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Thread: Need advice for an exterior sump pump

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Kansas City, MO

    Question Need advice for an exterior sump pump


    Does anyone know if there is a sump pump durable enough to be installed outside in a window well? I live in the Midwest where the temperature drops below freezing in the winter.

    Steady periods of rain (6+ inches in a couple days) will cause water to slowly come up through the bottom of the window well and spill into the basement around the frame of the window. This only happens about once a year, but it involves a finished part of the basement.

    I have observed during these heavy and prolonged rainfalls that water will tend to pool about 10 feet from the window well. So I also intend to put a french drain along the back side of the house.

    I would like to dig down in the window well and install a sump pump, in case the french drain idea does not solve the problem. An outdoor plug receptacle is about 20 feet from the window well.

    Is this a workable idea? Are there outdoor sump pumps that are made to withstand winter weather? I do not anticipate any water in the window well except during the spring and summer when the area receives heavier rain.

    Any advice is appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Blog Entries

    Talking sump pump

    you could just put a simple pool cover type pump
    down in the window well... with a garden hose going out
    into the yard...

    it would do the trick for a temporary solutioin
    but would most likely freeze up in the winter

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member thezster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Fort Collins, Colorado

    Default Cover the well

    Is the water buildup from the rain going into the basement well (6 inches is a lot of rain)? If so... and it only happens a couple of times a year - you can buy a clear/tinted plastic domed cover to fit over the well. Lets in sunlight - keeps out rain/leaves/rodents/small children .... Home Depot has some cheap ones to try out for grins and giggles......

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Kansas City, MO

    Default I think I found a solution

    Thanks for the advice everyone!

    I had put new covers on all the window wells a few years back, so its not the rain falling in. I've also seen the water rise in the well (very slowly, like watching the hour hand on a clock) after the rain has stopped.

    I went ahead and dug about 2 feet below the window sill this weekend to find that it was filled predominantly with clay, topped with about 2-3 inches of river rock... from what I've researched, this seemed like an issue. I filled it with clean 3/4 inch gravel, surrounding a perforated 5 gallon buck. I intend to put a small sump pump in the well and bury the discharge line leading to the french drain in the yard.

    Come winter, I'll pull the pump out and put it in storage. I just need to make sure I assemble the discharge line in a way to make it easy to disconnect. I'm hoping that the french drain keeps the water away from the window well all together, but the sump pump should provide a pretty good "safety net".

    Thanks again!

  5. #5

    Default Pump runs constantly

    Have a sump that runs constantly...every 2 minutes....even with no rain... looking to possibly put in an exterior sump pit to remove some of the worry of basement flooding, along with stop the infernal noise of the pump running every 2 minutes. Anyone know of a company that has exterior sump pits? I found this one http://www.pitmasters.com/ but they are not in business right now.


  6. #6
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    New Hampshire


    Get one of those 2-handle post-hole diggers and dig down about 5 ft. Find some concrete or clay tile or a plastic culvert pipe, big enough to hold the sump pump. Drop the sump pump and pipe into the hole with a drain so the discharge pipe won't freeze. Stuff the hole with insulation such as bubble wrap or plastic peanuts, and cover it with a waterproof cover.

    There will be enough ground heat to keep it from freezing. If it gets really bad, put in a short length of heat-tape with a self-contained thermostat connected to the pump power supply.


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