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Posts from May 2010

When Water Comes Up Through the Middle of the Floor

Posted on May 30, 2010

A lot of people think they are doomed when they see that puddle coming up through the middle of the floor.  They think just putting a French drain around the perimeter can’t possibly take care of the water coming up through a crack in the middle.  And for the most part, they are right.  At Arid Basement Waterproofing, when we visit a house and are told that water comes up through a crack, our remedy is to extend the French drain “laterally” through the floor where the crack exists.  If the crack extends from the perimeter and runs 16 feet into the middle of the floor, well then we run our lateral 16 feet right along that crack.  Sometimes, there is no crack and water comes up around a lolly column.  Or, in extreme cases, I’ve seen water come up through the concrete floor all by itself with no seam or crack.  The concrete will definitely look a little pitted, or shaded differently than the rest of the basement.  But any which way you slice it, if water is seeping in other places than near exterior walls, a lateral is needed off of the perimeter  French drain to guarantee the area in the middle of the floor.

Note: When installing the perimeter French drains, typically there is a 1′ gap left between the floor and the wall (a floating floor).  If a lateral is needed, there are no gaps left.  The lateral is completely covered over with concrete.  Any flooring (carpet, tile, floor boards, etc.) can be put down and without any sign of the lateral.

Good Video of Sump Pump Installation

Posted on May 13, 2010

Here’s a video of This Old House’s General Contractor Tom Silva installing a sump pump.  It’s pretty comprehensive and pretty much shows the whole process of putting a sump pump in a basement.

The Story on Battery Backup Pump Systems

Posted on May 9, 2010

Let’s start out something near and dear to all customer's hearts & wallets: the price range. You can get a battery backup system for as little as $200, or you can purchase the Rolls Royce of systems for $3000.  The old adage applies: You get what you pay for!  However, we developed our unit to be priced mid-ranged with the performance level of the high-end system. So let us get into the differences between the models. There are 3 main distinctions you have to know before making an educated purchase.

The Pump

In a normal residential application, your primary sump pump is a 1/3 horsepower pump, and in some extreme cases, you might have a 1/2 horsepower pump.  The differences between these pumps is essentially the output of water — how many gallons of water per hour (gph) can get pumped up and out.  The 1/3 pump with a 1.5″ discharge pipe (typically PVC) with a head (the vertical length of the pipe going up the wall) of 5 feet can expel 3,000 gallons per hour. The larger 1/2 horsepower pump can do 4,000 gph.  So with that said, in my opinion, if you are going to back up your primary pump with a battery backup unit, you do so with a pump that is EQUIVALENT or stronger in output.  Now, once you start looking into battery backup pumps, you will find that most pumps do NOT have the discharge capacity as your primary pump.  For instance, the Basement Watchdog BWE (the least expensive), retails for $160 plus the cost of a battery, and the output is 1500 gph with a head of 5 feet.  Now look at the Zoeller Sentry 510 model, which retails for $800, and has an output of 2,040 gph.  In some cases, the 510 model might be strong enough to expel the water in a mild storm, but in most instances, the pump will get overwhelmed and water will spill out onto the floor.  The custom backup system that we devised and recommend has a pump that is 1/2 horsepower and it discharges 4,000 gph with a head of 5 feet!  So going with a pump that is equivalent or even stronger will give you peace of mind when the big storm hits.

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