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  • Sump In A Crawl Space

    I went to look at a job today, the customers say's when it rains, he has standing water in his crawl space. He wants to install a sump. The crawl space is under a bedroom and bath, rather small, it is boxed in with footings (except an exit to the other parts of the house) and a ditch where the water runs from other parts of the house over to this area, (1600 sq ft approx) The crawl is about 12" high, no more then that, I would like to install a sump, a grate, and a drain to the exterior in 2", where the water will run away from the house. (Run approx 25' of 2" ABS and a backwater valve out a vent in the siding.)

    My concern is the standing water, approx 2" left over in the bottom of the sump everytime it pumps water out. The idea of stangnent water under a house in a plastic sump is not appealing to me.

    I would like to ask opinions on this and zoeller kit options (with grate) any recommendations? Am I being overly excited about the stagnent water??
    sigpic

    Robert

  • #2
    Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

    I would be worried about the standing water just as you are, and I'll bet the HO is too. I guess there is no way to create a shallow sump that would let that pump pull that last inch or two water out of there? Even a 1/4" of water over ~50 sq ft is over 8 gallons. That water is going to go somewhere and I think it will be evaporated and absorbed by the framing members and sub-floor (assuming they are wood).

    If it was my place I would want the pump to be the backup not the cure? The source of the water needs to be eliminated not just treat the symptom (pumping out the flooded crawl space).

    Might need some re-grading around the house to direct the water away. This is built on a slab I take it with such a low crawl space. Does the house have gutters and downspouts and are they channeled away from the foundation?
    "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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    • #3
      Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

      Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
      I would be worried about the standing water just as you are, and I'll bet the HO is too. I guess there is no way to create a shallow sump that would let that pump pull that last inch or two water out of there? Even a 1/4" of water over ~50 sq ft is over 8 gallons. That water is going to go somewhere and I think it will be evaporated and absorbed by the framing members and sub-floor (assuming they are wood).

      If it was my place I would want the pump to be the backup not the cure? The source of the water needs to be eliminated not just treat the symptom (pumping out the flooded crawl space).

      Might need some re-grading around the house to direct the water away. This is built on a slab I take it with such a low crawl space. Does the house have gutters and downspouts and are they channeled away from the foundation?
      I tried to get into the reason the water was entering the house, the grade is poor, no gutters, downspouts etc. He has his mind made up that he needs a sump, I know when a zoeller empty's it's sump, the legs of the zoellers still leave approx 2" of water in the bottom, this is the water I am worried about. If I got a different pump, then it would sit on the bottom of the sump and get clogged with dirt from under the house. right now when it rains and the water enters the crawlspace, the dirt soaks it up, I had a house like this a couple years back and the guy had a major problem with his footings and other structual conditions. So, the customer has his mind made up about a sump, dosen't want to explore the problem. Guess he thinks this is less expensive. Thanks Bob.

      P.S. the house is on a raised foundation except for an addition, far back and across from where the water is collecting.
      sigpic

      Robert

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      • #4
        Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

        robert, i wouldn't worry about 2'' of water in the bottom of a 12'' x 12'' plastic pit. it will evaporate in a short time and does no harm.

        if it was an issue with mosquito's, then a small hole can be drilled in the bottom and this will soak into the ground. then you have to be concerned about the pit floating.

        myself, i would attempt to prevent the water from coming into the crawlspace in the first place. then add a pump for emergencies. i wouldn't drill the bottom

        rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #5
          Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
          robert, i wouldn't worry about 2'' of water in the bottom of a 12'' x 12'' plastic pit. it will evaporate in a short time and does no harm.

          if it was an issue with mosquito's, then a small hole can be drilled in the bottom and this will soak into the ground. then you have to be concerned about the pit floating.

          myself, i would attempt to prevent the water from coming into the crawlspace in the first place. then add a pump for emergencies. i wouldn't drill the bottom

          rick.
          Thanks rick, I won't be overly concerned then. I will put a mosquito clause in my invoice
          sigpic

          Robert

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          • #6
            Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

            what about a french drain around the perimeter of the house? Landscaper do them around here to solve the problems that you mentioned, no gutters, poor drainage. Sorry about leaving last night suddenly. We had a power outage
            Last edited by gear junkie; 07-17-2007, 04:54 AM. Reason: forgot something
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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            • #7
              Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

              You could always install a sealed pit like those use in the basement of a house on a septic system. You would need access to a vent line from the crawl space though.

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              • #8
                Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

                Is there proper slope age to move the water away from the house in the landscaping? and is there any gutter system to move the water from the roof away from the building?

                getting and keeping the water away from and water proofing the foundation and or a "french drain".

                Would be a much better deal than removing the water after the fact.

                I am not saying don't put the sump in but encourage the fixing of the problem and not jsut the band-aid approach.

                Another possibility is to drain it to a external sump (out side of the house) and then you would not need to worry about the little bit of water left over and you would have access to the pump, for maintenance and repair, it would be a mess to have to crawl under there if the pump is not working and it is full of water and mud,
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                • #9
                  Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

                  ben & bhd, there is concrete all around the house, no way to install french drains, besides, I don't do landscaping. The concrete should be removed and re-graded away from the house, but like I said, the customer just wants a pump, guess he figures it will be less expensive, which it will, and less damage.

                  ben, as far as the closed sump, thought of it, but then I would have a problem putting in the drains, I am just going to use a open pit, grate on top, and grade the dirt under the house to the box.

                  Thanks guy's for your input
                  sigpic

                  Robert

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

                    Originally posted by wbrooks View Post
                    You could always install a sealed pit like those use in the basement of a house on a septic system. You would need access to a vent line from the crawl space though.
                    Exactly what I was thinking, a sewage ejector basin, you could use a mechanical vent because it's not plumbing.
                    I'd perforate the basin and wrap it in something to keep out soot/debris, then bury it...no water openly exposed and the perforations in the bin would allow water in.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

                      I like to leave the waterproofing up to the experts.

                      If the water didn't come out of a pipe I don't want anything to do with it.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

                        Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                        Exactly what I was thinking, a sewage ejector basin, you could use a mechanical vent because it's not plumbing.
                        I'd perforate the basin and wrap it in something to keep out soot/debris, then bury it...no water openly exposed and the perforations in the bin would allow water in.
                        Good Idea, but,

                        Ducky, you are forgetting I am in a crawl space, approx 12" high, I will have to dig as it is 24" x 24" x 24". I found a box today with a grate, I will use a zoeller 267 pump with 2" discharge, I will run it out, install a backwater and grade it to the exterior, either through a vent or punch a new hole in the footing, thanks guy's, for all the help. No big deal, I'm not worried about the standing water anymore, it was just a concern put to rest
                        sigpic

                        Robert

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

                          Oh come on!
                          Be a man! .... dig the hole!
                          (kidding)

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

                            Robert, somehow I missed in you original post about putting the pump in a sump. I just went back and re-read it and it's there to see if you (meaning ME) look.

                            DOH!

                            Anywho, you got it covered sounds like from your last post.
                            "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                            John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sump In A Crawl Space

                              How do you get a 2' box in a 12" crawlspace?
                              Buy cheap, buy twice.

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