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In need of an inexpensive water pump

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Jay H, Dec 16, 2008.

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  1. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    Since I don't have a french drain, whenever it rains very heavy, I get water in my basement. Sump pump takes care of the runoff but since the basement isn't flat, I get puddles on the far side of the basement where the pump is NOT at. Right now, I use a small shop vac connected to a garden hose to basically suck the water into the shop vac and through a self-made connecter and a garden hose, drained into my sump pump well.

    Problem is, it's a slow process, got to suck the water up into the shop vac and let gravity do the rest.

    I looked at a basic AC water pump but most of them have a minimum clearance, i.e. the water has to be over 1" high for it to suck. Now I could probably dig a pit over there and then use it, but it still would be slow because I would think the pump would be a lot faster than gravity and I'd have to deal with not enough input to the pump.

    Other than a french drain, is there a cheap pump that can suck water without a clearance. Obviously not interested in a fancy gas powered water pump that does 1000gfm or something!

    Jay

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  2. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    I own over a dozen water pumps - some electric, some gas. That because I use then for moving maple sap during the spring maple-sugar season. The problem with what you want to do is this. They suck water until they get air - and then lose their prime. I don't know any that don't. I've got about every size made - and all all, to some degree need priming. The faster the pump is able to pump water, the faster it can lose it's prime. Many are sold as "self priming" but in realty, does not happen.

    I'd suggest, if possible - build a hole/reservoir in the basement so at least you can pump THAT out fast. That's kind of the idea of a sump pump - it sits below the water and only comes on when the water is there.

    I'll add that Wayne makes a nice little electric pump that hooks to a garden hose. It still will lose prime though once it starts sucking air. One of my favorite little pumps is a gas-engine, two-stroke Homelite "Waterbug." It's tiny and held with one hand and hooks to a garden hose. I've got three of them I bought years ago and they've held up much better then I ever expected.
  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    For sucking up puddles off the floor, I don't think any 'pump' is going to beat a shop vac for speed and efficiency...especially if you have the proper squeegee attachment for the head. Sounds like you have this part figured out, and your trouble is with gravity emptying the shop vac through the garden hose? If that's the case, three quick solutions I see are 1) get a bigger hose 2) pop the top off the shop vac and dump it in the sump pit 3) you might be able to add a pump to the garden hose to move water faster.

    Since the discharge hose out of the shop vac would already be gravity feed and you're pumping to a zero or negative head height, you could probably get by with a simple centrifugal pump...something like http://www.pumps-in-stock.com/little_giant_pump_pps-1.html (shop around for a better price!) This will move about 6gpm, or probably a bit more if you're pumping to a negative head height (ie garden hose is below floor level in sump pit)
  4. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    I've experimented with a larger hose for faster drainage the problem with that is if the hose is too big, then the shop vac loses suction because it's tring to suck water from the drainage hose, and not the right hose. I get away with the small diameter garden hose because enough water gets initially sucked in from the intake hose that the water covers up the drainage hose and then the shop vac sucks properly. I found when i tried to use a larger hose is that the water drains too fast and the shop vac doesn't generate the suction properly (unless I block the drainage hose) which takes time and effort and kind of negates the advantage.

    I could certainly use a larger shop vac, mine is a smallish 9 gal one....

    Right now I have my shop vac stationary and situated at the lowest part of the floor on 4 cinderblocks. Then all I need to do is turn it on, wait for the vac to fill and shut it off. Gravity takes care of the rest... rinse, lather, repeat as needed. :)


    Jay
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Your situation calls for a second sump pump OR doing some cutting, digging, and add a section of drain line connecting the current sump to your other wet area. Really, the single sump pump is more than adequate but your issue is getting all of the basement water to the current pump. Time to cut in that footing drain. Lots of people with wet basements have had to cut out the entire perimeter of the slab adjacent the stem wall to install the footing drain and route the water to the sump pump. Ideally, you would do it during construction but as you have found it often gets skipped.

    Not expensive work but it is hard work.
  6. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    How hard would it be to cut a drain in the concrete basement floor, like what would I need? An electric jackhammer or do I have to go full bore with an air compressor, jackhammer, etc. I think my house will fall apart if I did such a thing.. hahahaha... is there such a thing as an electric jackhammer? Cut a hole then use some more concrete to smooth out the hole. I don't care if I make a drain right through the middle of the basement...

    Jay
  7. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    Here's my "other."

    Got fed up with water in the basement - but up to this year is was dirt. Just dug it all out and spent a lot of screwing around, mixing concrete and pouring all by hand. We're on the side of a mountain and cannot get a Redi-mix truck near the house.

    Nice thing about being on the side of the mountain though - is the ability to finally put in a gravity basement drain. Had to dig 5-6 feet down, but worked out OK and I put in 4" pipe. Yeah - it's big, but it can't hurt. Just got it dug, pipe laid, and buried when the ground froze, snow came, etc. Almost couldn't get my backhoe in there when it was dry, never would of made it when wet.icy. Only one way in - up hill.

    My little kid had some fun with the ditch until I backfilled it.

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  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    When I cut in downspouts through sidewalk I rent a concrete cutting saw. It is like a chop saw with a circular blade that saws through the concrete. Most are gas powered but I'm sure there are electric ones. Most also are equipped with a hose fitting to add water which limits dust. Once you cut the concrete most of the way through then break it out with a sledge and prybar. Remove it. Dig with shovel. Maybe use fabric, then rock, pipe, rock, and patch the concrete. Plumbers have to add drain lines under slabs all the time too. There are also concrete cutting companies that could cut it out for you.

    They do make and rent electric jack hammers which you could use to remove the concrete within the cut lines. If you don't cut the trench limits then the edge will be jagged. Electric jakhammers aren't as strong as the macho air powered ones but they should work.
  9. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Just did this.
    Borrowed a gas chop saw, cut a 2' x 2' square in the concrete. Used a BIG Hilti hammer drill/ jack hammer, broke the concrete out, and 5 gallon bucketed the stone out.
    Dug a sump about 30" deep, bought a liner at Home Depot, drilled a zillion 1/2" holes in it, set it in, and sunk a submersible pump in it. I have a stream or spring that I found out runs all year long about 8" below the basement concrete floor. Damn precious owner. After flooding about 12 times since moving in, including 5' deep the week after I bought the place, now I have no problems yet. Pump runs alot during rain. and once in a while when not raining. But floor has stayed dry.
  10. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    My shop vac is better suited for moderate use, I don't think it's a nice enough model for continuous use like a sump pump or my floor pump.

    I wish I knew about those floor sucking pumps before I bought my floor pump. The floor pump has a 1" minimum float to activate. I thought about digging out a trench to basically eliminate the need for that 1" minimum clearance... Maybe I should and check out those float switches. Then it would be automatic.

    I can probably get away with digging a small trench with a hammer drill (which I have, I can buy a disposable masonry bit) than renting a jackhammer... For such a small area, I don't care if it take a week for me to dig a hole... I can then run a garden hose to that 1 1/4" NPT output and run that to my existing sump pump.... which is what I do already with my shop vac.

    Jay
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