O.T. Drainage system
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  1. #1
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    Default O.T. Drainage system

    We got hit with another 100 year rain last week in Chicago. Seems like 100 year rains come every year now. I'm looking to put a perimeter drainage system in my basement feeding into a sump pump. Looking for recommendations for the proper back fill, (Original construction back fill was ciders. Very common around here.) drain tile and what degree (inches per foot) to pitch the tiles. Also the million dollar question, any reduced dust methods of cutting the floor open? Total run would be about 50'. South wall approximately 22' to an elbow turning west approximately 20' to the sump pit. Another run to the center of the house approximately 10'. Pump pit will be along west wall center of the house with two inlets. One from the center of the house tile, the other from south and west tile. Should I perforate the sump pit as well and back fill around the pit with stone maybe wrapping the pit with fabric? I had planned on leaving the back fill material about 4" to 6" below floor grade to cement the pit in and prevent it from getting pushed out of the ground. Also what can I do to prevent the pit from getting crushed by the ground around it. Everything I see is either plastic or fiberglass. Any opinions are welcome. I don't want this job to have to be a redo! Thanks, Glenn.

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    Get a knowledgeable contractor and a bank loan.

    Tom

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    My house has 5 sump pumps and 4 holes with a tile system. Drainage infrastructure at the street was horrible (since has been somewhat improved) and the intersection that I live on used to flood up to 18" deep. Roughly 1000 gal/min into basement during 1"/hr+ rains, good news is electrical system in house is 500A and extremely reliable.

    The way you talk, I assume this is a finished basement. Concrete can be cut with wet saw for almost no dust (but lots of water), or hammer drill a bunch of holes and bust up with sledge.

    Before doing anything, I would evaluate if there is an adequate storm drainage system and if there is tile into that and sump as backup. Depending on when your house was build it may or may not have a vapor barrier on the outside of the block basement walls. If there is not, adding it is very expensive but can be worth it because the water will not run through the walls if that is a problem you are having. I agree with Tom, get a good contractor and a bank loan! I don't mean to assume your incompetent but from the questions you are asking sounds like you do not have much experience so maybe hand this one off to someone who does.

    Contractors will like it if you can tell them a few things:

    1. Where the problem areas are in the basement
    2. If the street drainage is adequate or not
    3. What the condition of the basement walls for being sealed
    4. And of course, if you have a set of plans for your house that will help

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    Not entirely clear from the description if you're planning to do all of this from the exterior foundation side?

    If you only want to do this once, sealing the exterior wall and provide drainage right next to it is a plus.

    Recently had a water problem from crappy initial construction. Dug down to and below the top of the footing, patched the concrete, adhered Bituthene to the wall and footing, then used a drain fabric right next to it (has a filter fabric and dimpled plastic drain channels). Then piped the water away below the footing, drain cloth above the rock, and filled with more rock. So far so good.

    Up top, make sure water drains away from the foundation.

    I was able to get the footer drains to empty by gravity. In your case, I'd want to be well away from the foundation with a similar sump well to what you've described.

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    Claim is that crystalline admixture added to cement will make a water proof self healing layer on concrete. Cost is around $250 for a five gallon bucket of the stuff. Added to cement at 2-3% ratio.
    Much cheaper in ton lots on Alibaba but no shipping and a lot of that is actually something else which is just a plasticizer and not a waterproofer.
    Bil lD

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    I bought a house built in 1926 and the best I can tell it's owners have fought water since the beginning. I don't have a basement, but when I bought the place I have been up to my chest in water in the crawlspace trying to figure out where the fuck it was coming from.

    I did some pretty major construction and cleanup when I bought it. Took out a few hundred 12" x 8' fence posts. A few days with a 25k lb dozer. 2-3' of 4" minus under a 7000 sq ft shop built on muck.

    I figured out the runoff from a 1000 acre grass farm that surrounds me goes through my property when we get real heavy rain. I said fuck the tile. I cut through what could have been miles of it clogged to hell. Clay, concrete, plastic, sleeved, all kinds of tile. 90 years worth of it. I measured my land with a transit with cut a ditch sloped to the road. Built a 6' tall burm with what came out of the ditch to direct the water around my shop and house.

    The 3 sump pumps that couldn't keep up under my house haven't turned on since. No water at all now.

    Most of the time the ditch is a trickle, but heavy continuous rain and it will be a fast flowing foot deep and 4' wide.

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    FWIW I've already repaired three foundation cracks from the outside using two layers of rubber made for below grade use. The procedure I used was from the local waterproofing specialist. At present there is no inside perimeter drainage system. The houses in my neighborhood are about 8' apart so ground water is a major problem. I got quotes up to $20,000.00. The real cost is in the labor to open the floor for the pit and tiles. I put a bathroom in the basement about 25 years ago. I had to install an ejector pump pit and the tiles (PVC pipe) in for the toilet shower and sink. Also had to snap the stack pipe to tie in for the ejector pump and vent line. I'm not afraid of hard work, never was but 20,000.00 to break up a 3" thick floor to dig a hole and 50' of trench! I figure there can't be more than $1500.00 in materials. Besides I've seen the caliber of people they hire to do this kind of work, strong backs weak minds. Usually one guy running the show the others doing the grunt work. Thank for the replies, I'll let you know what happens.

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    Garwood you're my kinda guy. See a problem, diagnose a problem, fix the problem.

