A sump pump in crawl space can be useful to drain out standing water due to heavy rain. A sump pump system or a sump pump is a suction pump that works to remove liquid from a sump or to remove water that has accumulated in a sump pit. A pump is often installed in the basement or crawl space and is connected to a drainage system under the house that removes water from a drain or receptacle for liquids.
A crawlspace is in contact with the earth and is susceptible to moisture and deterioration problem. Method of crawl space moisture control to be adopted depends on your local climate and the style of construction of your home.
Using sump pump to drain out standing rain water from crawl space
One of my friend recently bought an old house. The crawl space of the house had a sump pump but what the previous owner had done is that he installed a sump pump by digging a hole and putting a large plastic bucket down into this hole. The bucket had holes drilled in the side and bottom. The sump pump was there but it wasn’t working. My friend bought a rigid 1hp sump pump with a “water sense” switch and no float. He also installed a larger, deeper pump pit. He had the pit about 16″ deep into the ground. The pump comes on when there is 8″ of water in the pit and shuts off at 2″. The sump pump is working fine and the crawl space is gradually drying out.
One day my friend returned back home and found standing rain in his crawl space due to heavy rain and snow.
My friend wanted to know if he should install the pit deeper (20″-24″) or will it be OK at 16″?
In case you face this problem, here is what to do:
- The first thing to do is to try to eliminate or reduce the water getting in crawl space.
- Check out if there is any improper grading around the perimeter of your house or downspouts dumping too close to the foundation.
- A pail with holes will accumulate dirt and eventually damage the pump. Try to avoid this. For a permanent solution for the sump pump, consider digging a couple of trenches in the crawlspace and laying mesh coated weeping tile emptying into a small sump tank for this purpose.
- If you plan to re-install the sump deeper, over dig under and on the sides. Put 6″ of coarse sand and pea rock in the bottom, and then install the sump pit. Fill around the pit with the same coarse sand and pea rock mixture. This will increase the amount of water you can get out and prevent getting too much silt, mud & debris in the sump. A little debris is no real problem because it usually gets pumped out if you have a reasonable amount of water to pump out and your pump intake is low.
Water and Moisture in Crawl Space
Are you sensing a lot of moisture in your crawl space? Is standing water in the backyard and moisture in the crawl space related to each other? I want to verify that my sump pump is working to its fullest. Are the drain lines clogged and are not draining correctly? How to solve the problem of water in crawl space?
Well, you can sense moisture in the crawl space; most probable your sump pump is getting water from holes in the circular pipe drilled into it. Water will slowly seep in and fill the pipe then get pumped out.
Usually there is a float switch in a sump pump. When water reaches a certain level, it triggers the switch on and the water pumps out. Check the switch. If it’s not working, you may need to service the pump.
Call a soil engineer or a drainage company to have a look at your place when the house is dry in the summer. You may consider installing a French Drain.
The most important point to keep in mind is to prevent water from getting in that crawl space is to avoid damage to the foundation.