How often should a sump pump run?

blue_velvet_elvisAugust 28, 2006

We have a brand new. three week old basement under our existing home. The mason put lots of tiling all the way around, extra around the window wells. We ran into an old natural creek nobody told us about pre basement planning. There was a LOT of water and a lot of mud. The sump pump does seem to run less than it did but it seems to me to run a lot, even on days with no rain.

How often should the sump pump be running and should it start running less? I'm assuming now that there is some grass and there are some plants that they'll absorb some of the excess water.

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not sure if I can answer your question.
I can say in my last house (new construction) it ran often, even during droughts. My grass was always green near the discharge, but brown everywhere else. I must have had a high water table.

Be sure to check grading around foundation. You want water to flow away from your house. Also, check gutters w/downspouts extending away from foundation.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 9:25AM
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In addition, if the area has a high water table, the sump pump will run more frequently. If so, its a good idea to get a battery back up for the pump, because in the event of a heavy downpour/storm, in case of a power failure, the pump will still kick on....preventing flooding in your basement.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 11:14AM
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Keep in mind that the dirt around your footer or basement wall was dug out for construction then backfilled. Even if it was compacted during the backfill procedure it is still much more porous than undisturbed soil. Initially you may get a lot of surface water but as the soil settles it will once again take on the compaction density of undisturbed soil so the amount of water entering the sump should diminish with the passage of time.

You can also greatly diminish the amount of water by making sure you have a good grade pitch away from the structure.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 12:28PM
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Q: How often should a sump pump run?

A: As often as the sump fills up....

(Thanks for the applause, I'm here all week....)

Seriously, in our previous house the sump pump ran all the time, due to our being the low spot in the neighborhood. One of the things we did was run a buried drain from the backyard out to the curb, which caught a lot of the "surface water" before it soaked in. If we had stayed there longer I think we would have had additional drains put around outside the house.

One of the issues with tiling around the house perimeter is that it needs to be "daylighted", run downhill to a surface opening, otherwise the water will just sit there in the drain tiles around the house. I have read of an outside "sump pump" that is used to pump out from around the house before it gets into the sumps.

All the best!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 1:20PM
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