Need advice for an exterior sump pump

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by akamax, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. akamax

    akamax New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Hello

    Does anyone know if there is a sump pump durable enough to be installed outside in a window well? I live in the Midwest where the temperature drops below freezing in the winter.

    Background:
    Steady periods of rain (6+ inches in a couple days) will cause water to slowly come up through the bottom of the window well and spill into the basement around the frame of the window. This only happens about once a year, but it involves a finished part of the basement.

    I have observed during these heavy and prolonged rainfalls that water will tend to pool about 10 feet from the window well. So I also intend to put a french drain along the back side of the house.

    I would like to dig down in the window well and install a sump pump, in case the french drain idea does not solve the problem. An outdoor plug receptacle is about 20 feet from the window well.

    Is this a workable idea? Are there outdoor sump pumps that are made to withstand winter weather? I do not anticipate any water in the window well except during the spring and summer when the area receives heavier rain.

    Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
  2. sump pump

    you could just put a simple pool cover type pump
    down in the window well... with a garden hose going out
    into the yard...

    it would do the trick for a temporary solutioin
    but would most likely freeze up in the winter
  3. thezster

    thezster New Member

    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Cover the well

    Is the water buildup from the rain going into the basement well (6 inches is a lot of rain)? If so... and it only happens a couple of times a year - you can buy a clear/tinted plastic domed cover to fit over the well. Lets in sunlight - keeps out rain/leaves/rodents/small children .... Home Depot has some cheap ones to try out for grins and giggles......
  4. akamax

    akamax New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I think I found a solution

    Thanks for the advice everyone!

    I had put new covers on all the window wells a few years back, so its not the rain falling in. I've also seen the water rise in the well (very slowly, like watching the hour hand on a clock) after the rain has stopped.

    I went ahead and dug about 2 feet below the window sill this weekend to find that it was filled predominantly with clay, topped with about 2-3 inches of river rock... from what I've researched, this seemed like an issue. I filled it with clean 3/4 inch gravel, surrounding a perforated 5 gallon buck. I intend to put a small sump pump in the well and bury the discharge line leading to the french drain in the yard.

    Come winter, I'll pull the pump out and put it in storage. I just need to make sure I assemble the discharge line in a way to make it easy to disconnect. I'm hoping that the french drain keeps the water away from the window well all together, but the sump pump should provide a pretty good "safety net".

    Thanks again!
  5. mrncfg

    mrncfg New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Pump runs constantly

    Have a sump that runs constantly...every 2 minutes....even with no rain... looking to possibly put in an exterior sump pit to remove some of the worry of basement flooding, along with stop the infernal noise of the pump running every 2 minutes. Anyone know of a company that has exterior sump pits? I found this one http://www.pitmasters.com/ but they are not in business right now.

    HELP?!?!?!?!
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Get one of those 2-handle post-hole diggers and dig down about 5 ft. Find some concrete or clay tile or a plastic culvert pipe, big enough to hold the sump pump. Drop the sump pump and pipe into the hole with a drain so the discharge pipe won't freeze. Stuff the hole with insulation such as bubble wrap or plastic peanuts, and cover it with a waterproof cover.

    There will be enough ground heat to keep it from freezing. If it gets really bad, put in a short length of heat-tape with a self-contained thermostat connected to the pump power supply.
  7. mrncfg

    mrncfg New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Bob,
    thanks for the quick response....trouble is....my basement is about 8 feet down, and so I would have to dig this hole down that far and farther so that the external pit is lower than the internal pit.....shouldn't i tie the external pit into the drain tile that is now going into my internal sump pit?
  8. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    mrncfg: I was thinking in the context of the original akamax post about the window well.

    If I needed to go 8 ft I would consider a deep inside pit (2 to 3 ft) to get the water well below the surface, and then soundproof it. If you make it deep enough to put the pump under water it will be fairly quiet.
  9. bubb1957

    bubb1957 New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Northern Ohio
    hey mrncfg, I am in the same situation you are in with the frequent pumping. I am also looking at an exterior pump. Considering a deep outside crock with a zoeller 4405 sewage pump with a rail system to get it in and out of the hole, but I am still checking into pricing on it. I am in the preliminary stages and am also seeking info and advice.
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,979
    Location:
    Ohio
    If you install the french drain and it is pitched correctly it will solve the problem. Until then MPMs suggestion will work until it freezes.
  11. mrncfg

    mrncfg New Member

    Messages:
    6
    bubb1957

    Let me know what you end up doing. tough part is just built the house, and it would have been so much easier to have the pit installed outside before the home was finished...now i have all the exterior drain tile pouring into my interior sump pit....although slowed down today...only running once every 3 minutes. :rolleyes:
  12. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    How large is your interior pit?
    .
    For the exterior pump I would think you could put a pit in well below the frost layer and insulate the top with some sheet foam (as you would a well) and it would not get that cold...
    On the discharge line, put a check and ball valve down by the pump then drill a 1/8" hole in the side of the discharge line... This will spray a little while pumping but it will also allow the line to drain back into the pit after the pump shuts off keeping the discharge from freezing...
    .
    Disclaimer - I am in Phx, AZ and thus have little actual experience with sumps having to deal with freezing temps...
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