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Old July 8th, 2013, 08:26 PM   #21
Rob the plumber
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A water or battery powered back up pump is also a great idea. Mandatory in my opinion if you have a finished basement.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 08:35 PM   #22
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My mother's house (was my grandparent's house) has a dry basement. My grandfather dug it out by hand, and knowing how he overdid everything, probably put a 3 foot diameter drain tile in
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Old July 9th, 2013, 08:06 AM   #23
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There are solutions for that. My friend, that I referenced earlier, has a battery alert system on it that once water in the pit reaches a certain level, it goes into audio alarm, and then starts calling up to 5 preset phone numbers. Theory is that if you aren't home, you can either get your ass there, or have somebody scoot over and hook up a small generator.
Or get a backup pump, either battery powered or water powered. My water powered one has saved my basement from getting wet a couple times. On that note, do not buy the stainless steel premium sump pump Lowe's sells, I'm on my third one in just over a year.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 08:08 AM   #24
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A water or battery powered back up pump is also a great idea. Mandatory in my opinion if you have a finished basement.
x2. The one you put in for me works great, when it's needed.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 08:20 AM   #25
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x2. The one you put in for me works great, when it's needed.
Great to hear. Zoeller or Hytic are the 2 pumps I'd recommend. I'd don't get to excited over any of the pumps the Depot or Lowes sells. Tsurumi make a top notch pump too, but they are generally used in heavy duty/industrial applications.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 10:21 AM   #26
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There are solutions for that. My friend, that I referenced earlier, has a battery alert system on it that once water in the pit reaches a certain level, it goes into audio alarm, and then starts calling up to 5 preset phone numbers. Theory is that if you aren't home, you can either get your ass there, or have somebody scoot over and hook up a small generator.
I understand that and absolutely would have a backup if a sump pump was essential. I'd just greatly prefer that flooding be an extraordinary event. The flooding this spring is one thing, but I know homeowners that have water infiltration every time there is a heavy rain simply because their house is *in* the water table during those times. It sounds like that may be the situation with your friends house. If the price was right, I'd consider a house with that problem, but otherwise I'd find it to be a unnecessary source of stress.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 10:44 AM   #27
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I'm still trying to figure out why I have water coming up out of one floor drain, running across the floor, and into the other drain, and if there's an easy fix.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 08:15 PM   #28
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some are empty, some not. The power is still on at every house I've looked at. All of them have had working sump pumps but the basements are still damp and/or have some standing water. They've all had mold on the walls too so it's probably not just one bad season.
working sump pump with standing water?

bullshit.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 08:43 PM   #29
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working sump pump with standing water?

bullshit.
true story.

just because the pump works doesn't mean the liquid makes it to the crock.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 08:48 PM   #30
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my moms house leaked bad growing up. one summer, my friend matt and i, dug all the way around the house down to the footer with shovels. it sucked! we had a wrap around cement patio on 3 sides. the right rear corner was a complete screw job, and over 8" thick. most was 4" thick. did it all with 2 sledge hammers. we cleaned and coated the outside walls with tar. wrapped the whole house in thick plastic wrap. re-coated in tar, wrapped in plastic again, then coated that in tar. we dug an 8' deep dry well out in the back yard. filled it with the concrete we broke up from the patio. we backfilled around the house, by hand, with sand and pea gravel. we sloped drain tile around the house, to the low point in the rear, going to the dry well. it was the worst job i have ever done in my life. we did not want to break up the basement floor, there was no sump pump installed.
but the basement is dry to this day!

you can have a dry basement in michigan.
it will be a ton of hard ass work!
or it will cost alot of money!

good luck

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Old July 10th, 2013, 12:35 AM   #31
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I'm still trying to figure out why I have water coming up out of one floor drain, running across the floor, and into the other drain, and if there's an easy fix.
Put a piece of PVC pipe in the drain that the water is coming out of, and run it to the drain that it's going to....
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Old July 10th, 2013, 06:00 AM   #32
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I have a damp/wet basement. And I agree with the gutters etc. The side of my house that gets wet is uphill, my roof slopes to that side and the gutter is junk, and the neighbors driveway slopes that way too. I run a dehumidifier year round.

There is about two to three feet of grass between my basement and their driveway. I am going to cement that whole thing and re do my gutters.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 07:35 AM   #33
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Lots of reasons they can be wet, and generally everything is correctable.

