher. As
someone mentioned, I'd shoot for 8"
or little more, if possible, from the
floor. This should be enough to keep water
off the bottom of the floor, preventing
it from "floating" up and cracking.
I used to have a sump/pump that ran continually sometimes. Yours might
But you can try to simply raise the switch points, or if that is not
possible with your pump, raise the whole pump. Watch it carefully; if it
never threatens to overflow in the worst weather you are fine.
On my basement the drains were clogged up, so if I didn't keep the level
low, it would flood somewhere other than the sump. Hopefully you don't have
that problem, but you might.
On Sat, 25 Nov 2006 15:05:01 -0600, "Steve Barker LT"
When my sump is filling the water that runs back from the discharge
line is equal to about 2 seconds of water that comes in through the
pipes that feed the sump. But it takes 30 seconds or more to fill the
sump. So it makes it seem like there is 6 percent more water than
Next ttime I redo the pupm, I'll put in a check valve, but they seem
hard to find. They weren't with everything else in HD today.
Ask one of the helpers at HD or Lowes. Sometimes the check valves are
over with the PVC pipes etc. instead of with the sump hardware, or vice
versa. They always have them. Buy two check valves; they are cheap. Put
one right above the pump, and another just before or after the point
where the vertical rise bends ~90 degrees to carry the water laterally.
Be sure to put them in with the flow going the direction!
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
Good point. I have two cement troughs, one at the bottom of each
downspout. Both pointed away from teh house when I bought this place,
but one gradually sank backwards. I put rocks underneath it and after
a few years, it was still tipping forwards but once the water left, it
was running back to the foundation. This time I raised the ground
level and built little levees to keep the water from getting close.
During the last 23 years, in a corner of the basement I don't go, I
ruined a piece of sheet rock 2 feet wide and 10 inches high, and 2 or
3 floor tiles. No big deal, but it could have been worse.
How can you not have enough holes if the basin fills in 45 to 60
What difference does it make about the height? If the water level
outside the sump weren't higher than the holes you think you shouldn't
have drilled, the water in your sump would get no higher than the
holes you think you shouldn't have drilled, no matter where the holes
were. But the water in your sump gets high enough to turn the pump
on. So the water level outside is at least that high.
If you made all the holes 4 inches or less below the floor, then you
wouldn't get any water in the sump until the water level got that
high. But the idea of having a sump pump was to keep the water from
getting even that high.
What difference does the height of the holes make, when the weather is
as it is this week? Or ever?
If the pump didn't go on at this point, you would be right. But it
seems that below you are saying that the pump goes on then. So you
don't know what the water level outside is.
The pump is a
I think the pump has to be at the bottom of the basin. The brick must
be to keep it a bit off the bottom, so that rocks or mud don't cover
the intake ports. I have a pedestal pump and don't use a brick, and
just noticed how many rocks I have, working their way up to my inlets.
But it's been 10 years and the whole circumference is uncovered, and
I'm going to clean them out, so it's not a problem.
I don't think it matters that much where you drill the holes. Details
It would annoy me too. After I was here for a few months, I raised my
float switch-trip level by about an inch, and cut down the amount of
time the pump ran by 50 percent. Later another inch and now it goes
months, I think, without running. However when there is enough water
to make it run, it could still run very frequently. The previous
sentence is very important. The ground outside your house can store
an enormous amount of water, and once the water level rises above your
current float level, or a level a couple inches higher, it won't run
out of water because of your pump. Only when the water outside your
house seeps farther into the ground will it stop coming into your
sump. And it can't seep farther into the ground until the water
beneath it gets out of the way, I think, by working its way to a
stream, as the water ahead of it enters the stream and heads down the
But once the water level has gotten lower, your pump might not run for
monhths again, and water remaining in your sump that the pump can't
remove may evaporate, or seep into the ground below the sump.
My basement is 6 to 7 feet below ground, and the sump another 17", so
if the ground is wet enoug, there is plenty of water above the sump to
fill it quickly (of course I have corrugated, perforated, 4 or 6 inch
pipe around my entire foundation, on the outside, so that there is an
enormous source for water.
In a day or two, or 5 or 6 depending on the drainage and if there is
no rain, your pump will stop.
Now, if youo raise the level that your pump goes on, it mmight stop
even now, or sooner, and might run less in the futured.
14 inches is a lot. My water level is only about 8 inches below the
floor iirc. I was reluctant to go higher than that, however.
I don't think you need a second pump if there hasn't been water
since... you didn't say when you installed this.
I need a second pump becaouse once in 27 years, the first pump
couldn't keep up with the water, even though I checked outside and it
was pumping full blast, and it overflowed the sump. You don't seem
to be anywhere near that. I live right next to a stream, which means
I'm in a small valley and the water from a half mile** away on this
side of the stream flows down to my yard. It's only a townhouse but
it still gets its share.
**That's about the distance of the crest of the hill. Beyond that
surface water would drain into another stream. I guess that doesn't
necessarily mean that water that has entered the ground goes my way or
the other way. Considering how much water falls on a half mile, my
place is pretty dry. (The newer neighborhodd has a catch basin for
rain water, but the rest of the area, including my own area of 100
I'd also go outside during the next heavy rain and see exactly what is
going on. I've found that despite thinking you know where water is
going, it's not unusual to find something behaving very differently
than you think.
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