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sump pump diaphragm vs magnetic vs mechanical switch

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  • sump pump diaphragm vs magnetic vs mechanical switch

    After many years of a dry basement we added on a new addition and have water problems. We've graded and installed plastic sloping away from the addition but there is ledge in one corner and we appear to be getting ground water.

    We had the contracter cut a sump hole in the floor of the addition and I'm planning on buying a sump pump.

    The sump hole is 11" in diameter and is only 11'-12" deep.

    I see that there various submersible sump pumps, some with diaphragm switchs, some with vertical float, some with magnetic, etc.

    I'm thinking that given the small size of the hole and the depth I may be better with a sump pump with a diaphragm switch but I'm not sure what the pros and cons of the various types are and haven't had any luck finding comparisons.

    Does anyone have words of wisdom as to the relative merits of the various switches?


  • #2
    I have found the float switches to be the most reliable over any period of time. But regardless of what you get at this point I fear you will have problems. Your contractor did not make your sump near wide or deep enough.

    Since you have a known ground water problem you need a 20" wide by 30" deep pre manufactured sump pit.

    Did your contractor provide a foundation drain or will you be relying on the rock under the floor to allow your water to move to the sump?
    Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.


    • #3
      There is large gravel under the slab. There are drainage tiles on top of the footers on the outside but for some reason water is getting below them.


      • #4
        Last night I dug deeper and made the hole 12" diameter and 22" deep as the Rigid sump pump I had was supposed to turn on somewhere between 9" and 12". The sump pump operated successfully this morning, I've got it sitting on top of a tile and once things dry out I'll try to line the hole with some sort of tiles...there isn't room given the opening in the slab for a regular sump pump container.


        • #5

          When you line your homemade pit be sure to allow plenty of openings to allow the ground water to enter.
          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.


          • #6
            Will do!

            I'm still hopeful that the water might still be surface water that was trapped under the slab due to us not having any grading and getting a series of torrential multi-day rainstorms. If it is ground-water then we'll live with it...but it would be great if the sump stays dry more than wet. I guess time will tell. [img]smile.gif[/img]


            • #7
              I guess my only question Tim, is there a chance if it is ground water that the correct solution might be a french drain sytstem around the foundation? French drains are simple, but depending on how deep the bottom of your slab is can be labor intensive. Again I might be off base and could be reading to much into this, and it wouldn't be the first time in this forum trust me. Just make sure your contractor isn't trying to "DRAIN" you with a simple temporary solution.


              • #8
                Hard to tell. The contractor did put in drains on top of the retrospect he probably should have put them alongside or lower than the footings. The area was bone dry during the excavation.

                The contractor's take was that at this point bringing in a large enough excavator to dig down to the footings level would put our well in jeopardy as there isn't a lot of clearance to get big equipment in without taking down a lot of trees.

                I think the jury is still out on long-term what is going to happen...we still have run-off on our street from all of the rains even though it has been over a week so there is a lot of water out there...we just down't know if the water we've seen is the remnant of surface water or ground water...and my guess is that we won't know for some time.

                I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that at least in the short term we're covered by the sump pump. Perhaps after we've finished the landscaping and have good grass,etc. we'll be able to get a better sense of the origin of the water. A lot of people live with a sump pump [img]smile.gif[/img] and compared to the stuff that people went through with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita this is nothing.