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Basement - Extreme Water Scenario

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  • Basement - Extreme Water Scenario

    I have a 1200sq foot basement that is about 6’ below ground level. When I first moved into my home about 4 years ago, I found there were 2 sump pits (both 18”) in the basement; one at each end of the house. When it rained, the sump pumps would run more than usual. Both pumps were 1/3HP. I later discovered there was another sump pit outside the house that had went bad so I replaced it with a 3/4HP pump; what was originally in there. Whenever there is heavy rainfall, my pumps run continuously. I have had instances where the pumps could not keep up with the amount of water coming into the pits from the drain tile and the sump pits overflowed, flooding the basement.

    Before my last upgrade, I had swapped out the (2) 1/3HP pumps (both went bad) and replaced them with 1/2HP pumps. So I now had 3 pumps, (2) 1/2HP and (1) 3/4HP. Again, during a extremely heavy rain, my sump pumps ran non-stop for 12 hours straight and still could not keep up and my basement flooded. During this entire time, I had all pumps running through 1-1/4” PVC.

    I have since changed the 3/4HP pump outside to a 1HP pump and brought the 3/4HP inside the house. So now I have the 1HP sump pump outside, a 1/2HP in the front sump pit in the basement, the 3/4HP in the rear inside of the basement, and the left-over 1/2HP I put in the overflow sump pit, running a new line. Each sump pump has its own line running away from the house. I also upgraded to 1-1/2” schedule 40 pipe. I minimized head lift and the number of elbows used to alleviate as much friction loss as possible.

    My question…has anyone ever seen such amount of water entering a basement??? How can I have this much water entering thru the floor drain tiles?? It literally looks like a fire hose as it gushes in thru the drain tile.


  • #2
    Re: Basement - Extreme Water Scenario

    Originally posted by mtxpro View Post
    My question…has anyone ever seen such amount of water entering a basement??? Yes but it has been a while How can I have this much water entering thru the floor drain tiles?? Better through the drain tiles than the walls. It's good that the drain tiles are doing their job It literally looks like a fire hose as it gushes in thru the drain tile. Kinda freaky isn't it?

    Have you done everything to keep the water discharging away from the house far enough so it doesn't come back in? Including downspouts from gutters? With the pumps that you have and being 6 feet below grade some water must be cycling back to the pits. 18" pits are probably too small for this amount of surface water. Do you have water coming in when it's not raining? Is your neighbor pumping his water towards you? Call a certified waterproofer. You are in over your head...or soon will be

    Was that area of the country hit with a hundred year rain storm last week?


    • #3
      Re: Basement - Extreme Water Scenario

      "My question…has anyone ever seen such amount of water entering a basement??? "

      Only in Venice, Italy or New Orleans, LA

      Sorry that's not much help, there's plenty of guys in here with way more experience with sump pumps than I, so I will just sit back and let them help you out as I am sure they will. Luckily I've never had to deal with basement flooding after a rain in any of my homes.
      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


      1/20/2017 - The Beginning of a new Error


      • #4
        Re: Basement - Extreme Water Scenario

        Absolutely, as "plumberscrack" says", make sure any roof run off, etc. is far away from the house. I don't know the numbers, but is amazing how much water is collected by 1 sq. yrd of roof area even in a light rain. Of course also check around the edges of your home and make sure no water is standing after a rain, lawn watering ,etc.

        I once had a similar problem, and I was able to solve 95% of the wet basement with exteding the downspouts from my house. I did not find the solution to the rest until I sold the house. After some 30 years an area in the front yard some 10 or 15 ft in front of the house had developed a large caviaty underneath the lawn some 3 or 4 ft under the lawn surface. The original owner/builder had done a large fill to bring the front lawn near to the level of the next lawn, but it still had a slight slope down from the neighbor. Obviously, but not discovered by me, the fill had settled and created an underground water holding "tanK" which slowly seeped into one corner of the basement. No sump pump here. The new owner discovered this when he noticed a soft spot (or the beginnig of a sink hole). Thus:
        1. Discover cavity holding water.
        2. Fill and pack cavity.
        3. Make sure water flows away from the foundation.
        4. No more damp basement.
        Last edited by thepapabear; 01-14-2008, 08:11 PM. Reason: Spelling, what else!
        thepapabear<BR>When a bureaucrat has a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.


        • #5
          Re: Basement - Extreme Water Scenario


          2 of the 4 gutter downspouts I have go into a drain tile that leads to the front of my house by the street. This drain tile was existing, and as I have dug a lot by it to install new lines for my sump pumps, I have found various areas with holes, etc. in this drain tile. So I know that some water from my back gutter is leaking thru this drain tile around my house. My front downspout I have flowing about 6' from the house onto my driveway. The last downspout in the back corner of the house exits about 3' from the house into the yard through a standard gutter.

          When it doesn't rain, such as recently, my sump pits are relatively dry. It is only during heavy rains when this scenario happens. During normal, light rains the water flow goes anywhere from trickling into the sump pit to a small flow (ex. pouring a cup of water out continuously.) The sump pumps can keep up under normal rain conditions.

          My one neighbor is noticeably higher than me. My grade is relatively flat. Also, my neighbors behind me, all of their yards slope towards mine. I plan on getting a truck load or two of dirt to counter this come spring time.


          • #6
            Re: Basement - Extreme Water Scenario


            From the reading your posts it would seem to me like your yard is a huge sump. Be careful about any major changes to your landscaping. If you cause a neighbor to have flooding or he/she thinks you caused it expect to hear from his/her lawyer and also the county soon afterward. Be sure to get permits and have a licensed contractor do any work.

            For now, I would seriously recommend calling in a drainage contractor and having yard drains installed and also all down spouts piped to the road curb. Get rid of any surface water you can and also all of your roof water.

            You may need some manor of a drainage ditch or drain grates and piping to deal with water running from the higher neighbor(s) yards into your yard.

            If there is a serious problem with water coming into your yard from other yards you really need to get the county or city storm drainage engineer to come out. If you go and do anything that could result or does result in flooding your neighbor(s) they will come for your butt and they will kick it hard.

            If you can show proof that a neighbor's yard does in fact run off into your yard you may be able to get the law on your side and make your neighbor pay for some if not all of what it takes to prevent this in the future. Normally rather than starting fights it's best to just have good drainage at your place.


            • #7
              Re: Basement - Extreme Water Scenario

              Yep, put a huge buried concrete box in your back yard or where ever. Have all the drains going to the box, then you can use that water to water your garden, wash your car. And all this, should cost a measly $20,000.00.

              But then again, your house cost a whole lot more then that...
              Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....


              A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!


              • #8
                Re: Basement - Extreme Water Scenario

                Make sure the rain gutter downspouts are not connected into the draintile. This is a common mistake and literally, sends all the water from the roof, into the basement.

                If the gutters are dumping on the ground, make sure they are extended away from the home.

                STAND OUTSIDE during a good rainstorm and see if water is building up anywhere. This will help you figure our if the property slopes correctly to drain surface water away. A good resource is


                • #9
                  Re: Basement - Extreme Water Scenario

                  Thank you all for your advice and comments. I truly do appreciate it.