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Thread: **Please Help First Time Home Buyer!**

  1. #1

    Red face **Please Help First Time Home Buyer!**

    Ok I purchased a house in Oct. it was built in 1970. This house has 2 Sump Pumps. One in the laundry room at the back part of the house and another sump pump in a crawl space that is outside the perimeter walls of the house. I will also note I have a Well that is about 2-3 Feet away from the sump pump in the crawl space. My issue is that the sump pump in the crawl space goes off every hour like clockwork. I live in Central Canada and it has been like -40 Celsius for like 3 months now and I know there should not be any water flowing down to the base of the house etc. I am really worried I am going to come home from work and find my basement flooded due to a failed pump. The thing is i do not want to just add a backup pump etc. because i feel that is just bandaid-ing the situation. I was wondering if anyone has seen a setup like this or might know why the sump hole fills up so fast.
    Really appreciate your time.

  2. #2

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    anyone? please

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hun View Post
    Ok I purchased a house in Oct. it was built in 1970. This house has 2 Sump Pumps. One in the laundry room at the back part of the house and another sump pump in a crawl space that is outside the perimeter walls of the house. I will also note I have a Well that is about 2-3 Feet away from the sump pump in the crawl space. My issue is that the sump pump in the crawl space goes off every hour like clockwork. I live in Central Canada and it has been like -40 Celsius for like 3 months now and I know there should not be any water flowing down to the base of the house etc. I am really worried I am going to come home from work and find my basement flooded due to a failed pump. The thing is i do not want to just add a backup pump etc. because i feel that is just bandaid-ing the situation. I was wondering if anyone has seen a setup like this or might know why the sump hole fills up so fast.
    Really appreciate your time.


    Stare, gaze into the eyes of my avatar and the answer shall find you.


    Who, or why, are you buying the BS that a backup sump pump is a bad thing?


    Remember: Anything Mechanical/Man-Made can and will fail...it's guaranteed.


    The notion that it's cold outside eliminates groundwater movement is nonsense. It's still there just less movement.



    You need a battery backup pump for peace of mind.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  4. #4

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    but like i said earlier that is just a band-aid for the problem. And i want to know if this second pump is there because of the well. no one else seems to have this issue next to me and it is very loud when u can hear the water rushing through the pipes in the house. but my main concern is how much water is going to this spot and wondering where it is coming from.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    I'd dig a trench from the lowest corner of the house and daylight to grade, get the water away from the house.


    Since, you don't like band-aids.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  6. #6

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    so dig down like 9-10 feet? thats one hell of a deep trench.

  7. #7
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Is your well pump a submersible (down in the well casing)?

    It is possible that you have a leak in the underground horizontal pipe between the well casing and wherever it goes on it's way to the pressure tank. In that case your well pump could be pumping water into the ground which is making it's way to your sump pit. If there is a check valve near the pressure tank this could go on without any other obvious symptoms.

    Assuming it is a submersible well pump, turn the pump power off and run the pressure out of your plumbing system (open a faucet). Leave it for a few hours and see if your sump stops filling.

  8. #8

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    yes it is a submersible pump. I will try your idea and report my findings. thanks

  9. #9
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    I have seen homes with 4 sump pumps. I also have a lady that has a pump that runs every 3 minutes like clock work. We can be having drought conditions and her pump keeps running. I took a few samples of this water and had it tested for chlorine and fluoride, to see if the issue was due to a broken water main near by. Also had it tested for fecal bacteria to see if she was getting sewerage finding its way into her drain tiles. All was clear. So we determined she is on a high water table that is spring fed.

    I did do some experimenting with her turn on levels, I raised the level up 6 inches higher than the standard was and when the water reached 5" high it seemed to stop flowing in took it over 10 minutes before it got high enough to turn on the pump. Ever since I set the switch like that her neighbor has been calling a plumber complaining her pump is running nonstop all of sudden. Which proves the theory of water will seek its own level.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member Robert444's Avatar
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    40 below celsius is almost exactly 40 below Farenheit. That's COLD!

    I grew up in a house in which the basement was dry. My brother and I played in it in the summer. In the early 1970's the basement began to accumulate 4-6 inches of water. No leaks in the plumbing, and no drain-back from the septic. We dug a hole, and put in a sump pump. To this day the celler has water in it, even in times of drought, only now the level is controlled by the sump pump. It goes off every few hours. My advice is to install a back-up sump pump and stop worrying about it.

  11. #11
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    House we were in as a kid had a wet basement. Old man put in a sump pump - rented a jackhammer to go thru the floor
    Dug up the concrete in a circle, as he hit the last part of the circle the entire circle block broke free & dropped about 2' - as did the jackhammer. They poured a basement floor, which flooded, so they built another floor higher up
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  12. #12

    Default discharge away from house might help

    For the sump that is for ground water ... is discharged water getting far away from the house? Maybe 8 to 10 feet away? If it is just going out of the house and no further, you are probably recycling the same water. This is the voice of experience talking.

    Years ago my pump used to run almost continuously after a big rain for several weeks. After I moved the discharge away from the foundation, it only runs for a few days in the worst cases now. Just make sure to use some heavy duty hose. The home store junk will wear out every few months.

  13. #13

    Default Backup sump pumps are a necessity, in my opinion

    About the back up pump ... Get one.

    I just put in a Glentronics Big Dog. It's not cheap. Expect to spend maybe $650 retail including battery. Installation is extra unless you do it (not hard ... pvc pipe is cheap and easy to work with and people here can provide advice if you need it)

    But one flood is all it takes to make you realize the pump is cheaper than the cleanup in terms of time at the very least. Also, the Big Dog can operate on both AC and DC. This is a big deal and worth the extra money over the Glentronics "Special" which is only DC operated.

  14. #14

    Default What about the water table?

    One last thing.

    How deep is the water table beneath your home?

    I live near Chicago and the water table is a few feet below my house. I'm ok except for when the ground is saturated or if there is a big rain in the winter when the ground is frozen. My pump pit is dry for over 6 months of the year and not terribly active during normal rains. Last year we had 6 inches in a couple of hours when the ground was saturated. My pump worked really hard for a few days after that and it took a few weeks for it all to drain away. (About the backup pump ... you are planning for the worst case when you put one in, like buying car insurance)

    My next door neighbor has a sump pump that goes off every few minutes for weeks and months at a time every spring and summer. The discharge is 30 feet away from the foundation. Their house is about three feet lower than mine. Either they have a leak somewhere or bad luck.

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