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So I really need a sump pump?
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posted
We are currently building a home and had to dig extea deep for the footings because of soft soil. The excavated area was filled with between 4 and 6 feet deep of 3in stone. My question is do I really need a sump pump? That whole area will have to fill with water before the sump will go on. Or am I not totally understanding the whole situation?
Lisa
 
Posts: 8 | Location: Tinley park, IL | Registered: 07 October 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It depends on the water table in your area...but if the excavation was so deep that you were 4 to 6 feet below the basement floor, and was dry at all times, it is highly unlikely that you will have a water problem. Still, be sure your foundation is heavily dampproofed (two brush coats of bituminous dampproofing, not one thin spray coat) and that proper material is used for backfill. Then be certain that the ground adjacent to the foundation slopes away from the house by at least 3 inches slope in 6 feet horizontal distance, and be sure your downspouts are extended away from the house or connected to positive drainage piping that runs either to daylight far from the house, or to a municipal storm drain.


Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
 
Posts: 2870 | Location: Tobyhanna, PA | Registered: 24 October 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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RH has got it right, Only if you had water near the floor level during your dig would you require a pump. Depending on what area of the country you live in this drainage system also is part of the radon mitigation system often required in higher radon level areas. Make sure before they backfill that they used insulation against the foundation to protect the moisture proofing they did and to prevent condensation development within the wall cavities.
 
Posts: 1933 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As cheap insurance (and required by code in our area), a foundation drain system system can be installed under the floor around the perimter of the basement. Drain tiles terminate in a collection pit (sump pit). No pump is required unless it is needed later.

Worst case scenario, you move in and heavy rains saturate the ground around the house or underground water table rises, or gutters get clogged, or kids kick off the ends of the downspout extensions, water is collected by the foundation drain. You recognize this and install a pump later for a couple of hundred bucks. Most likely though, the pit will always sit dry and you won't need a pump.

A clear piece of plexiglass can be caulked down to the concrete floor over the sump pit so you can monitor water entry into the pit and still prevent radon gas from entering the basement through this opening.


InspectorMark
 
Posts: 87 | Location: OmahaNE | Registered: 26 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You have been given good advise by abimark. If you live inside the village limits of Tinley Park, your building code requires a drain system and sump pump. If you are outside the limits, you should have one anyway because it makes good sense.

You will add a few hundred dollars to the cost of the house if done during original construction. It could be $5k to do it afterwards.
 
Posts: 3 | Location: Schaumburg, IL | Registered: 01 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you for the advise. My concerns are not to save money but to save a location. We plan on finishing the basement and the sump pit is located in the spot we would likt to put a bedroom. We just poured the floor slab with a sump pit. If after the spring rains we do not see any water accumulation, could we fill the pit with concrete?
Lisa
 
Posts: 8 | Location: Tinley park, IL | Registered: 07 October 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just put a cover over the pit and carpet over that. That way it's there if you ever need it. A case like yours shows the insanity of some parts of building codes, such as one that requires a pump and drains even when there's 6 feet of 3-inch stone beneath the bsaement.

You can support a plywood cover with treated 2x4's standing against the pit walls, with 2x4 braces driven between them to keep them in place. Easily removed if the sump is ever needed.


Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
 
Posts: 2870 | Location: Tobyhanna, PA | Registered: 24 October 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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