It has been annoying me that the "tagcloud" on the side panel has the largest word "water", (it sizes the words based on the count the frequency of word usage in our most recent posts), but here I go again, adding to the count.

We had a bunch of water in our basement again, this time definitely coming up from the floor drain.  I have figured out more how the system works as time goes on, and I think there is just one question left to answer regarding the whole puzzle.

Here is how it works, as best as I know right now.  One of the outside downspouts (that we didn't modify this summer) puts the water a little ways out from the foundation.  There is a drain at the bottom of our outside staircase, that also has a pipe running out away from the foundation, but also has a pipe running into the basement, connecting to the floor drain inside.  The floor drain connects to the public sewer system.  So, the rain comes down the downspout, out into the backyard (4 feet underground) saturates the ground, and then pours into the pipe going to the outside drain, which eventually goes into the public sewer.  As long as there isn't a lot of water, everything works fine (other than the fact about downspouts going into the public sewer, which you're not supposed to do, although since there isn't a direct pipe (I think) I am not sure if that is illegal or not.

However, when it rains for a day or so, somehow something gets clogged up, and water comes out of the drain and starts pouring onto the basement floor.  I bought a tiny little bilge pump made for a small boat, and it just barely fits down inside the drain, and at the moment is on a manual switch to trigger it on and off.  I also bought a little float to detect the water, and it fits inside the drain pipe also, but oddly enough, it floats, and so you are supposed to screw it into the floor, which you can't do in a cast iron pipe.  So, I rested a board on it to hold it down, and it sort of works, but after the water level rises and falls a couple times, it gets out of place, and either leaves the pump on full time (which will melt itself after running for a couple hours) or never turns on, which isn't very useful.

In the short term, I am thinking about putting the float on top of the drain, so at least if the water gets really high, it will start pumping prior to flooding the basement.  I am also going to reroute the downspout (and another one I saw that likely either goes into the sewer or into our car port, which also gets quite wet) and direct them or to the side of the property.  The neighbor said that was definitely fine in the short term, and I suspect it is far enough away from his house so that it won't bother him.  (He has a sump pump in his basement which runs all the time anyway, so even if the water does head over towards him, he should be alright).  We might look into running the pipe all the way down to the street, but not until next year, when the ground unfreezes, and I feel like renting a ditch witch again...

The well room has a (purposeful) gap around the edge of the floor, and the water comes up through that.  I talked to Uncle Jay about that one, and he had some ideas for filling it in, which would be nice if it worked, although it seems like fighting against the entering water is sort of like fighting against changing water patterns at the Maggie P, and probably it will come in whatever we do over there.  So, probably I'll need a sump pump at some point, although I guess it would be nice to avoid having two pumps...  Maybe everything will change if/when we put on an addition out the back.  The problems will at least be different.

Posted by Jon Daley on December 21, 2008, 10:25 pm | Read 2150 times
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I remember from when we had a house built when I was young, that there's a purpose for that gap around edge of the basement floor. I don't remember what the purpose was, but our house had it and it was deliberate.

Posted by SursumCorda on December 22, 2008, 7:18 am

Yes, expansion joints, but it is strange to only be in the well room, and the room is only 8x6' or so, so two or three inches on all sides is way more than is needed for that.

Posted by jondaley on December 22, 2008, 8:49 pm
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