Some homes throughout the U.S. will have a sump pump. It is located in the lowest part of the house to keep the area dry. In homes that have a basement, this is where you will find it. Another place you will find one is in the yard.
Sometimes, however, it won’t work as it should and you may find it draining into the yard and sitting, instead of going downhill away from the home. What do you do if the sump pump is draining into the yard? Find out the reason and fix it. You might also need to add a downspout extension, a storm drain, a dry well, or even a french drain to the yard. If you don’t have a sump pump in the backyard, this may be when you need to add one.
Let’s take a look at why you need to know about sump pumps draining into the yard, the reasons why the draining happens, the results of too much water, maintenance, and when to call a professional.
Why You Need to Know About Sump Pump Draining Into the Yard
The job of a sump pump is to keep water out of the basement and from flooding the home. If you have one in the backyard, it helps with negative grading and getting the water out of the yard. However, sometimes there are problems and it does not drain in the right spot. If it is accumulating in the yard and making a muddy mess, this is not good. Fortunately, there are reasons this may be happening and it is fixable.
Reason 1: High Water Table
A wet season will make the water table high. Waiting for the weather to dry up is the way to fix this. However, calling a professional may be a good idea. If you don’t have a backyard sump pump, this may be the time to get one. Contact a professional to see if using an outdoor sump pump will help.
If the outdoor sump pump doesn’t work, installing a french drain might do the trick, especially if it happens often. The downside is it can cost $7,000 or more if added to a pre-existing house. Fortunately, there are other alternatives like adding a rain garden that is less expensive.
A downspout is a good idea as well if it is a wet season as this will also carry water away from the home.
Reason 2: Pump Rate is Too Fast
Sometimes the pump might get off track and pump the water too quickly out into the yard. When this happens, the yard doesn’t have enough time to drain it. This may require a professional to take a look to fix it. It should be pumping at a more natural rate.
Reason 3: The Drain Field is Poor
A poor drain field or yard can also cause flooding. A lot of times it is due to compacted soil. However, adding in the sand and other materials can help the draining process. Making sure the yard slopes away from the home and you have positive grading. If you have negative grading, meaning that it slopes toward the home, you will need to fix it. You can do this by adding in soil, flowers, or other aesthetics. Also, this is where the outdoor sump pump can help.
Reason 4: Water Pipes Rupture Can Be a Reason Sump Pump Draining into Yard
The cause of water flooding in your yard may be due to water pipes rupturing. Pipes are made out of different materials and it is important to know what the material is for your home and yard. Maybe you have polybutylene pipes? These pipes may be in crawlspaces that could rupture and cause an excessive amount of water to go into the sump pump and out to the yard. This type of pipe might be in your yard or home if the home was built between 1978-1995.
Perhaps you have pex pipes? These are not good for our weather in the Northwest and can easily break. They don’t last in freezing temperatures and unfortunately, rodents like them.
Lastly, you may have copper pipes. These are supposed to last a very long time and be great pipes, but sometimes they do break as well. A home inspector can perform an infrared themography inspection. This is using a thermal imaging camera to see the different temperatures in the home or outside and can give the inspector a place to start. It won’t tell where the pipe is broken, but will give the professional an idea so he/she can fix it and not tear up the whole yard. Check the water bill too to see if water is leaking from anywhere, that will help you narrow it down if it is from the pipes or just overflow.
Results of Too Much Water
Mold- If the sump pump isn’t working and water is backing up in the basement, mold will start to form. You will need to get the sump pump fixed in order to stop the problem. Then, you will need to take the time to clean up the mold with protective gear.
Sinkhole– too much water in the yard can cause a sinkhole to happen. Monitor the ground and call a professional if you think a sinkhole may be developing.
Mosquitoes- these will become a nuisance in your yard if there is too much-standing water. Mosquitoes need to be taken care of and you can do it naturally.
Maintenance of Sump Pump
Sump pumps need proper maintenance and it depends on the type of water that it is pumping out as to how often this needs to occur. Here is a video that explains the maintenance for you:
When to Call a Professional
Call a professional if you are not sure why your yard is flooding. It is a good idea to find out what the culprit is before there is too much damage. A professional can also help with mold removal as mentioned above.
Sump pumps are great to use in the home for the basement, lowest level of the home, and outside in the yard. When they are working effectively, they help keep the water out of the home and divert it into the yard and away from the home. As with anything, it can break down and malfunction so making sure it is working effectively is important. We will take a look at your sump pump during your home inspection in Olympia, Lacey, Tacoma, Washington, or surrounding cities.