Sump pump outfall

apg4June 9, 2014

I've installed an automatic sump pump in a catch basin in the crawl space. The only part of the house that floods (like when we get more than 4" a day) is the utility room that is 1" below grade - and that hasn't happened since installation of the sump pump. Local laws require sump pumps to be discharged into the street, not down the sanitary sewer, so I have a garden hose hooked up and ready to unroll. The harbor is just a 1/2 block away.

The house was built 70 years ago, with terra cotta drain tiles from the front downspouts to the curb. Of course, these plugged up with leaves, pine needles and other detritus about 68 years ago.

Using this existing drain line to shove through a PVC pipe would be a whole lot easier than digging a 35' long trench across the front yard - and under the sidewalk. Of course, it has to be jetted/rooted first....

Is this even do-able? Two local drain cleaning companies weren't interested - or rather, gave a fee that made hiring a crew of a dozen to dig a trench seem cheap....


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I don't think I understand all you are saying. First is how a pump and basin in the crawl space prevents the house flooding. Is the grade around the house higher than floor in utility room? Secound,can't you just pump water to where gutter runoff flows across yard to street or whereever it gos? Where does water from gutter go?
But on the assumption the drain line must not daylight before the curb,here gos. Make sure you talk to a contractor who strictly operates a jetter. General plumbers and roto-rooting companies are looking for expensive repair/replacement jobs and usual sub out jetter work. Being the greedy bunch that plumbers are,by the time they pay the jetter and mark it up 400% then add overhead,trip charges,head scratching time and a helper,the customer get's hosed right along with the tile drain line. If you still can't find an affordable contractor,what are your diy skills and tool box like? I might also ask if your hands stand up to hard labor and if you mind getting realy dirty?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:15PM
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I replumbed my furnace last winter, can rebuild a carbureator blindfolded, built a greenhouse from scratch, and have a 42 year old Land-Rover as a daily driver, so I can fix just about anything. Installed a new panel box when I upgraded to 200 amps for the hot tub, and dug a trench for the conduit to the greenhouse's sub panel.

The utility room floods from the crawl space - when ground water saturates up to the surface - and then some. The catch basin is close to the crawl space door and will discharge the ground water before it gets up to flood stage, so to speak. I want to get the water away from the house and soil surface: the law says it has to be discharged into the street. Otherwise, I'm just creating a slow, water recirculation system. We get about 45" a year here, and there have been times when a quarter of the annual precipitation falls in under two days. Since there isn't much topography around here, ponding can be a problem.

It was SOP way back when to dump the downspouts into tile drains that run under the front yard and out to the curb line. Homes built after about 1950 or so don't have this 'feature.' If I can find someone to jet this existing line, it'll save a bunch of work - like a trench across the front lawn....


    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 7:42PM
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Ok,you can handle the chore,that is if it's simple as I make it out to be and the tile hasn't colapsed LOL. Can you dig the tile up about midway and pull a tile or bust a hole in it? Using a 20' stick of scedule 40 pvc fitted with a pipe to male hose thread coupling,screw on a brass leaf sweeper noozel. This end will go in tile,first one direction then the other. To the oppisite end of pvc is a pipe to female hose thread then a little ball valve with m&f hose thread available at any garden center. To the ball valve is connected the largest diameter garden hose available. The idea is to control water with ball valve while pushing pvc through tile. Depending on how well the drain can be cleared and how difficult it is to get pipe through,you may want to leave the pipe in place to use as the pump line. Sometimes a rental pump to boost water pressure can make a difference. Collectivly,the contraption is called apg4's mini-jetter. Hardware stores sell a set up made for this and boreing under driveways if you want to look at those first. Hope that makes sense.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:30PM
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That's essentially what I did to run the conduit underneath the rear walk when I ran a line to the greenhouse. Attached a straight garden hose nozzle to 5' of PVC. Aiming the backyard equivalent of a "Flow Mole" was the challenge.

I was considering doing just this...alternating with a rental "snake". Squirt, snake, repeat.... A snake will cost about $45 for three hours. And yes, I was planning on leaving the line in place once it got to where it needed to go....


    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 6:06PM
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I assume the tile is 4" if not 6" and that requires a 3/4ths or larger snake which is a handful to operate. A lesser snake can easily hang up and/or tie itself in a knot inside large pipe. The big boy can throw a loop around a body part or slap and break something if it snags. Try the home made rig before renting the snake. I believe the water will tunnel were the snake would bog down and get squirrly.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:00PM
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Good point. I use a larger snake when I have to root the main drain, which is 6" and cast iron. Roots get to be a problem after about two years. It's not a job I particularly enjoy....

I'll get my old jet rig out and do a test run of 5'....

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:49PM
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