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Does anyone know if the Chicago Plumbing Code requires that a sump pit have a solid bottom?

My daughter and son-in-law's house was built around 2004 and has a sump pit with a 1/3 horse sump pump (with no back-up pump). The sides of the pit are concrete but the bottom is just stone.

Their basement flooded in the last big rain storm and we couldn't figure out where the water came from until I started poking around in the sump pit and discovered that the base was just stone.

My feeling is that all the moisture from the run-off bubbled up through the pit and overwhelmed the pump.

Thanks for any advice!

Jeff Beck

Retired inspector and full time grand-pap

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California and North.....Armitage is 2000 north.

Are there drain tiles leading into the sump? Is there a combined ejector system with it?

First off, get a new pump; any pump that can't keep up with water isn't worth having. Get a Zoeller or Hyramatic.

The bottomless sump, by itself, isn't any big deal. If there's drain tiles, there's holes in the pit anyway.

As far as Buildings Dept., I couldn't get anyone that said it was wrong. That doesn't mean some dip squat won't come out and say it's wrong.

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Thanks Kurt,

I've already told them to replace the pump and to add a back-up.

In the last big rain they had almost 8" of water in their finished basement. None of the adjacent buildings flooded including the one to the north which is actually lower than theirs.

I wasn't able to get an answer when I tried to speak with someone in the building department. Surprise...surprise!

They have a plumber that recommended that the bottom of the sump crock be sealed which sounds like it may be a good idea.

Do you know if any code requires a solid bottom to a sump crock?

Just curious.


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I wouldn't want a bottom. I drill out every sump I've installed. If groundwater is rising, I want it to rise in the sump, not somewhere else.

Again, forget Buildings Dept. Steve Hier and I have a guy in plumbing we talk to that actually knows something, but he's out for Labor Day. Even if he was there, he'd tell you that anyone might tell you anything on any given day.

As you probably know, the "code" in Chicago is divided up all over the place, from Buildings, to DECAP, to Local 130, and sometimes someone will actually pull out the State Mechanical Code if it suits their purpose in hassling you.

Get a good pump.

Are you sure none of it was back up from city sewers? You'd know, because......well, you'd know.

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