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Sump-thing needs to be done...

I'm just not sure what! (excuse the horrible pun!)

I've recently moved into a 1900s Bungalow in Western Mass. The basement has a poured concrete floor and the previous owner had an interior perimeter drain installed at some point.

The setup is fairly typical for the area in that I have the standard gutter type drain against the foundation walls and two sump pits with pumps, one on either side of the basement. One thing I've never seen before, mostly because I've never owned a home!, is that the perimeter drain goes under the concrete on one side and then it appears to end at an open French style drain which has a pipe buried in the gravel that goes into the sump pit for pumping out of the basement.

After removing an old coal/canning room (two actually) I realized there was quite a bit of mud that flowed into the end of the drain trench over the years. I started digging up the gravel to see what I was working with. I found rather large chunks of cement and rock along with some larger gravel and then the pipe that goes into the sump pit. The pipe doesn't extend all the way to the end of the drain and I'm not sure why but I'm not going to change anything that seems to work unless I hear otherwise.

So what do I do now? My initial instinct is to remove all the old gravel and mud, clean it out as best as possible and then replace the gravel. Thoughts?

Re: Sump-thing needs to be done...

You definitely want to have clear drains going into either the french drain or the sump pit so that the excess water has somewhere to go. If the drains are unclear it's a good possibility that the water will seep into the ground surrounding your basement causing unwanted leakage and possible mold & mildew.

If your sump pump isn't already equipped with a water alarm I would seriously look into getting one installed. Even if your basement isn't finished, you won't want to risk the possibility of a mold infestation in your home. There are several plumbers/contractors that offer a free diagnostic service. Since you are the new homeowner, I would look into that since you'll want to protect your investment.

Best of luck.


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