View Full Version : No pump in sump...

10-23-2009, 07:38 AM
I have been in my "new" home since June. The house was built in 2001 and has a sump in the basement that is fed by drain tile on the perimiter of the basement. (at least that is what i have been told)

Today was the first time i ever looked in it and i saw about 1" of water in the bottom of it. It looks like the bottom is covered in sand and i presume this will gradually drain?

Regardless, do I need to have a pump in this sump?

I might add that we have had about 1" of rain the past 48 hrs.

10-23-2009, 11:25 AM
IF you get water into the pit, you need a pump. If not, then there is nothing for the pump to pump out.

10-23-2009, 11:56 AM
IF you get water into the pit, you need a pump. If not, then there is nothing for the pump to pump out.
But if the level never rises?

Or if it rises and falls with rainfall but never gets very high in the sump?

What determines the need for a sump pump?

Once installed, do sump pumps ever become useless because of changing environmental conditions, water table changing, yrly rainfall changes, droughts, etc.?

Ian Gills
10-23-2009, 01:29 PM
I would put a pump in it as cheap insurance and leave the philosophical stuff up to Thatguy.

Torrential rain (at rates of one inch an hour) are really what you need to test whether it needs it or not, but by then it will be too late.

With an inch of rain my sump pit often stays dry.

With an inch of rain an hour, for several hours, I can lift the lid and see water entering the thing.

You might also want to check that your gutters are not leaking/blocked and that your downspouts are draining nicely away from the house.

10-23-2009, 02:51 PM
In a new housing development, how do they decide, if ever, to include a sump with pump as standard equipment?

Ian Gills
10-23-2009, 02:55 PM
Very good point and something that angers me.

I think it is now code in many areas.

It angers me because the very design of a sump pump system facilitates water intrusion. And once it's done, it's done.

My neighbor never had a sump pump fitted and has the driest basement on the street. He focused on proper grading and drainage instead.

In contast, the previous owners of my house installed a sump pump system so no matter what I do there is no going back. Water still enters it even if I do what my neighbor does and correct the years of neglect that caused the problem in the first place.

With proper waterproofing and drainage, sump pumps would rarely be needed in basements.

Some things are remarkably simple: like fixing blocked gutters or broken mortar joints or badly caulked windows that let water in between the walls.

But people seem to like to jump to the "big fix".

10-23-2009, 03:02 PM
It angers me because the very design of a sump pump system facilitates water intrusion.
This is like an anti-headache pill that causes headaches as a side effect.

10-23-2009, 03:11 PM
I am not an expert but my last house's basement had issues with water intrusion. I believe i fixed the problem with grading a couple areas but i wasn't there long enough to find out for sure.

What i do know is that having wet carpet in the basement sucks. So i'd rather have it in a pit with the possiblity of pumping it out.

Aside from that i was reading about self draining pits. Is there such a thing? Mine has sand in the bottom as some are described. Could it be designed to self drain?

Additionally if i decide to install a pump where do i drain it to? Seems like draining it outside is defeating the point?? My neighbor has his running into his plumbing waste line.

Ian Gills
10-23-2009, 04:24 PM
Most pits will drain on their own, without the use of a pump, with a small amount of water in them. Mine does. But the idea of the pump is to stop the water overfilling the pit before it has time to drain away (which may take many hours).

A sump pump should not discharge to the public sewer under any circumstances. Local codes vary but most say that you should discharge it to your property. I would suggest at least four feet away from the house, like gutter drain pipes should be.

I choose to discharge my sump into my gutter drain pipes that run under my garden and under the sidewalk and discharge at the street. Technically I am not allowed to do this by Town code though, since the sump discharge should be to my property.

The addition of a discharge pipe will normally necessitate drilling a hole through your basement wall to the exterior, above grade.