Our last house was in an low area, that hard hard clay around 4ft down, then mostly fill sand. When it rained, it seemed all the water from the street came and sat in our yard. The sump pump ran all the time, and the basement flooded during a big ice storm/power outage that brought a lot of rain. (granted, I knew several people that had similar floods that storm, it was a once in a decade thing).

I replaced the old pump with a very good one (also the new pump had a much lower starting/locked rotor current, which helps a lot trying to run them off a small generator!!!), and also a good battery backup pump.

I also found that the previous owners had the sump water just dumping a few feet outside, so with the sand, it just went back into the ground and seeped into the sump again.

I dug all around the house 2 ft down, ran fabric-gravel-new drain tile with holes drilled all over (expect the bottom inch, so water didn't run out the bottom), >more gravel > more fabric. The gutters also dumped into this. The low points of the drain tile ran into a run 100ft from the house to the lowest point in the hard, into a dry well I put there. In wet times, we'd have a 30ft pond at the dry well, but the house always stayed dry.

That house was a pretty extreme case. Like, in the spring when I first got the house, the sump pump would run every 90 seconds at time, thats how fast water was coming into the lower drain tiles.

A battery back up with an alarm and a seperate output pipe also saves your ass if your main pump fails, the pipe is frozen shut, etc.


Our new house, heh, I live on top of a sandy steep hill. No sump, no issues. There was a few times that two cornerse seeped, that was from improper downspouts dumping water against the foundation. They are run out away from the house now, no issues. Mostly, our gutters go through smooth 4 ft PVC underground to the edges of the hill.


Just have to look at all of those things. Is it rain water, or groundwater thats making it damp, or both.

Rain water is generally just fixing the gutters and ground slope by the house. I have done what Joe Jeep talked about with tar, when I did landscape 20+ years ago. We did some landscapes that had sunken entrances to daylight basements that just collected water. Backhoe + tar on the fountation, and good drains in the patio by the door that led into correctly working drain tiles and sump pump fixed that.

Groundwater, you just need to have a correctly functioning tile and sump system, and make sure the sump water is getting out away from the house.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 02:35 PM   #34
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I also found that the previous owners had the sump water just dumping a few feet outside, so with the sand, it just went back into the ground and seeped into the sump again.
The house I bought has a sump pit. The washer and furnace dump into it. The PO (an old man, original owner) disconnected it from the septic line, and ran it outside. I can only assume this was done to not fill the septic tank. This is resulting in a wet wall where it dumps out on the ground.

My questions, is people with a sump, where do you dump in into? Your septic, the ground, or a separate tank/buried barrel?
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Old July 10th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #35
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I'm still trying to figure out why I have water coming up out of one floor drain, running across the floor, and into the other drain, and if there's an easy fix.
It sounds like one floor drain is on the storm system, and the other on the sanitary. One system is likely backing up.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #36
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The house I bought has a sump pit. The washer and furnace dump into it. The PO (an old man, original owner) disconnected it from the septic line, and ran it outside. I can only assume this was done to not fill the septic tank. This is resulting in a wet wall where it dumps out on the ground.

My questions, is people with a sump, where do you dump in into? Your septic, the ground, or a separate tank/buried barrel?
Its not code to dump any fixture into a sump pit. The lines typically discharge into a storm sewer, tie into the sanitary, dump out in the grass, or into a French drain.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 03:22 PM   #37
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Its not code to dump any fixture into a sump pit. The lines typically discharge into a storm sewer, tie into the sanitary, dump out in the grass, or into a French drain.
No idea... It was that way when the home was inspected by the health department when I bought it. He said that a lot of older people do it to keep from unnecessarily adding discharge to their septic tank.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 05:36 PM   #38
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Health department? I've never heard of them inspecting residential homes. Maybe building department? Either way, it's not code, but inspectors let things slide.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 05:41 PM   #39
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The house I bought has a sump pit. The washer and furnace dump into it. The PO (an old man, original owner) disconnected it from the septic line, and ran it outside. I can only assume this was done to not fill the septic tank. This is resulting in a wet wall where it dumps out on the ground.

My questions, is people with a sump, where do you dump in into? Your septic, the ground, or a separate tank/buried barrel?
In the house I grew up in, my Dad and I ran a line from the sump out to the woods on one side of the house, and a line from the clothes washer to the woods on the other side to keep from filling the septic up.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 07:05 PM   #40
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Our house has a B-Dry system all around the interior perimeter of the basement. They dug a trench all around about 8-10" wide, laid tile, filled it and covered with a crappy filler cement.

Only time we had water was when the power went out during a storm and the sump pump didn't work. It basically catches water that gets in and drains it to the sump crock.
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