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Clogged Drain Tile

Mark P

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A 3 year old house with a mostly finished basement floods repeatedly. Infrared scan found no moisture in the drywall. The renter stated "it (water) seems to be coming up through the floor". The sump pump works, the renter said that even during the flooding the sump was working and the water level inside the sump stayed the same, down around the pump. There is a floor drain about 6 - 8 feet from the sump and the renter said it looked like water was bubbling up from it the last time the entire basement flooded up to 1". The flooding does not always cover the entire basement, several times it only partial flooded, but not in the area where the drain / sump are located.

I believe it is a partially clogged drain tile.

Does any one have experience with ?Iron Ochre Bacteria?? I don't think this is iron bacteria because I noticed no odor, but I can't say I'?ve ever been properly introduced to Iron Ochre Bacteria. This felt like very fine mud / clay. What looks like little rocks are just balls of this stuff that smushes easily into mud. What puzzles me is that it has collected at the water line inside the sump. The only thing I can think of is the silt is so fine it floats and builds up? Thoughts?.

What is the product name of the flat drain tile entering the sump? It is not the round 4? perforated drain I typically see. This is flat plastic product (covered with fabric) with little cones that keep the two sides apart. Because of its design I was not able to see into the drain tile.

I'm thinking of what to recommend. What do you think of opening up a section (3-4 feet) of the floor next to the sump to dig down to the drain tile to verify what is going on. Of course the clog could be isolated in another location so this may not be helpful.

Would installing an exterior drain tile be effective or is the only fix to rip up the perimeter of the basement floor, dig down to the footer and replace the drain tile?

Other thoughts?.

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Hey Mark,

We have entire sub-divisions with the iron ochre "jello". I have never know it to be so problematic as to cause real flooding. I guess it could, but my experience says it does not. A common prescription is to flush the lines as much as possible with a common garden hose. Stuff usually does not smell much and has a slightly bitter taste.

The square fitting into sump is something I have never seen in the field, but have read about. I think it is not an appropriate material for several reasons; too flat and will clog more than a round conduit/tile. I think you are right about a clogged tile and would want to know if the flat stuff was used all around the footing.

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It really looks like that is mud/dirt that is migrating in through the drain tile. Honestly it would be at this point that I would exit stage door left and punt to a basement/crawlspace contractor who specializes in wet areas.

My SWAG is that the tiles are clogged with muck from drain water, either from a spring or groundwater drainage.

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I would think a drain specialist could get a snake into those drains somewhere.

Houses that young here will have cleanouts installed around the exterior corners.

Is it possible that the storm drain is overflowing back to the house? Is the house in a low spot relative to the surrounding houses?

BTW, thank you Les, for tasting the Ochre for us. [:)]

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Thanks Les, Kurt, everyone...

The house is not in a low spot compared to the neighbors, pretty flat lot on the sides and the back yard slopes down to a lake, but it is a fair size lot and the lake it not to close to the house.

I get a fair amout of work from a rental management company, in this case I was brought in as an "unbiased expert" just to give an opinion. If I ever learn more I'll post it. I think I might sue the builder if I were in the owners shoes.

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