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Continually Flooded Crawlspace

Our Seattle rental home was built in 1978 at the bottom of a hill, near a wetlands. We have installed French drains in the basement, and successfully plugged up a leak in the basement floor in 2009. The sump pump has burned out in the adjacent crawlspace more times than I can remember. I contacted our local city environmental services bureau for the purpose of asking if it's possible that the water table is too high, causing seepage into through the foundation. They said it was more likely improper drainage from the roof downspouts. in 2012, we had trenches dug to provide drainage via new pipes leading nearly 100 feet further down the hill from the foundation. In June 2013, the drainage pipe from the sump pump clogged, requiring snaking. All cleanouts were checked for the downspouts and the sump pump drainage pipe, and found to be clear of debris. In October, the sump pump failed again.
Tonight, I sent a second request for the city to revisit the property. Does anyone have any more suggestions for solutions we haven't thought of (short of selling the property, that is!)

Re: Continually Flooded Crawlspace

No expert here,but...
Have you had the electrical circuit checked that the sump pump uses?
What brand pump are you using? Maybe a better brand would last longer.
How often does the sump pump cycle?

Re: Continually Flooded Crawlspace

You have to find out where this water is coming from, and I think you can rule out the gutters. Trouble is: the professionals you will be looking for advise from, will only be guessing, while billing you for consultation and possible work.

In the mean time, find out why your pumps keep failing, as suggested above.

Let me tell you a short story: in 1980 I bought a new tract home that was located at the bottom of a rolling hill. Within the first year it became evident that we had underground water. Turned out to be faulty drainage put in by the builder. A few neighbors got together and tried to sue the builder...what a joke, the builder got away. Later I sold the house, for unrelated reason, but I'm sure nothing was done to correct this flaw. The house is still standing there...

Re: Continually Flooded Crawlspace

For more than occasional usage with city water being used, I prefer water-powered venturi-type sump pumps. These are rebuildable and as reliable as your water supply so that storms are unlikely to knock out your sump pump when you need it the most. In the long run with heavy usage these will be cheaper. Electric pumps (especially the cheaper ones) burn out with regularity so therefore need regular inspection and back-up to be fail-safe enough.

What was said about controlling water ingression is important- this is your main line of defense and not enough water should get into your house so that a sump pump becomes necessary, but in the real world sometimes you can't do enough from the outside for various reasons. Get a water-operated pump installed and then do what you can outside, knowing that this time if the pump fails all that will happen is that it runs continuously affecting your water bill, not your house!


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