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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Unclogging Sump Well Drain

    Recently, after having a radon removal system install at the sump pump location, I (along with the installing contractor) discovered that the drain pipe/tubing around the perimeter of the house's foundation was clogged. This is the black flexible plastic tubing/piping with holes buried underground around the outside of the foundation to collect the excess rain water and collect/draw it to the sump well so that the sump pump can pump it outside. I do not want dig up the outside landscape to solve this issue. Instead, I would like to insert a garden hose starting from the sump well into the 3 inch black plastic tubing with a nozzle set at a moderate water force and snake the hose until the clog is unclogged. This way the water force will break up any and all clogging debris and the water will wash it into the sump well and the sump pump will then pump all the water and material out. Has anyone encounter this issue? Anyone got any other methods to unclog the drain, without having to dig up the outside perimeter landscaping? Thanks to all in advance for their inputs/suggestions/recommendations!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
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    4,045

    Default Re: Unclogging Sump Well Drain

    Yep ... unfortunately it's a common issue. Years ago the plastic weepers have been available with a fabric "sock" covering to prevent soil from getting in and plugging up things..... only costing pennies more.

    You could try and flush things with a garden hose though you might find you can only go so far before it bunches up.
    I've seen guys attempt this method with power washers with limited success. Other methods are digging down at strategic points to the weepers , cutting open and use a power sprayer. This is more work and can be somewhat pricey but is cheaper than digging the entire foundation and replacing the weepers.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: Unclogging Sump Well Drain

    jp,

    I think you'd have a better chance of success without any digging by using a drain-jetter. It kinda depends upon how far the clog is from the sump pit.

    A drain-jetter is capable of reaching much farther into the line than you will be able to achieve with a garden hose. You don't really need a "bona-fide" complete drain jetter unit to do this....although you might find you can rent one locally. All you really need to try this is a quality pressure washer (I recommend an absolute minimum of 700 psi, 1200 psi would be much better and 2500 even better yet) ...and the jetter hose...complete with appropriate jetter tip, of course. (Most jetter hoses are rated for up to 3,000 psi)

    As you can see in the pic...the tip has three jets facing backwards and one facing forward. The hose will, more or less, propel itself down the line via the 3 back-facing jets and the one jet facing forward will bore a hole thru any soft-ish obstructions it encounters...allowing the hose to advance farther. Then drag the hose backwards very slowly to scrub the line and wash out the debris.

    In the one pic you can see that I have mine coupled up to the hand-wand of a "normal" pressure washer. This works very well because it allows me to manually pulse the water flow which helps dramatically in turning corners in smaller pipes. Push a bit on the jetter hose while pulsing the flow and voilla...the hose advances thru those 90 degree turns in smaller pipes. Actually, this is what the "bona-fide" jetter unit does automatically. Those units can be set to pulse constantly....at varying rates.

    My hose is 75' long (and well worn from much use over the years). Longer hoses are also available. Or perhaps a local plumber has a jetter unit and you could simply hire them to give this a shot.

    Cross your fingers that all the clogs are within reach from the sump pit. If they aren't, you're likely in for some digging.

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-...jetter-mod.jpg

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-...753/image1.jpg
    Last edited by goldhiller; 07-03-2008 at 11:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Unclogging Sump Well Drain

    Thanks to the two of you for your input.

    I really don't think I will dig up the yard for this issue, since the area I live in doesn't really get that much rain for the sump pump to work. In fact, I usually go and fill the sump well with the the hose to clean out the old water and test the pump.

    But I like the idea of the jet drain cleaner from the rental to snake the drain. I thought of using my own power washer but don't think it has enough power and hose to accomplish the take at hand.

    Now to wait for the weekend guests to leave so that I can prepare for the dirtiest drain clean up of the century.


    As they say on the show, keep them comments/inputs/recommendations/suggestions coming...there's got to be other ways to clean out the sump drain pipe.

    Happy 4th to all!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Unclogging Sump Well Drain

    jpi7605 ... I agree ... you don't want to dig if you don't have to ... that's the extreme measure.

    I like ****hiller's idea of the drain-jetter .... I gotta get me one of those ... cool.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Unclogging Sump Well Drain

    jp,

    Forgot to mention....

    If you go at this yourself with a rental unit...

    I'll recommend that you remove the jetter tip from the jetter hose when you first start the unit up. Flush a few gallons of water thru the hose (under pressure) to eject any debris that might be in the hoses or the pump unit. This because those jet orifices are really small and it doesn't take much to clog one. Then screw the tip on and make sure all jets are open. If one is clogged, take the tip off and carefully clear it with a needle.

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