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  • sump pump question

    Hello folks,

    We bought this home a year ago, it was built in 1997. We had water gushing in the sump pit through 3 drain pipes. We just had a major snow storm here in Virginia and when it rained and the snow melted, I am noticing the water is not gushing in through the pipes like i thought but rather from underneath them through the 3 holes.

    At first I thought the water table is rising but I'm having 2nd thoughts now. Could the water be leaking through the foundation into the sump pit?

    Here is a video I took early this year that shows what I'm talking about. It may look like it's flowing through the pipes but it's not

    thanks in advance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9IWFEHO35s

  • #2
    Re: sump pump question

    First off, I don't know why but you have a monster amount of water coming in IMO.

    Secondly, it looks to me that the pipes are carrying the majority of the load.

    If it's coming in around the pipes then they aren't sealed well in the pit. But because the pipes aren't carrying all of the load and the remaining water (which I'm guessing is a good amount also) needs somewhere to go, I'm not sure it's a bad thing for it to follow the pipe to be pumped out.

    My two concerns would be:

    1) Erosion around the pipes from the water following them to the pit.

    2) Why are you turning over that amount of water? Is the exit/drain from the pump piped away from the foundation properly?

    Usually I like to keep the water from getting in rather than pump it out if that's possible. Sometimes too expensive for some though.

    J.C.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: sump pump question

      Well,

      It looks to me like there are three pipes bringing water into the pit; two ~4" dia black corrugated ones and a 2" or 1 1/2" pvc.

      The two vertical white pipes look to be two outlet lines, one for each of two sump pumps in the pit. The green pump looks to be a zoeller n-98. Don't recognoze the other.

      The water appears to me to be coming out of the three pipes stubbed in from the side. I don't see the holes you mention as being the source of the water.

      I'd say it looks like a properly functioning sump pit; receives groundwater from the corrugated drain tile (two black corrugated plastic lines) and whatever the horizontal pvc is, and pumps it out via the two vertical pvc lines on the pumps.

      What exactly is your question?

      That is a whole lot of water though.
      Last edited by Ace Sewer; 12-29-2009, 10:12 PM.
      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: sump pump question

        Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
        Well,

        It looks to me like there are three pipes bringing water into the pit; two ~4" dia black corrugated ones and a 2" or 1 1/2" pvc.

        The two vertical white pipes look to be two outlet lines, one for each of two sump pumps in the pit. The green pump looks to be a zoeller n-98. Don't recognoze the other.

        The water appears to me to be coming out of the three pipes stubbed in from the side. I don't see the holes you mention as being the source of the water.

        I'd say it looks like a properly functioning sump pit; receives groundwater from the corrugated drain tile (two black corrugated plastic lines) and whatever the horizontal pvc is, and pumps it out via the two vertical pvc lines on the pumps.

        What exactly is your question?

        That is a whole lot of water though.
        I estimate about 12-14 gallons a minute. Is the lot that bad?

        J.C.
        Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 12-29-2009, 10:34 PM. Reason: I think my gpm estimate was off.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: sump pump question

          I wonder do both pumps work at once or is 1 a back up pump, if they both work at near the same time then 2 where put there for a reason as in lots of water, could be built on a spring? Do your downspouts go into the ground? IS there a drivway drain? IS there a hill near your home? Hire a guy like me to come camera the lines then you will know what you have. You could even use some dye and find out with out the camera.
          Seattle Drain Service

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: sump pump question

            Originally posted by Cuda View Post
            I wonder do both pumps work at once or is 1 a back up pump, if they both work at near the same time then 2 where put there for a reason as in lots of water, could be built on a spring? Do your downspouts go into the ground? IS there a drivway drain? IS there a hill near your home? Hire a guy like me to come camera the lines then you will know what you have. You could even use some dye and find out with out the camera.
            The one on the left looks like a backup with a pedestal switch. Not pumping at all.

            J.C.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: sump pump question

              FYI the pump on the left is part of "Basement Watchdog System" battery operated backup sump pump.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: sump pump question

                I couldn't sleep if I knew that amount of water was coming in my house

                Ashburn was built on a bed of genuine Virginia clay. That ground won't hold water. I'll bet your neighbors pump is doing the exact same thing. Just be sure he isn't pump towards you.

                Lots of Big Blue poly out there as well. Make sure it's not a broken water service from you or your neighbors.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: sump pump question

                  That is a normal sump pump operation here in Illinois. During a big snow and a fast thaw with rain, that amount of water coming in is pretty common.

