Help! Sump Pump quit working, basement flooding, what can we do?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Scouzer, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. Scouzer

    Scouzer Lifer

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    First of all, a plumber/electrician will be 12 hours away so we need to make do.

    Second, the sump pump is silent and there's no water moving through the hose. Is there anything we can do here? We have a shop vac vacuuming water, but that's about it.
     
  2. waggy

    waggy No Lifer

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    not much.

    but changing sump pump is easy (did it myself a few months ago). you can use the new pump (with hose) to get out the water. then put it in the pit and have it get out much as you can. then hook it and a BACKUP up.
     
  3. bctbct

    bctbct Diamond Member

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    check the power source

    do you have a floor drain to direct the water to?

    go buy a submersible pump

    GL hope you get it stopped
     
  4. skyking

    skyking Lifer

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    Might be the float swtich, and the pump is fine.
    Turn off the power. See if the float is moving freely. Move it up and down a few times. Turn on the power and see what happens.
     
  5. imported_Greenman

    imported_Greenman Diamond Member

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    Did you really need to even ask the question?
     
  6. waggy

    waggy No Lifer

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    oh yeah. it really depends on how old it is. mine died and it was 12 yrs old.

    i just put in a new pump and backup system. cost me $400 for it. well worht eht money.

    now i have a 3/4th power pump and 1/2 power backup oh and alarm systme.
     
  7. mugs

    mugs Lifer

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    You could go to Home Depot and buy a new pump that sits on your floor. IIRC they had some for <$100 last time my basement was flooding (unfortunately they were sold out because everyone else's basement was flooding too)
     
  8. Pepsei

    Pepsei Lifer

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    change it youself... i'm glad i don't live in a house with sump pump anymore. you get a sinking feeling when you wake up and step in water. (i had a room in the basement before)
     
  9. trOver

    trOver Golden Member

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    Haha i hope this doesnt happen to me...
     
  10. Scouzer

    Scouzer Lifer

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    ok this worked. i kicked the shit out of that float switch and it kicked in shortly after

    however, the damage is done and its still leaking. this is actually an apartment, im just a tenant, but i was helping my landlord anyway i could.

    i think the concrete is surged, the sump pump is not stopping the basement from leaking. there are cracks its leaking from on the sides of the walls and the floor itself.
     
  11. imported_Greenman

    imported_Greenman Diamond Member

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    What is "surged" concrete?
    The pump isn't supposed to stop the basement from leaking, it's there to pump out the water that leaks in. Since the water issue wasn't addressed when the basement was built, or whatever mitigation methods that were used have failed, you're pretty much stuck just pumping out the water that flows in. Repairing the problem now will be difficult and expensive.
     
  12. skyking

    skyking Lifer

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    :thumbsup:
     
  13. Jeff7

    Jeff7 Lifer

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    Check the output pipes. My sump pump refused to work once. It turned on, but I checked the power draw - about 150% of what it should have been. Something seemed to have gotten stuck in the output pipe, though I never did find out what. I just loosened the connection to the pump, a bit of water spewed out from pressure that the pump had put there, and that seemed to clear out whatever the problem was. The pump then went nuts getting rid of what water it could.


    The possible solution to the flooding has been this:
    1) A hole was cut in the foundation's frost barrier at the back of the house, which leads into a bed of crushed stone. The contractor we hired said that the frost barrier can have the side effect of trapping water underneath the foundation. It flows down underground from the front of the house, seeps underneath the foundation, and is then unable to flow out the back quickly enough. Its solution: push its way up through cracks in the floor as well as through the sump. During heavy rains that persisted for more than a day, the sump pump would run about every 30 seconds for 15 seconds, the water just filled in so quickly.
    This hole, which is about 6" below ground level - at least according to the way our particular yard was landscaped, this will vary on your building - has a pipe which directs the water away from the house, so as to drain this subterranean "pond."

    2) A trench dug around the front of the house, which is where the water comes from originally. This trench is 8-10' deep at its deepest, about a foot wide, and goes as far down as does the foundation. It runs along the front yard parallel to the house, and then curves around the side. At the bottom is a perforated pipe to allow water in and give it a way to flow easily. Above that is filter fabric, then several feet of crushed stone, and finally topsoil and grass.
    The trench works to try to prevent water from even making it as far as the foundation. The water can soak through the dirt until it hits the crushed stone, at which point it simply falls down. It finds the perforated pipe, and flows freely through that, eventually meeting with the pipe from the back of the foundation, and then to the edge of our property.
    In previous years when it's rained very hard for a long time, in addition to coming in through the floor and the sump, water also came in through cracks in the front foundation, which made the sump pump slightly useless, as it was only attacking one of the water's many inlets.


    It's been there a year at least, but I still don't know if it works, as it's not yet rained enough to let me really say for certain that the trench is doing its job, and that the basement will not ever flood again. But it all looks pretty good in theory, and the sump hasn't been so much as damp since the trench was made.
     
  14. Scouzer

    Scouzer Lifer

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    Well, I woke up this morning to discover my unit has flooded during the night. I live in a fourplex of apartments, two upstairs two basement. Initially last night, only the other basement apartment and the common area was flooding. My landlord was up until 5AM cleaning what he could.

    Now I wake up and step into water. What a good feeling. The worst thing here is it's coming from the opposite corner of the building, so it's not even related to the initial flooding.

    By "surged" concrete, I mean the foundation is woefully uneven. There are places where the concrete has clearly broken due to frost or whatnot, and sticks up from the rest of the floor by 1-2". This place is fooked...
     
  15. K1052

    K1052 Lifer

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    There have to be better apartments...
     
  16. TheTony

    TheTony Golden Member

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    I think "heaved" describes that...
     
  17. Fritzo

    Fritzo Lifer

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  18. Scouzer

    Scouzer Lifer

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    <div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote>Originally posted by: K1052
    There have to be better apartments...</end quote></div>

    No. There are not. My town has a 0% vacancy rate (seriously, front page of the paper last week)

    It took me THREE MONTHS to get this place and the vacancy rate was 0.5% back then. I only got it because as soon as the paper came around 3:30PM, I called at 4PM and I was the first to visit the next morning. She had 5 or 6 phone calls about it that very evening, and I was the first able to visit.

    Anyway, the water has stopped flooding. Now what do I need to get from my landlord to ensure my safety (mould)?

     
  19. Yzzim

    Yzzim Lifer

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    Is anything of your's damaged? If so, it should be covered under renter's insurance...if you have it. If you don't have it, get it.

    This type of thing should be covered under the landlord's insurance as well. Most homeowner policies will cover flooding in the event of a sump pump failure.
     
  20. bctbct

    bctbct Diamond Member

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    Most home owners policies do not cover flooding, you have to have flood insurance.
     
  21. Scouzer

    Scouzer Lifer

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    My stuff is all OK. I discovered the water after minimal exposure to anything, and I had moved the stuff around before I went to bed.

    His insurance doesn't cover the flooding. My rent is going up and I'm without a bedroom for awhile...
     
  22. pontifex

    pontifex Lifer

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    no one said "get a bucket?" :laugh: