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The Great Crawl Space Flood of 1999

Posted by ChrisR on January 28th, 1999 09:41 AM

After noticing a suspicious small pile of pea gravel
in my backyard after the winter storm of 1999, I looked
in my crawl space to discover a foot of water down
there. My sump pump motor had apparently burnt out in
the last few weeks. The "tub" (basin?) that the motor
sits in was floating on its side in water, anchored
somewhat to the hole by the PVC pipes. My guess is that
somehow this tilting of the sump pump kept it running
indefinitely until the motor died.

I replaced the pump, placed it in the tub, held the tub
in the hole until it completely filled with water and
turned the pump on. After the water was pumped from the
tub, water rushed in around it, lifted the tub up and
turned it on its side again. How do I keep this from
happening? Do I drill holes in the tub and turn it into
a giant colander? I donít think placing a brick in the
tub will help since the pump itself weighs a lot and is
no match for the upheaval force of the water. If I
drill several small holes in the tub, how will I
prevent the pump from clogging with mud?

For now, I removed the tub, just placed the pump
directly into the hole and pumped all the water out.
I can see places in the crawl space where the vapor
barrier has surfaced and it bunched up. Do I need to
somehow place this back under the pea gravel? This will
be a back breaking job. The floor joists look ok, there
is some slight black mold on them.


Chris in Indiana.

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