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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Anyone can let me know Guarini number? I find 2 people on google (Lou G and William G). I have a slow french drain connected to my back-alley sewer. Both are backing up during rain storms. I need a full inspection and quotes for repair/rerouting if needed. This might involve excavating.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 12:30
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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well, good luck...seems like you got a grip on the situtation.

don't hesitate to call if the problem changes...

Posted on: 2006/6/14 16:53
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Hey Johnnytit,

Yeah, we have two sump pumps with trenches, using perforated PVC sloping toward the drain, both installed by the same general contractor. The basement is roughly 16' by 40'. Because the basment slopes to the front, the darin in the front of the house is deeper into the ground.

The drain by the back of the house works just fine, catching the water that comes in from back wall and expelling it through the sewer pipes; plus keeping the water table below our floor level.

The front drain, however, just had too much water flowing into it after heavy rains for the pump to keep up. I watched it for a while. It was slowly losing the battle, and didn't want the escess water flowing into our basement.

Since we cemented in the french drain around the front pump basin, things have been fine. The trench catches any water coming in from where the wall and floor meet.

Posted on: 2006/6/14 16:35
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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hey jimmoe...

thanks for responding to my Q's...a couple more...

was the contractor a basement waterproofer or just a contractor?

roughly how big is your basement? (30'x20', for ex.) because you might have needed two sump pumps.

do you remember what kind of pipe the contractor used in the trench along the walls...was it PVC(typically white) or PE(black accordian like)?...

and can you see the pipes coming into the sump pit area? if so, how many inches from the floor are they entering?

when you install a french drain, you DEFINITELY tap into the water table, groundwater...that's what they are made to do.

the differences between french drains are PVC(clearly the better pipe) vs PE, and if the pipe is pitched or not(most contractors do not pitch the pipe, believe it or not!)...and if the basement calls for it, one might need 2 sump locations within the basement and stronger pumps all depending on the amount of water you take in.

thanks.

Posted on: 2006/6/14 15:36
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Ok. So I used to have flooding problem. As in 2 feet of water at least twice a year. Bad stuff. Mostly due to rainwater and sewer backup. I tried several different solutions and nothing. Then I found Rolando of Clear Flow Plumbing. He did some other work for me and I had him look into the flooding problem. It's like it became a mission for him...he had to figure out how to stop it. He did all this research on sump pumps...brands, horse power, configuration...it just felt like I had somebody on my side trying to actually figure out this thing. So he comes up with this configuration, using commercial grade sump pumps...4 in total. When it rains, it looks like geyser coming out the front of my house...but my basement is dry. Knock wood. All I can say is it works. And you can read the other reviews on him on kannect and other sites...the guy is gold. Take it for what its worth. It cost around $4500? Maybe a little more, I forget. But well worth the cost of not getting an ulcer everytime it rains.

Posted on: 2006/6/14 14:07
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Hey Johnnytit,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you.

The setup is a 1/2 horsepower pump with a 1 1/2 inch pipe, leading to a larger drainage pipe under my driveway.

The basic problem was that we had water coming through where our basement wall and floor met whenever we had a real deluge -- maybe five times a year -- and we wanted to collect and pump that water away. When the contractor put in a french drain, I think we ended up tapping into the groundwater flowing beneath our house. And up here on the island, there's not a lot of space between basements and the bedrock.

A friend of mine who has a housing inspection business says he often sees basements where installing a french drain made the situation worse. You end up pumping you and your neighbors groundwater out through your basement .

Posted on: 2006/6/14 13:44
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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hey jimmoe..

just curious...what kind of pump and size(horsepower) did the contractor supply? what size discharge line did he use?...all of this is important in determining why this happened. it's not commonplace, but certainly does happen occasionally where you need to upgrade because of the pump being overwhelmed.

if your pump wasn't adequate, it would be like towing a trailer with a honda civic., you got to have the right power...otherwise, it's just not going to happen when it deluges...slow and steady rain maybe.

i've yet to put in a 2" discharge line, 1/2 horsepower pump and it not do the job. realize that the average contractor would never use this size pump and discharge line.

and did you deal with a contractor...or a basement waterproofer?...it could be a world of difference.

and brewster, i'll agree...a check valve problem is a check valve problem, and in this case putting a sump pump with a monstrous capacity right next to the point of entry would still be a band aid but it would probably do the job and keep the basement from flooding.

Posted on: 2006/6/13 4:17
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Quote:

Jimmoe wrote:
Hey folks,

A word of caution before you install that French drain in your basement:

We also have water seeping into our basement during heavy rains -- and we live on top of the hill in the island section -- so our contractor suggested a French drain and sump pump set up.

Big mistake. During the first deluge after the installation, it sounded like a fire hose was open in our basement. Water was gushing into the drain faster than the pump could dispel it. The contractor was back that day cementing in the drain.

Think twice before you head down that road.


That's exactly what I predicted for my place in my earlier post. You don't have a suburban type "groundwater" problem, you've got an incontinent sewer problem. Did you get your money back? No offense to Johnnytit, but my experience with "waterproofers" is they got a hammer and every kind of flooding except check valve problems looks like a nail, regardless of factors.

Posted on: 2006/6/13 2:08
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Hey folks,

A word of caution before you install that French drain in your basement:

We also have water seeping into our basement during heavy rains -- and we live on top of the hill in the island section -- so our contractor suggested a French drain and sump pump set up.

Big mistake. During the first deluge after the installation, it sounded like a fire hose was open in our basement. Water was gushing into the drain faster than the pump could dispel it. The contractor was back that day cementing in the drain.

Think twice before you head down that road.

Posted on: 2006/6/13 1:37
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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thanks for your insight Johnnytit. If I ever do need a sump pump installed I will call you.

Posted on: 2006/6/12 13:16
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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mitts wrote:
According to the JCMUA's Beckmeyer, JC only collects $1700 per unit, in spite of the big dollars the developers will make and the load they place on our antiquated system. AND there are no other requirements made.


The developers argue that since the system floods only due to rain, their added domestic load is insignificant. The developer of the 9th & Brunswick project claimed they would build a holding tank to contain the runoff from the roof.

In the in the political ecosystem here, developers are the apex predators. We're still giving tax abatements for building downtown. Next to that, undercharging for utilities hookup is minor. Changing it would be a start, but won't come up with the billions to modernize the sewers. The only way to do that is to clean up the finances of the city to the point where a bond issue for the task is possible. In a city where the people giving the parking tickets lose money at it, I'm not holding my breath.

Posted on: 2006/6/10 20:23
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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if there isn't any smell to it it's probably groundwater seeping into the antiquated sewer system through cracks and whatnot...

to do what you suggested...i would run that past a plumber first...i think if you could successfully clamp on a temporary hose and get it out to the street i don't see why it wouldn't work...IF IT'S GROUND WATER. don't attempt it if there is oil slicks in the water or smelling at all like sewerage.

FYI, to install a sump pump is about $1200.

Posted on: 2006/6/10 15:45
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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did building the 8 inch subfloor help?.



Yes it did. We have a wood shop in our basement. If any water got into our machinery it would be a nightmare. Building a level subfloor with a vapor barrier has saved us at least a dozen times. Maybe a sump pump would help, but the sub floor has been successful enough that the added expense of installing a sump pump does not seem necessary right now. I am wondering though,Johnnytit, if it is possible to hook up a rubber hose to the cap so when it does overflow, I can redirect the water back onto the street? I don't think that its sewer water, there's no foul smell but we also avoid using the bathroom/running the laundry machine in down pours, just to avoid any issues. Not sure if they even sell anything for this purpose.

Posted on: 2006/6/10 15:32
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Whether or not it is true that the JCMUA doesn't have the money, other than to "put out fires"...it is my feeling that they probably do not have the funds.

HOWEVER, part of the problem is their funding arrangement. Every new sewer hookup (read every new condo, apartment, home, etc.) necessitates the payment of a hookup fee (paid by the developer). Many townships and municipalities in NJ require quite a bit of developers who are looking to make some green in these towns. Not only do they require hookup fees of $4K, $5K above, the towns often require sewer upgrades, installation of playgrounds, etc. According to the JCMUA's Beckmeyer, JC only collects $1700 per unit, in spite of the big dollars the developers will make and the load they place on our antiquated system. AND there are no other requirements made.

