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    jlisenbe's Avatar
    jlisenbe Posts: 3,357, Reputation: 155
    Well & Pump Expert

    Mar 4, 2020, 07:18 PM
    sump pump advice
    My parents' old house has a basement that is prone to getting a couple inches of standing water in it during heavy rain. I've thought about putting in a sump pump. How demanding a job is that? Assuming we decide to try it, what is a good brand to go with?
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,284, Reputation: 10853

    Mar 5, 2020, 07:26 AM
    Depends on how far you take it and the system you use. It can be expensive, but you start with finding out where the water is coming from and how best to prevent the water coming into the basement. That in itself can be a big job both inside and out, with varying degrees of success, especially in older homes that have those flood problems, and I have seen entire communities with this water in basement problems. Mostly I think from inadequate drain/sewer systems. Much expense comes when you are dealing with the years of water damage sometimes not apparent until you go to fix the leaks and find the walls themselves have been deteriorated over time. I think that's where you start, but have seen many just have a few pumps in the basement that just suck out the water and displace it outside very inexpensively without the sump pits. Almost always leaves a mucky mess.

    It does take an inspection though to even get started with finding out your needs and the options to meet those needs. Got a good local plumbing supply near you, see what they have available as there are many types available, some more maintenance friendly than others. If you happened to grow up in this house you already know the whole are rather well and that helps a lot, but before you get a pump system, find and identify the leaks and any damages done over the years for a true cost evaluation.

    Maybe your home owners insurance covers much of this and its only a phone call to find out, but like I say it depends on how much water and how fast you want it pumped dry. A reasonable size pump is usually adequate depending on how much water you take in, but I think the aftermath clean up is a main consideration. If that's a big deal then you start digging pits to keep the water at a certain level, below floor level.

    The devil is in the details as far as sizing/set up, and how the system is used. Whether it's submersible or not auto or manual, so what do you need is the question. What's the budget look like for this project?
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,824, Reputation: 1211
    Senior Plumbing Expert

    Mar 5, 2020, 02:06 PM
    Hi John.

    Install a sump pump pit (could be an actual pump pit with cover or even a 5 gallon bucket with 1.5" holes drilled all around the bucket)

    Install only a ZOELLER M57 sump pump (click on link here: ). These pumps are all cast metal...and come with a 3 year warranty. These pumps cost the same as the cheaper plastic home depot ones and are usually the preferred model with plumbers. This model has an internal, vertical float that has a bit of a cage around it to keep anything from interfering with the float mechanism.

    Install a check valve so it is inside the sump pit

    Drill a hole in the pipe as required by the sump pump manufacturer (read the instructions)...angled downward a bit to force ejected water down into the pit

    Run 1.5" PVC pipe to wherever you are running the pipe

    Hang the vertical pipe coming out of the sump pit well (install a hanger or two into the foundation)

    Hang horizontal pipe every 4 feet

    Do NOT install a GFIC outlet as many states require. These can fail due to a ground fault, but that also means they can fail when you need them the most. Here, you would not believe how many times I've walked into basements with 3-4 feet of water only to push the rest button on the GFIC outlet and watch the pump work perfectly. Install a regular dedicated outlet and be very aware when working on the pump, or if someone else may work on the pump post a LARGE SIGN stating that it is not GFIC protected..*CAUTION*

    This design as presented works in 95% of homes and should not require anything but what is presented. This is NOT a hard job. If you want to discuss an additional battery back up sump pump system let me know.

    That should get you started.

    jlisenbe's Avatar
    jlisenbe Posts: 3,357, Reputation: 155
    Well & Pump Expert

    Mar 5, 2020, 04:35 PM
    When we exit the basement, I'm thinking of running the pipe about a hundred feet across the front yard into the ditch by the road since there is no low ground around the house to dump into. That would involve a lift of six or eight feet going to the ditch. Does that sound do-able?

    This is in the country so just pumping into a drain pipe is not an option.
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,824, Reputation: 1211
    Senior Plumbing Expert

    Mar 7, 2020, 10:32 AM
    Hi John.

    Lift of 6-8 ft. is no problem at all for the Zoeller 57. 100' horizontal run also not an issue here.
    jlisenbe's Avatar
    jlisenbe Posts: 3,357, Reputation: 155
    Well & Pump Expert

    Mar 9, 2020, 07:24 PM
    OK. Thanks. I'll let you know how it goes once things dry out and we can get underway.

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