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  • sub basement issues

    Well, where do I start. We bought our house in 2001, and the previous owner built a sub basment (to be his wine cellar) below the addition added to the house in 1993. We looked at our house during a drought, and didnt have any clue what a disaster the sub basement was. The sump pump runs continuously, and if the sump pump fails, there can be as much as 5 feet of water, in 24 hrs if we get enough rain. The room is approx 10 x 12 and is made of poured concrete, floors and walls. So, any solution to this? I don't expect one.

    My more immediate question: I had my furnace replaced this winter, and the idiots who replaced it drained heating oil into a sink (that I never use) that drains to, guess where-the sub basement. I should have removed this sink but never thought of such a scenario. So this week, my sump pump broke resulting in the usual 5 ft of water, then I put my extra sump pump in there and it also stopped working after about a day. This is when I discovered the film of oil on the water and realized why my sumps were failing. I then bought another sump pump (ridgid 1.2 hp submersible), and this one has now drained the entire basement, and has replaced the broken wone that sat in the pit in the floor. So, how do I now remove the oil, that covers every surface in my basement, before my new sump gets clogged with oil?

  • #2
    Welcome to the site abillus.

    Sounds like you have a disaster on your hands. If the previous owner knew of these problems and did not disclose them to you you may have reasonable recourse to force him to remedy the problem or allow you to recover your purchase price. It depends on the state where you live.

    Check all of your downspouts and be sure they are not draining directly along the side of your subbasement walls. Then check the grading of your property to be sure that all of your storm water and that of any of your neighbors is not pooling along the side of your home.

    Consider a battery back up pump in addition to your primary pump so you won't have flooding should a prolonged power outage occur. Ask your home insurance agent who they would reccomend for your oil removal. They may even have a list of reputable contractors they can give you.

    Also call the owner of the company who sent the idiots to your home to dump oil into your sink. They are probably dumping oil into other peoples sinks as well and that is not only an enviromental danger it could cause a fire or explosion in the pipe lines or seriously injure a human being working on a sewer line somewhere else. There are proper ways to dispose of old heating oil and sewers and sump pits are not even close to being acceptable. In fact I would ask the heating contractor to remedy your oil problem or talk to your States Attourny. Those Bozo's should be out of business.

    Best of luck.

    [ 04-22-2005, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: plumber ]
    Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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    • #3
      Thanks so much for your reply. I'll let you know how things turn out.

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