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Community and Q&A

Backflow problem in my basement drains

bopXfLTBPf | Posted in General Questions on

Dear sir,
I was at your site and learn a lot. However, I had a challenging problem where I need your opinion. My house basement has three drains on the floor. The purpose was to drain any water inside basement if basement get flooded due to water damage.
Instead, I got water from ground through perforated pvc pipe(it is located in front of my house and connected to basement drains) to my basement. I feel because pvc pipes are perforated and whenever ground is oversaturated, water from ground percolates through pvc pipe and back up to my basement drains and floods my basement. My concern is should i put one way valve (backflow restrictor) in my basement drains so there will not be any back flood to my basement or should i replace pvc perforated pipe to solid pipe outside which would be lot of work because of to dig the ground atleast 7 feet deep to access pvc pipe?
Please elt me know as soon as possible. I live in northeast and my hose has three floors including basement. Also, is it easy to install check vavle in pvc existing pipe?
I have also frenchdrain all around the house.

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  1. wjrobinson | | #1

    Vimal, your whole drain system has to be clog free and either slope to daylight so as to gravity drain or slope to a sump pump. Do what you have to make it so. A contractor may be helpful. Ask some to stop by.

  2. davidmeiland | | #2

    The drains from the basement should be in solid pipe, not perf, and nothing else should join them or drain into them on the way to daylight. And as AJ says, they need to slope to daylight and be free of any obstructions all the way out. This can be difficult to accomplish unless you have a sloping site.

  3. bopXfLTBPf | | #3

    My Basement drain pipe is solid and as it goes outside the house it connects with a perforated pvc pipe which could be a underlying problem. However, it slopes steep outside the house approximately for a 100 feet in front of the yard with downgrade but it is 7 feet deep to access. My question is do i need solid pipe outside too to resolve this problem?

  4. bopXfLTBPf | | #4

    Also, my whole pipe is clog free wihtout any obstruction. I did with rotorooter.

  5. bopXfLTBPf | | #5

    Since outside pvc perferoted pipe has holes water seeps through in and in heavier rainfall, it backflows through the oustside pipe to my basement drain and causes problem. My inside pipe is solid and it is connected outside my basement with pvc pipe which has perforation. That is the way my contractor did when I built my house 15 years ago.

  6. user-939142 | | #6

    a typical sump pit system would have been a better idea from the start
    you could hack a closed sump type pit onto the drains and cap off the pipe going outside, but its a hack. its better to get the water before it enters up through the floor and walls

    and i'm not sure a one way valve will work; there would have to be enough pressure from the inside to push it open; to loose a valve will get stuck open or allow backflow

    plus the one time when you will really need it, is when the ground is saturated with water. so interior water will being trying to push out, while exterior water will be trying to push in, and the exterior pressure is going to win and keep the valve closed

  7. bopXfLTBPf | | #7

    I don't need sump pit system in this case. Also, I hardly have used this basement drain to drain any water inside my house. Only concern is to stop outside ground water coming in through this drain whenever ground is saturated with water. Overall, this drain is 100 feet long from basement to front yard. Out of this, inside 20 feet is solid pipe and remaining drain pipe (outside the house) is perforated. Should I replace outside pipe with solid pipe to stop this problem?

  8. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #8

    You tell us that your footing drains slope to daylight. So, are they working? When water backs up into your basement, did you ever walk to the end of the pipe and see if water is flowing out? (You can test this by inserting a garden hose into your basement floor drain.)

    If no water is flowing out, you have a pipe obstruction (or a pipe that was laid with a negative slope). In that case, call a plumber and have it snaked out again.

    It's possible that your footing drains (and the outlet at daylight) are higher than your basement floor drain. If that is true, your builder made a fundamental error. If that's the case, I would break up the concrete around the floor drains, cut off the pipe to a stub, and cap the floor drain pipe securely. Then patch the concrete.

  9. bopXfLTBPf | | #9

    Yes, I have a rotor rooter come and pipe is open all the way with no clogging in the pipe. I think whenever ground water lifts up higher it percolates through PVC pipe and backs up towards basement . It happens only during heavy rain. also, he checked the grading and it slopes down towards the front yard not towards basement.
    My question is do I need perforated pipe to drain basement drainage? Can I just replace it with solid PVC pipe or put check valve in the pipe at basement drainage area?

  10. davidmeiland | | #10

    he checked the grading and it slopes down towards the front yard not towards basement

    ground water lifts up higher it percolates through PVC pipe and backs up towards basement

    One of these statements is not true. If ground water is entering the perforated pipe AND the pipe slopes away from the house, then that's not the source of the water coming into your basement. Either you are mistaken about the condition/configuration of your drainage piping, or you are wrong about where the water entering the basement is coming from. There is nothing that anyone here can do until you get the facts for us. I recommend you have a qualified home inspector figure this out.

  11. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #11

    1. The drain pipe connected to your floor drains should be solid pipe, not perforated, all the way to daylight. That pipe should not be connected to your footing drains.

    2. Your house has several problems: the floor drains were erroneously hooked up to the footing drains, and it sounds like the pipe leading from your footing drains to daylight are undersized, since they are unable to keep up when it rains. Either your house is placed in very wet ground, or the pipe is much too small. If it's a 4-inch or 6-inch pipe, and it still can't keep up, your basement must be sitting in a lake.

    3. I still think the easiest solutions is the one I suggested earlier: break up the concrete around your floor drains and cap the pipe securely.

  12. davidmeiland | | #12

    Martin, seems like you could permanently install plumber's test plugs rather than breaking concrete. There are very inexpensive types that simply glue into plastic pipe, and others that tighten with a thumbscrew.

    I'm also wondering if the pipe leading to daylight was accidentally run uphill somewhere underground, even though it eventually comes out lower. Seen that one before...

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