No matter what part of the country you live in you may at some point find it necessary to install a storm ejector system or simply a submersible pump with a catch basin to eject rain water and ground water, from your basement or commercial property.
Getting rid of water that keeps getting into your basement takes some hard work if you do not have a pit already installed in your basement.
Many new homes have a small pit sized around two feet by two feet with a depth of around two feet. If a large amount of ground water is coming in your basement while constructing your home the general contractor may require the plumbing contractor to install a storm ejector setup either temporarily or permanently depending on the factors relating to the purchase of the new home.
There are many reasons why you may be getting rain water in your basement. If you have checked your gutters and made sure they are clean of leaves and other items, checked for proper slope from around the perimeter of your home, and checked for potential underground water leak from a broken water line the next solution is to install a storm ejector system.
First step is to decide where the lowest point of your basement is. This is where you want to put in your pit if you do not have one already. If you have one of the newer homes installing a sump pump and piping is made easy because you will have an electrical box near by and a potential discharge location of the water such as a tap into the sewer if your city allows you to do this. There will be an opening through or near the foundation wall to send the water outside your house ( the preferred method).
As with most plumbing installations you will need to pull a permit. The International plumbing code requires you to install a full open valve and check valve on the discharge side of your pump and not in the pit. For one and two family dwellings, only a check valve is required. The plumbing code requires you to pump the water out of the building away from the foundation. The international plumbing code allows you to pump your storm water into the sewer if permitted by your state and or city you live in. You must also follow other rules like nor more than ten feet from your main sewer stack and proper sizing of your sewer to insure you do not over load your sewer duing a rain storm etc. (Check with your plumbing code officials).
Installing your storm ejector system:
With the usage of more and more plastic being used in the plumbing industry it is becoming easier for DIY’ers to install.
I recommend you install a sump pump pit that is around two feet wide and around four feet high with slots in it and a lid. I have seen these plastic tanks sold in hardware stores. Make sure the tank has holes or slots in it to allow water to enter the tank so you can dischrage the water. While your at the store make sure to purchase a storm ejector pump not a sewer ejector (it will be cheaper)with the proper discharge height and all the necessary piping and fittings. (See picture).
You have decided where to put your tank and how and where your going to discharge the water. You may have to pump the water a little higher to discharge the water out of the first floor building wall.
The next step is very important. When you begin to cut your hole for the tank increase the size of the hole by one foot on all sides and a depth of one foot deeper than the tank. Before you set your tank your going to to add rock to the bottom of the pit and then place your tank on top of the rock with rock all around the tank. This is to keep mud and other particles out of the pit.
I like to set the tank one inch below the concrete floor to allow for pitch so the tank can be at the lowest point of your basement and be used like a floor drain in case you ever get a broken water pipe later in the years.
Yes you will remove a large amount of dirt and have to cut a larger hole of concrete to accommodate you new pit. If you have to take the dirt up stairs etc I recommend you use five gallon buckets filled as heavy with dirt that you carry up and outside.
Your next step is to install piping and a check valve. Make sure you route your pipe outside of your house with the proper pitch away from your building foundation as far away as possible.
I recommend one other item to make your life easier. Put in a water sensor on the floor near your newly installed tank that will make a noise to warn you if something is wrong with your pump. There are many types of alarms, my recommendation is to install one.