If you factor how many new units are coming on-line and the attendant sewage load, why isn't JC charging something more in line with other cities or for that matter, charging more??? And what about the suggestion of upgrades?

This issue is partly related to our growing tax bill here in JC. Rather than making established residents pay for the increasing cost of services (especially those services greatly impacted by new residents), how about thinking about revenue sources outside the box? Like sewer connection fees!!! Other cities around the country (although I don't like it) shift some of their burdens to visitors. Ever rented a car in Houston and then pay a $3/day stadium fee, or the $1.50/day property tax reimbursement fee or the others??? You'll see this in St. Louis, Dallas, Atlanta, etc. In some cities there are no less than 6 different taxes and fees -- raising the cost of a rental car by 35%!

My 3 cents.

Posted on: 2006/6/9 20:37
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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brewster....

what kind of pump are you talking about kicking in the other day?(trying to get a scope of your problem, little hard over posting)

the only thing i could think of is rebuilding a sump aprox 18"x 24" RIGHT NEXT to the trap or sewer lines coming in through the foundation...and put a 1 horsepower sewer injector pump that could pump 9600 gallons per hour.

it'll be like a bilge pump philosophy of pumping it out faster than it comes in, but unfortunately not correcting the problem at the source.

you're right, french drains would be the remedy only if it wasn't sewer water and it came in along a wall(s) and not just one place(which is what i'm visualizing is your problem, correct me if i'm wrong)

Posted on: 2006/6/9 13:07
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Good point, Brewster, cost of labor.

Eddie, they dug a whole new sewer through the street. The old sewer/creek meandered through the neighborhood.

It would be a huge job, but it's basic sanitation. Again, after schools and crime, what's a more important issue?

The first step, as we said last year, would be to come up with a plan for a new sewer system and find out how much it would cost. Everyone always says that it's too big a project, but we ought to find out exactly how big.

It might be an interesting political strategy to appeal to the Bank of International Development, or the International Monetary Fund for money. That might call attention to the contrast between the luxury buildings going up and a sewer system that is so antiquated we need to ask international agencies for help.

Maybe the problem is as soon as the rain stops, everyone forgets about it. Also, it's not "sexiest" issue. When it's done, no one will see it. Nobody will be able to point to it and say, look what I did.

The project here, by the way, served 2.5 million people. It cost US$600 million of which US$264 million came from the Bank of International Development (BID), US$73 million came from the World Bank (BIRD), US$ 78.2 million came from the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF), and the rest, US$184.8 million came from various Brazilian state and federal agencies or banks.

Posted on: 2006/6/9 13:04
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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did building the 8 inch subfloor help?

Posted on: 2006/6/9 6:50
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Fasteddie, The fact that it is a huge incredibly expensive undertaking doesn't mean it should be pushed under the rug forever. That's called denial. Beckmeyer won't even admit there's a problem. To my face he called flooding an "act of God".

As for workers, I call em like I see em personally. Recently walking past the PSE&G work on Grove I saw more standees than workees. Maybe I just don't understand construction work.



Johnnytit, did you read my earlier post? you need to add a third type of flooding to your list. My check valve works fine, but sewer water comes through the foundation wall from the street fill flooded by the overcharged sewer. The other day I was in the basement and before my pump kicked on I knew it was flooding by my nose. There's a cute delay from when the sewer floods, which I've monitored through my high cleanout, to when it starts to seep in. that's the time to flood the fill. I prefer heavy rains that start light so it clears the shit out of the sewer before flooding my basement, then it doesn't smell much.

Cutting french drains around my slab would simply be like ripping a board out of a rowboat's hull. Before I cemented up a 2x2 open sump, I figured I took on over 5,000 gallons an hour.

What else you got? I'm not a pro like you, but I have yet to meet anyone in JC with genuine groundwater problems, rather than sewer or runoff problems.

