Sump liner & perforations

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Michael C. Irvin, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. Michael C. Irvin

    Michael C. Irvin New Member

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    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Maryland
    Hi all,

    New member, home owner, and newbie sump pump guy. I have an 8 year old house and have had my sump pump fail on me twice already in an area when only moderate-to-heavy rains run the pumps. The first time, we had some water in our finished basement while we were away at Disney and decided at that time to replace the sump and put in a second pump with a third battery powered backup (with interior french drain around the perimeter).

    The pictures below show some of the progress from that project. The new sump was put in the square basin and the original sump was in the circular one. After the project was all finished, the NEW sump in the round pit failed around 3 years after the install.

    I mention all of this as I am planning on replacing the failed pump myself (I think I am good there) but I believe that when we have heavy\long rains the sump in the round basin can cycle every 1-2 minutes as the basin is "solid" (non-perforated) and only has a drain pipe towards the top entering into it. The sump can empty that basin in about 5 seconds.

    I am wondering if I should drill some holes in the basin to allow more water to flow into the basin while it is pumping out and thus pumping more at a time but cycling less often. The problem I have is that I really don't know how the builder "packed around" the basin and if I drill holes (Say a couple of rings of 5/8" holes) am I setting myself up for problems with small particles moving into the basin over time. [I am ok with "cleaning out" the basin if need be as I am going to make sure I can detach each connected pipe without having to re-cut]

    As you can see, the second basin is perforated, but obviously the outside of the basin has small rocks all around it.

    Idea, comments, suggestions all welcome.

    Sincerely,
    Mike

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  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    Is that gray inlet pipe connected to some of that perf pipe like you have laying there?

    I presume you have gravel around the walls of the new sump. If that is the case, I would drill a bunch of 1/4 or 3/16 holes thru the wall of the sump liner. I would put the holes at about the level of the gravel that is under the concrete floor.

    50 holes should only take maybe 10 minutes. If your drill does not go through the liner very quickly, make sure your drill is turning the right direction. :rolleyes: If it is, get a new drill bit.
     
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  4. Michael C. Irvin

    Michael C. Irvin New Member

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    Yes, the gray inlet is connected to perforated pipe all along the perimeter ... one side dumps into square basin and one side dumps into the round basin with both basins connected together. The square basin is already perforated and has stones all around it ... it is the round one that is not and I am unsure of what is on the outside of that basin except for where I can see they dug up for this project.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    OK. Got ya. If you drill, I would start with one 3/16 hole. What come out as you drill? soil, or does it feel like you are hitting rock? If in doubt, leave that single hole, and see if clean water comes in or not.

    I would not consider 5/8 holes. I hope that you put something over the pipe with the big holes, such as a sock made for the purpose.
     
  6. Michael C. Irvin

    Michael C. Irvin New Member

    Joined:
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    I think that is a great idea ... try one smaller hole and see how it goes. I think the contractor that did this project did not even use that pipe with the holes. I looked back at the photos I took and they used a square pipe with holes in the side to let the water in ... I can also see that is what they used between the 2 basins. Obviously they didn't wrap the pipe with any filter.

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  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    The pipe is indended to be installed with the holes facing down, so the water percolates up into the pipe. You can try many small holes in the basin, but most of the water should be coming from the perimeter drain.
    Your goal should be to make the pump run longer instead of cycling more. This can be accomplished by using a pump with a lower GPM rating, and by using a contol switch that has a greater range. In a perforated basin, you want to make sure you are not pumping water that is more than 6-8" below the lowest spot in the slab, as this will only cause the pump to run more and increase your electricity usage. Water that is deeper below the slab is not causing any problem.
    Lastly, don't use any of the pumps that are sold in the big-box home stores. Order a Zoeller or Hydromatic from a plumbing distributor for a good quality pump.
     
  8. Muchy

    Muchy New Member

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  9. Muchy

    Muchy New Member

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    Greetings to all,
    Can someone please tell me if it's possible for a sump pump to cope with a rising water table? To me it seems like trying to fight against the tide.
    My wife and I have been in our present house a year and 1/2. The basement has a pump in a pit but no perimeter drainage system. The sump has three or four small holes (I'll drill more) and an outflow pipe taking the water out the side of the house. After a long period of heavy rains, the water table will rise to the point where the pump will run every few minutes. The basement hasn't flooded yet, but I worry about the water table getting so high that the pump won't be able to cope with it.
    Is there a way of calculating the pumping capacity needed for the size of a basement floor? If so that would be helpful.
    Thanks for any advice.
    Muchy
     
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Runs for how long every few minutes? 10 seconds? In that case your pump is way to0 big. 30 seconds? a little big. 1 minute? sounds right-sized.
     
  11. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    The problem with that idea is that a standard 18x22 basin is 20 gallons, so on a normal pump cycle the basin will most likely be maybe 3/4 of that capacity. Most common 1/3 hp sump pumps are rated for around 40 gpm, so the math just does not work out very well.
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Good point. https://www.libertypumps.com/Portals/0/Files/Sales Literature/240-Series.pdf is a 1/4 hp pump. If the head, including dynamic losses come to 15 ft, that curve gives 15 gpm.
     
  13. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    It is hard to give a right answer knowing that during heavy rains the inflow might overwhelm a pump with lower output, yet the same pump might only run once an hour under more common circumstances.
     
  14. Muchy

    Muchy New Member

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    Lots of good advice here, thanks. Basically what I come away is that several holes should be drilled in the sump pit, the pump should be set high enough so that it doesn't pump water lower than 6 - 8 inches from the basement floor (which I did yesterday). That should work for now, but with global warming and heavier rains we are having now, I'm afraid water tables will rise, and the problem will get worse. If that happens I guess the answer will be to get a bigger pump or add a second pit and pump. For now I'll check the sump pit often to see if the water level is rising.
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    That's not it. Do have the sump get pumped down nearly as far as the pump can do. The point would be to keep the drilled holes higher, rather than having the holes go far down the sides of the basin.

    If the holes are no deeper than x, then only ground water from higher than x will get into the basin to be pumped.
     
  16. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Doing that is completely dependent on whether the switch can be adjusted to work at the desired levels. Most pumps do not offer adequate adjustment to do it well.
    It is best practice to not set a pump at the bottom of a basin. Always set it up on bricks or a paver block to allow a place for solids to settle at the bottom of the pit.
     
  17. Muchy

    Muchy New Member

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  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a not-good idea to me. I had very little sediment in my pit. If you have a collection of non-pumpable debris, I think your holes are too big, and you did not put the right-sized gravel outside of the holes.

    If you are accumulating non-pumpable sediment, you might want to try to remove that with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner or a dipper.
     
  19. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    It is not much different than the bottom of a well bore hole. There are always some fines coming in through drain tile, and we most of the sumps around here do not have a lid, so debris also enters from the top.

    A while back we had a job where the resident had a complaint of an odor. The solution was to remove 2 decomposing mice from the sump pit. Once you get that smell in your nose it stays with you for hours. ;)
     
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