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French drains

Post in 'The Green Room' started by GVA, Apr 15, 2007.

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  1. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Well due to the weather forcast and the fact that I have ledge in my back yard I scrambled yesterday and last night to trench and install the perforated pipe and gravel along the back hill that is notorious for waterfalls (though not intentional).

    Well I didn't finish all of it and dont have the pit installed yet, but I do have a 2 foot deep pit with a sump pump.
    So my question is this would it be normal for the sump to turn on for 5 seconds and off for 1 minute then repeat constantly?
    (no the water is not coming back through the discharge pipe)

    Did I do too good a job diverting the water or is my pump to powerfull?
    It's a 1/2 HP rigid with vertical float......HMMM, should I use a tether style float to limit the cycle time?
    Suggestions.....

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  2. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Did you install a check valve? Also sometimes when there is alot of water things will eventually slow down a little when it dries up. I take it you couldn't put in a natural drain. Is it a pedestal pump? If so I would use a submersible pump. As far as the off and on, sounds too fast, unless you have a lot of flow. If its a pedstal pump, it can be adjusted to come on and off at different intervals. I used to work for FE Meyers, which produces the Meyers pumps, and many others.
  3. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    This is what I'm fighting as far as hydraulic ground pressure. This was last year at this time....
    And gravity draining is nearly impossible since the city installed new asphalt curbs and sidewalks pumping seems to be the only answer.
    Yes I'm using a sump but it has the vertical float so the water has to rise only 6 inches before turning on, I'm hoping that with a bigger tank and a tether float I can decrease cycle times.....

    It finally uploaded.......
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7a1mxjXlk
  4. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Dude, how'd you make out? What's the diameter of the pit? I"ve run tethered submersible pumps and they always run longer than 5 seconds. Man, that's quite a youtube experience there, sheesh, I'd say you have to do some serious diversion there. Is there something those above you could do to stop that Niagara???
  5. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    if you can't increase the 6" water height when the pump cycles on you can either live with it or enlarge the sump but before you do this, you should know that mine works exactly as does yours........on for about 7 seconds and off for about 1 or so depending on if it's rained recently (mine is a 1/3 HP pump and has worked for years like this).
  6. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Thats a hell of alot of water for a small submersible pump. If you could go gravity, I would. Also installing multiple lines about 3 to 4 feet apart will help slow the water some. Thats quite a problem there. Good luck!
  7. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    The waterfall only happens after it has about 4" of rain, the ground is so saturated between the ledge and the top that it just runs along the surface.
    I was outside and opened the pit to about 3 foot diameter by 18" deep to slow the cycle time it was about 1 1/2 feet dia, the surrounding mud has filled the hole in a bit.
    Also the pond in the video had flipped inside out due to the under ground pressure. The liner tore over this past winter so it fills up with water even if it hasn't rained for days. I have a sump installed in this to help move water away from this area too. I'm so aggravated right now..
    If the rain slows a bit tommorrow I'll be out installing the sump tank......
  8. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I've seen people take a 55 gallon barrel and cut it in half. Drill a series of 3/8 to 1/2 inch holes and surround the sides and bottom with gravel to help filter the water. Works quite well. We have used french drains to remove standing water in a yard with good success, but the drain was set up for gravity. Luckily there was a place to take the pipe to the curb and channel it into the street. Are your neighbors above you? That home that we did they were the lowest of the neighborhood. All of the water from their lawns went into this one. 365 days of standing water. 3 days after we put the drain in, the yard was dry for the first time in years. Been dry since.
  9. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    laynes, That's what I'm hoping for but with all the rain the ground is saturated when I was digging the trenches the were filling with water. (this actually helped with finding the pitch of the trench that i was digging)
    I have one neighbor at the same level as me and he channels all the water into his basement with perforated pipe (intentionally I might add) to a sump and then out he doesn't care about the yard as he doesn't have 3 dogs that need to do thier stuff (at all different times) and come back covered in mud.
    We'll see what happens they are calling for 2- 5 more inches over night. :ahhh:
  10. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Your sump is too small in diameter to get long cycle times. You could add a restriction to the outlet if it really bothers you.

    The skinny sump fills to pump "on" level. Your very large pump moves water quickly, and lowers sump level to the pump "off" level which is only like six inches apart on a vertical rod style float arrangement. This takes five seconds because the amount of water stored in 6 vertical inches of your skinny sump is very small. Then the sump pit refills and this happens again. Doubling the amount of water contained in those active six inches of storage would double the time that the pump is on and double the time that the pump is off. Using an active storage depth of a couple of feet as is possible with a tethered float system would be even better to get longer cycle times which are desirable from a pump life and noise point of view.

    The typical reason for using the vertical rod type floats is becuase the sump pit is too skinny to allow the tethered ones to float around freely. For example, you're not going to stick a tethered float and a sump pump in the typical 5 gallon bucket with holes drilled in it.
  12. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    GVA...

    Sounds like you got some digging ahead of you. Put a little into it "up front" and "it will pay off in the long run my friend".

    When I first bought my house...I was getting a ton of water in the basement everytime it rained. I got to the point where enough was enough.
    How determined was I to "battle against the water you ask?"
    Trenched along the (fieldstone) foundation wall...filled in the holes by re-backfilling with sand, "washed it in with a hose", lined the bottom with clay, put a plastic liner on top of the first layer of clay, shaped the 18" x 18" square trench (46 feet long) with clay to form a "V" on top of the two 4" pipes in the bottom (one for downspouts, the other to channel the seep water) "cap" lined with stone...to act as a "ground gutter" (slate roof on house)...all of which goes to the drywell I also built.
    The Drywell: Nine foot wide "cone" on top tapering to five feet at the bottom (eleven feet to the bottom). Backfilled with large stones and nine tons of 3/4 inch gravel. I sunk a piece of 12" plastic pipe 7' into the ground as a "heavy rain sump" so it can be pumped out.
    All the dirt hauled off and dumped elsewhere...all the material hauled in by hand in my p/u truck...all digging done by hand...
    If you are gonna try to fight the water...be prepared to do some digging :)

    Here's the end result 6 foot water column inside 12" sump...250 gallons capacity :)

    Attached Files:

  13. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Thanks guy's for the advice. I will hopefuly be able to finish the drains in the next month or so....
    Key last Saturday I dug the entire back hill and added a flow-tee to direct it to the sump or should I say future sump tank so far 100' of 4" perf pipe and about 3000lbs of gravel.
    I worked out a couple of kinks by enlarging the pit diameter but there were times where I had to add the second pump in the pit. but the cycle times were still pretty quick. I guess when I get the sump tank 3' deep with the tether it will help with the cycle times but I may have to add an overflow tank as a secondary system in case 1 can't keep up.

    So far so good though even though it's still raining here the mud levels are not bad, so it seems to be working...

    Hey If anyone local needs 55 Gal HDPE drums let me know....
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