Posted on: 2006/6/9 4:16
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

Ben wrote:

The average salary here is between $150 and $500 a month.


Ben, your answer is right there. The overwelming cost of this kind of work isn't the cement sewer lines, it's labor. We would pay north of $70 per hr including all benefits, and then have 6 guys standing around watching one guy dig. And that's not even counting the no-shows, the padded out beaurocracy, the no bid sweetheart deals. Now I'm sure Brazil is a world class contender in the corruption game too, but when you start with paying a worker for month less we pay for a day......... you get the idea.

Village: you're repeating the excuses of MUA engineer Beckmeyer. Don't believe it. most flooding here is due to a completely antiquated system that they don't even have a PLAN to upgrade, even if they did have the money.

I know New Orleans isn't the best civil engineering model at the moment, but before the levees broke, the city below sea level had a system that could pump out hurricane strength rain as fast as it could fall. We're not below sea level, just without leadership or money.

I don't think you can compare the place in Brazil with JC. They were using an open ditch and probably placed the new piping in that ditch. The sewers in JC have been in place for well over 100 yrs. Retrofitting or rebuilding the sewer system in JC would be a mammoth undertaking as it would be for any major older city. It would be a nightmare of a project. No we ain't got the money, believe them when they say it. The 6 guys watching 1 guy dig is a cliche. All this type work is done by contractors now, with machines. The private contractors don't put up with no slackers.

Posted on: 2006/6/9 2:41
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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if the water that is coming up out of the trap(where the sewer caps are in the floor), and the water is clean, then that would be the water table rising up...the only way to stop the water table from rising is a sump pump and/or french drain(which includes a sump pump).

if the water is tainted and smells, then unfortunately it's a sewer problem...refer to the other posts that talk about the caps and valve shutoffs...

if it's the water table, i can help you out.
check out
www.aridbasementwaterproofing.com
this is my company, we're the oldest in the state, you'll talk to my mom(literally) and tell her you got referred by the jc website. we give free estimates.

good luck.

Posted on: 2006/6/9 2:30
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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I have to agree with you Brewster. I do not live downtown, I live over by St Peter's on a hill. I am not in the flood zone, I am literally at the top of the hill, but when it rains really hard, my basement floods. The sewer lines back up and where the sewer caps are is where all the water comes up out of. I have watched it happen many times. We built a subfloor eight inches off the basement floor so that all of our stuff does not get damaged in wet weather. I've had plumbers all tell me the same thing. It's because the sewer systems are antiquated.

Posted on: 2006/6/9 2:09
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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Quote:

Ben wrote:

The average salary here is between $150 and $500 a month.


Ben, your answer is right there. The overwelming cost of this kind of work isn't the cement sewer lines, it's labor. We would pay north of $70 per hr including all benefits, and then have 6 guys standing around watching one guy dig. And that's not even counting the no-shows, the padded out beaurocracy, the no bid sweetheart deals. Now I'm sure Brazil is a world class contender in the corruption game too, but when you start with paying a worker for month less we pay for a day......... you get the idea.

Village: you're repeating the excuses of MUA engineer Beckmeyer. Don't believe it. most flooding here is due to a completely antiquated system that they don't even have a PLAN to upgrade, even if they did have the money.

I know New Orleans isn't the best civil engineering model at the moment, but before the levees broke, the city below sea level had a system that could pump out hurricane strength rain as fast as it could fall. We're not below sea level, just without leadership or money.

Posted on: 2006/6/9 1:28

Edited by brewster on 2006/6/9 1:52:45
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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three things to remember

We live in a flood zone
We also get all the water that flows from the heights
When there is a high tide the system backs up. The water can't go anywhere else but down.

I have seen so many plumbers over the past two years is isn't even funny.

It's part of regular life in Jersey City. We live in a flood zone and are more prone to floods that most others.

Posted on: 2006/6/9 1:27
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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The average salary here is between $150 and $500 a month. The tax base is almost non-existent. It's true, the city got help from the Bank of International Development, I think it was. But the contrast is amazing. Here we are in what people sometimes call a favela, in one of the poorer places in the world, and we have a better sewer system here than the one we have Downtown.

