Sump Pump Update

The sump pump is working well. It is discharging the laundry wash as hoped for. What I am patiently waiting for is a couple days of driving rains to determine whether the sump pump/pit will deal with the basement floor seepage. Although we finally got about a 1/4″ of rain in the last 24 hours, it is not enough, so I “patiently” wait!!!

Sump Pump installation (Part 4)

Well, the concrete has cured. I bought a 12″ diameter circular paver to place in the bottom of my sump barrel for the sump pump to sit on. Then I installed the 1-1/2″ threaded-solvent weld PVC adaptor on the pump. Then I solvent welded about a 4′ section of PVC to that. At that point (about 3′ above floor level), I installed the check valve. Below the sump pit cover (at floor level), I drilled a 3/16″ weep hole in the discharge pipe. The purpose of the weep hole is to prevent airlock. From the check valve I made my connections all the way to the outside downspout drain, which will take the sump water to the ditch about 200′ away from the house.

After everything was installed and connected, I tested by dumping about 5 gallons of water in the pit. The pump discharged it in approximately 5 seconds. Pump is rated for about 42gpm. The pump sits in 4″ water and kicks on when water reaches 8″ deep, then turns back off when water level is down to 4″ again.

I normally do not like rain, and we haven’t had any for a couple weeks. (In my alternative universe it is 80′ and sunny every day and rains 1/8″ every night from 3-4am). However, since this isn’t my reality I am actually hoping for some drenching rains just to see if installing this sump pump will alleviate the wet basement issues and prevent water from coming up thru the floor and around the perimeter.

Sump Pumps (Part 2)

The sump pump installation has begun. Did my usual prep work, researching, asking lots of questions, etc. Went to both Lowes & Home Depot and then went home and reviewed their sump pump models online. I later happened to be at a plumbing supply business doing some work and made some inquiries there. They said they only carried Zoeller brand. So, when I got back home I googled this and found out that this is the brand that most of the pros sell and install. Being a firm believer in quality and that you get what you pay for, I went back to this plumber and purchased a Zoeller. What surprised me was that “ceteris paribus” (“all else being equal”), this didn’t cost much more than the lesser quality brands at the big box stores.

So, now that I had done my research and purchased my sump pump, I proceeded to purchase the other things I needed for the installation. This included the check valve (from the plumber), schedule 40 PVC pipe & fittings (from Lowes), pea gravel & concrete mix (also from Lowes), and a few electrical supplies that I needed to run the dedicated circuit for the pump. Then I went to Home Depot to rent an electrical jack hammer. Having never used one of these, I opted for the 24 hour rental since I didn’t know how long it would take to do the job.

After getting further advice from Home Depot and a couple of contractors I know regarding using jack hammers, I proceeded. First, I marked the 32″x32″ square area on the basement floor. Then I used a cold chisel and small sledge hammer to score this perimeter. The contractors (and the guy at HD) told me that this would minimize cracking of the concrete outside the perimeter. The scoring process probably took about 20 minutes, and I am glad I did it because it really did eliminate unwanted cracking. After the scoring, I proceeded to use the jackhammer. I was very surprised how well it worked. Although it is heavy, you just have to steady and guide it while it does the work. All in all, the jackhammering process took about 20 minutes. (Probably the hardest part of the whole jackhammering process was carrying it down to the basement and then back up to return it).

Now comes the truly hard/laborious part. Excavating the broken concrete and the subsoil down to a depth of 28″ (the depth of my sump pit). What I did here was to utilize my “indentured servant” (IOW, my son). Obviously he gets free room and board, etc., and so with a little further enticement of some “$$”, he has been excavating away. At the rate it is going, I am estimating 4 hours for this part (pretty much in line with what others said it took them for this part).

So…that is where we are at them moment. Next (probably tomorrow) we will lay a gravel base, install the plastic pit container, place gravel all around it, re-concrete the floor around the pit, run the electric circuit, and intall/plumb the sump pump tying it into an underground drain line.

More later…