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Prevent water from coming in through French Drain
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Author:  jpluddite [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

Howdy folks.

In last fall's big flood in the Mid-Atlantic, we got 5 feet of water in our basement. It came in through the town's storm sewer through our french drain. Many of the houses in our neighborhood had the same experience because of the design of the sewer system.

So, with the big storm heading our way, I'm wondering if there is a way to stop water from coming in through the french drain.

Any ideas? I don't have time for cement to dry.

Thanks,

jp

Author:  needmore [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

Do you have time to install a back flow preventer?

Author:  jpluddite [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

Hi Brad.

For some reason I can't find a back flow preventer around here. The basement companies didn't have one either. It's ironic because it's the lack of the back flow preventers in the municipal sewers that is causing this particular problem.

p

Author:  johnw [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

By basement companies do you mean plumbing companies? If not the latter should have plenty of them, all new houses would surely require them. I had one installed several years ago and you get a reduction in your home insurance if you notify them.

johnw

Author:  jpluddite [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

I'll give that a shot, John.

Thanks,

jp

Author:  johnw [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

Good luck, it will be a scramble. Hope this Hurricane dies out, sounds ominous at the moment.

johnw

Author:  Tarzanus [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

I've had similar water related problems. This year I've made drainage system that allows me to pump (automatically using float switch) water out in case water level gets high. If there's a lot of precipitation (over 100 litres/m2 in 24 hours) like last couple of days, pump turns on every couple of hours. So far it seems that the thing is working, basement is dry. Hopefully it stays that way. :)

Author:  canadianplant [ Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

We had 120mm of rain in 6 hours last may. The sewage plant flooded, no pumps were running so the storm drains backed up, flooding 5000 houses. Turns out, having a check valve here is illegal? Maybe you cant find one cause youre not supposed to have it? IT had something to do with flooding houses instead of the pump stations and sewers (didnt make any difference here).

We have a giant rock on our basement drain which seems to have stopped 95% of the water comming in.

Author:  johnw [ Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

canadianplant wrote:
Turns out, having a check valve here is illegal?


That's absolutely crazy. Think about it, it's like saying you can't install a surge protector, if you did the surge might blow out the power plant. If true the politician that came up with that one should be locked up.

jpl - you should probably have a sump pump installed as well. Hope you've had some luck finding a backflow check valve. Plenty of youtube hits showing how simply they work.

johnw

Author:  GrowingHabit [ Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

Possibly, the terms used will help you find what you need. Call a plumbing supply house (the wholesale place to contractors, not a Home Depot or Lowe's type place) or a plumbing contractor, and ask for a 'backwater valve.' There is a distinct difference between a 'back flow preventer' and a 'backwater valve'. One is strictly domestic, and one is sewer.

I'm trying really hard to imagine the layout of what you have designed there. I'd dig up the ends of my french drain and daylight them somewhere, completely disengaging from that backwater source, during this oncoming storm, unless they don't collect much. Its not going to have anywhere to go, if the outflow is in reverse (hence the need for the backwater valve in the first place).

I wish you the best, mate. That's a rough situation.

Author:  canadianplant [ Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

johnw wrote:
canadianplant wrote:
Turns out, having a check valve here is illegal?


That's absolutely crazy. Think about it, it's like saying you can't install a surge protector, if you did the surge might blow out the power plant. If true the politician that came up with that one should be locked up.

jpl - you should probably have a sump pump installed as well. Hope you've had some luck finding a backflow check valve. Plenty of youtube hits showing how simply they work.

johnw


John, I know..... IF I may use the term, the city is ass backwards. After that flood, it turns out that there wasnt even anyone in the plant to deal with the problem, and the actual storm drains are HALF of what they should be. This is coming from the insurance company as well as the water company. The only place I havnt actually asked is the city itself... No one in this area has a checkvalve (cept the neighbors across the street, who had to get it from the states). Im a mile away from the lake, and there are 2 rivers less ten 3 blocks away. IF they were legal, im sure it would be mandatory to have them in my are, and it clearly isnt the norm...

Author:  johnw [ Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

cp - Sounds as crazy as here. For years the city deducted a pollution control fee from our water bills but then used all the money to pay down their own debt. The sewage contineud straight into the harbour. They finally built sewage treatment plants and within months the harbour was clear. But then with the first very heavy rain the storm drains overfilled the resevoirs and it spilled over into the harbour and into the lower floors of the plant killing all the pumps and electrics. Took more than a year to repair the damage. Meanwhile every time there's a heavy rain, all inc. sewage goes you know where. Where do we get these people?

johnw - overcast, breezy

Author:  foxd [ Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Prevent water from coming in through French Drain

From previous horrible experience I found that politicians think mostly in terms of spin, which is designed to mislead about rather than solve problems. An engineer may tell them exactly what it is going to take to solve a problem. They will take that information and rewrite it removing everything they consider politically unviable and adding what they consider politically viable to the point that nothing remains of what the engineer actually said. When the situation goes belly-up the politicians will them point at the engineer and bring in a new engineer to solve the problem. Rinse, lather, repeat...

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