With all the development going on up there, it's incredible that we have a better sewer system here in the underdeveloped world than we do in Jersey City.
.

Our tax base will soon be non-existant. So maybe the Bank of International Development can help us out too. Do you have their phone number?

Posted on: 2006/6/9 0:43
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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The valve itself cost something like $1500-1800. I don't have the receipts with me. But that's what it cost, more or less. They'll give you an estimate for the work.

See pm.

I'll take this opportunity to get on the soapbox for a minute. I probably said the same thing last year, but after the school system and crime, I don't think there's a more important issue for Downtown.

I'm in Brazil now. You're saying this guy must be nuts if he's writing from Brazil. But we still have a house in Jersey City, and I check this board from time to time to see what's going on.

When I came here for the first time in 1991, there was no sewer system at all. That is, the sewer was an open fetid creek that ran through the neighborhood. During the rainy season here, it rains harder and longer than you can imagine; tropical downpours that last for hours. The creek/sewer flooded our street and house regularly. I'll spare you the details, but it wasn't pleasant.

A few years ago, after years of petitioning the city and state governments, our neighborhood here in Bahia in Northeast Brazil got a brand new sewer system, including separate networks for rain run-off and sewage. In Jersey City, the two are combined, which is the root of the problem.

The average salary here is between $150 and $500 a month. The tax base is almost non-existent. It's true, the city got help from the Bank of International Development, I think it was. But the contrast is amazing. Here we are in what people sometimes call a favela, in one of the poorer places in the world, and we have a better sewer system here than the one we have Downtown.

With all the development going on up there, it's incredible that we have a better sewer system here in the underdeveloped world than we do in Jersey City.

Sorry to hijack the thread. And I'll step down off the soapbox.

Posted on: 2006/6/8 21:14
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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More that's been said before: in my neighborhood the flooding is due to the sewers overcharging nearly to street level and leaking into the street fill and then under our foundations.

My check valve works perfectly but in a really heavy rain the entire basement slab will be so pressurized every crack is squirting like a fountain.

The city has videoed the sewer, seen that is has all sorts of cracks, and walked away. The don't do anything until it actually collapses.

Posted on: 2006/6/8 14:34
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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We have a complex system in our apartment building that was installed back in the 80's that deals with roof runoff and sewer back ups. Unfortnately someone had shut it off and we had some flooding last year. It took four visits by four different plumbers to figure this out. The first three plumbers told us we would need check valves and we would have to re-route our roof runoff which would have cost thousands of dollars. The fourth took two seconds to actually look at the contraption and realize that the switch was turned off.

In the end we will need to get a better sump pump for the front of our apartment but that will not cost nearly as much as a check valve.

My point is this, even though plumbers can talk with a lot of confidence they might not be giving you the proper information. Plumbers are plumbers, not engineers, and you should talk to as many people as possible to assess your situation.

Posted on: 2006/6/8 14:17
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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who did you use at guarini? how much did the floodgate costs?

Posted on: 2006/6/8 14:13
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It's true, we go through the same thing every year.

Plumbers will tell you that check-valves work, but they don't because, as Alan said, debris gets stuck in the valve, which prevents it from closing. I had a check-valve, and a system for keeping it clean and free of debris, and it still didn't work all the time.

I had this Floodgate valve installed about a year-and-a-half ago, and it's been working so far. Guarini will put it in for you. Here's a link:

http://www.jrsmith.com/products/prodcat.htm

This is, of course, for sewer backup through your main. It's not the same thing as water seeping through your walls, which is another issue.

Posted on: 2006/6/8 13:04
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Re: solutions to basement flooding
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I know, I know - I post the same comment at least four times a year. If you think you are going to have sewage backing up - even the slightest chance - get Hep A & B vaccinations.

It is possible that debris is preventing the checkvalve from closing completely.

Sorry for sidetracking the thread.

Posted on: 2006/6/8 11:12
Yes,we have no bananas.
(Silver & Cohn, 1923)
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