                  I have had people that had that sized sump pit, with twice that amount of water coming in, the pump short cycled a lot which shortened the life of the sump pump. So What I ended up doing is installing a wider pump pit. The extra width takes the water longer to reach the turn on level of the pump, so the pump can remain off for at least 5 minutes before it runs again.

                  I find it sad that builders know what the water table is in the area before they build a home, and they still spec out the smallest sump pump pit.
                  Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                  A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                  Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                  Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: sump pump question

                    ron is 100% correct with the pit specs. a deeper pit does nothing for pumps with built in floats. a pedestal pump can be adjusted for the on off levels. problem is your pit is not deep enough for the pedestal as the inlet pipes are too close to the bottom.

                    the best solution is to add volume to the pit by making it larger in diameter. a pump that short cycles never really gets off the starting windings. fortunately you have cold water to keep the oil in the pump cooled. i would contact zoller and ask them for a suggestion as far as the pump cycles and what is the minimum on off durations.

                    looks like a 1.5'' m-57 pump? very common out here.

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: sump pump question

                      agree with all thoughts on big pits, but add that some depth is nice, especially in a sewage lift station; lets you set the pump up on a block so sinky pump killers sink and don't get sucked in as often, and in a tight spot a deep pit with a separate float still lets you get some volume out of a cycle.
                      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: sump pump question

                        Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                        First off, I don't know why but you have a monster amount of water coming in IMO.

                        Secondly, it looks to me that the pipes are carrying the majority of the load.

                        If it's coming in around the pipes then they aren't sealed well in the pit. But because the pipes aren't carrying all of the load and the remaining water (which I'm guessing is a good amount also) needs somewhere to go, I'm not sure it's a bad thing for it to follow the pipe to be pumped out.

                        My two concerns would be:

                        1) Erosion around the pipes from the water following them to the pit.

                        2) Why are you turning over that amount of water? Is the exit/drain from the pump piped away from the foundation properly?

                        Usually I like to keep the water from getting in rather than pump it out if that's possible. Sometimes too expensive for some though.

                        J.C.
                        Wow, didn't think i would get this many responses in one day... Thank you!!

                        To answer your questions:

                        - The water is being pumped 25 feet away from the foundation
                        - We added 12 tons of dirt around the foundation to steer the water away from the house and all downspouts are buried 20 feet away.
                        - it's a Zoeller m97 1/2 HP and a backup watchdog
                        - I did talk to the county and they said that the home was built on hydric clay soil and won't move water quickly.

                        One thing i did last night is drill holes in the sump crock to lower the water level so it won't gush in that quickly, not sure if it was a wise choice but it was suggested by a plumber earlier this year.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: sump pump question

                          Originally posted by Neoclas View Post
                          Wow, didn't think i would get this many responses in one day... Thank you!!

                          To answer your questions:

                          - The water is being pumped 25 feet away from the foundation
                          - We added 12 tons of dirt around the foundation to steer the water away from the house and all downspouts are buried 20 feet away.
                          - it's a Zoeller m97 1/2 HP and a backup watchdog
                          - I did talk to the county and they said that the home was built on hydric clay soil and won't move water quickly.

                          One thing i did last night is drill holes in the sump crock to lower the water level so it won't gush in that quickly, not sure if it was a wise choice but it was suggested by a plumber earlier this year.
                          You mean M-98 don't ya? Your sump crock is doing its job the incoming water is coming in the way it is due to the rain and snow melt. But if you want to make things better I would install a 36" x 36" sump pit there. The pump will have more time between on cycles. which will lend to a logner pump life.
                          Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                          A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                          Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                          Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: sump pump question

                            Yup, it is the m-98 Zoeller. I actually had 1/3 hp Zoeller also and somehow I have both in the pit and they both had to work from the 20 inch snow we got.

                            Do you think drilling holes in the pit below the weeping pipes was a good idea? From what was explained to me, the water won't gush in with that force in the future..


                            Thank you so much for your response.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: sump pump question

                              Originally posted by Neoclas View Post
                              Yup, it is the m-98 Zoeller. I actually had 1/3 hp Zoeller also and somehow I have both in the pit and they both had to work from the 20 inch snow we got.

                              Do you think drilling holes in the pit below the weeping pipes was a good idea? From what was explained to me, the water won't gush in with that force in the future..


                              Thank you so much for your response.
                              Having the holes in the pit just allows the water to get in from another source. One problem it can cause is erasion around the pit if they did not put enough stone around the pit. The drain tiles are laid in a bed of stone and have holes in them to allow the water to seep into the pipe and drain into the pit to cause the least amount of erasion. Since you already drilled the holes I would just check on it in a month or so to see if you are getting any settlement in the bottom of the pit. If you are not, then you should be in good shape.
                              Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                              A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                              Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                              Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                              Comment

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