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    My neighbor had a water problem in his basement. Digging a trench all the way around the house just seemed like too big a job. He had so much water pressure under the basement slab that after a few days of heavy rain, water would actual squirt up through the joints a half inch. We cut a hole in his basement floor about two feet square with a masonry blade in a skill saw, dug out the gravel and the dirt with post hole diggers. We dropped a piece of concrete culvert (no holes just a few chinks of broken up slab to hold it up off the dirt)into the hole and installed a 1 hp sump pump with the outlet going through the basement wall running to a low spot on his property. This low tech approach worked very well and he has not had any water problems since then. I'm just saying that sometimes this simple cost effective approach can work.

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    I had a house with footer drains going into a crock in the basement. Never again.
    Pumps don't last forever and any power outage means no pump.
    year-finished.jpg b-002.jpg

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    We did as you are considering and it works fine. I did it to two houses and a church - all three buildings are nice and dry even with heavy rains. We used the plastic sump and have had no problems with it collapsing. The house has been over 25 years and the church has been over 5 years. The other house has only been a couple of years. We used 57s in the trench and then corrugated with the holes in it leading to the sump.

    The dust is something to consider - a lot of water on the concrete saw helps keep the dust down but oh my … the mess! That slurry gets everywhere. Just grit your teeth and get through it. You can clean up when you are done.

    We dug the trenches about 14" deep - figuring 4" of stone, a 4" pipe (which is actually a little bigger than 4 because of the corrugations) and 4" of concrete, and that gave us a little buffer to pitch the pipe as necessary and adjust with the stone. If you're off a little with your pitch don't worry too much because the water will still follow the pipe. I would keep the pitch consistent plus minus 1/2" per 10'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Booze Daily View Post
    I had a house with footer drains going into a crock in the basement. Never again.
    Pumps don't last forever and any power outage means no pump.
    year-finished.jpg b-002.jpg
    Yeah - get a battery back up too! You can get a Watchdog for a couple hundred bucks. Man Booze - that sucks!

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    Yeah- start with looking at gutters and grade.
    For the inside cut work use a wet concrete saw- just vent the piss out of the room so you don’t die from CO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Miranda View Post
    Yeah - get a battery back up too! You can get a Watchdog for a couple hundred bucks. Man Booze - that sucks!
    Aint no battery going to pump that much water...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Miranda View Post
    Yeah - get a battery back up too! You can get a Watchdog for a couple hundred bucks. Man Booze - that sucks!
    That was a pump that died WITH a battery backup. No one had been in the basement for 3 days.
    I came home from work one day and heard a weird noise. It was the squirrel cage in the furnace splashing.
    Opened the basement door and...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Booze Daily View Post
    That was a pump that died WITH a battery backup. No one had been in the basement for 3 days.
    I came home from work one day and heard a weird noise. It was the squirrel cage in the furnace splashing.
    Opened the basement door and...
    Your basement is THAT nice and you weren't in it for 3 days??

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    We had a seriously wet Fall when construction started on a big addition to the house. Existing part had a crawl space and I wanted a basement. After a serious amount of pumping during the foundation pour I decided to raise the addition 2 feet. Took a piece of 24" culvert pipe and perforated it, stuck upright in a corner. Then 24" washed stone dumped in and leveled. Slab poured on top of that. I had to build a knee wall on the foundation to gain back my headroom. Everything worked out for the better. That was 14 years ago and only once did we get water in the crawl space and it flowed through a small room near the stairwell. I took a hammer drill and put 2 holes in the foundation wall between the rooms. 2 holes in the slab below and water drained under the slab.
    I have a Honda submersible pump and a second Honda pump as backup. 2 dedicated circuits and different float levels. If the lower pump burns out it will trip only its own breaker. And an 18 KVA generator connected to a 1000 gal propane tank. Pumping is only a spring thing here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Booze Daily View Post
    That was a pump that died WITH a battery backup. No one had been in the basement for 3 days.
    I came home from work one day and heard a weird noise. It was the squirrel cage in the furnace splashing.
    Opened the basement door and...
    If I had a basement that nice I would have had a float alarm that works off a battery. If the float goes up to a certain level it squawks with an annoying pitch until you pay it some attention. I just put one on my MIL's sump only because of her other daughter's insistence - she wanted to put a battery backup in the mud crawlspace! Easy to spend someone else's money... I said no, just get the alarm for 1/10 the price. Sister is a bit of a she-Nazi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    If I had a basement that nice I would have had a float alarm that works off a battery. If the float goes up to a certain level it squawks with an annoying pitch until you pay it some attention. I just put one on my MIL's sump only because of her other daughter's insistence - she wanted to put a battery backup in the mud crawlspace! Easy to spend someone else's money... I said no, just get the alarm for 1/10 the price. Sister is a bit of a she-Nazi.
    If I had a basement that nice....I'd get on an excavator and run a drain (use a xsit) out to where I got some fall.

    No electricity, no pumps involved at all.

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    How often in a year do you get flooding and for how many days each time?

    The reason I ask is because while French drains and large sumps are great for chronic flooding they are overkill for occasional use. We usually only get one or two episodes of high groundwater every few years so I went with a simpler system that works quite well.

    I have 2 sumps using 5 gallon plastic pails set in about 300 pounds of gravel. I perforated the buckets using a taped on pattern I drew in CAD with 1/8" holes. I opened the floor by hammer drilling a circular pattern and then breaking out the connecting concrete with an air hammer.

    The setup is great for the occasional use it sees but if I had frequent flooding the small sump would cause excess pump wear due to frequent cycling. One drawback of the high volume systems is that they provide a larger "hole in the hull" during extra heavy flooding. A few years ago a friend with such a system had a geyser coming out of the sump while the pump was running full time so he got partially flooded anyway.

    My sumps are at opposite ends of the house and I have a 3rd sump in the middle under the stairs to the first floor. In the event it is needed I drop a Water Wizard in and run a hose to the least used large pump which pumps the water outside.

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