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Archive for October, 2013|Monthly archive page

Troubleshooting a leaky basement / Low water pressure problem

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

Q:

We need assistance and direction to a problem we are having where water is entering the foundation, garage, and basement. We feel this is linked in someway.

We first noticed that after a heavy rain saturated the ground, we would find water puddles in the basement that flowed from the garage wall. We took out the drywall and molding and applied Dry Lock water sealant on the wall (rod holes) and replaced the drywall. Well, for about a year, everything was fine but then we noticed that on the other end of the garage wall, the situation repeated itself and we used the same process.

We never made the connection until recently that when the temperature drops below 20 degrees our garage floor rises up about an inch and a half and separate from the driveway. Once the temperatures get above freezing and remains there for a couple days, the garage floor goes back down and even with the driveway. Could it be that water is getting under the garage floor somehow and with the freezing and thawing that takes place is making the water somehow find weak spots in the wall and leaking into the basement? However, now it is starting to come up from the basement floor as opposed through rod holes, but is still against the garage wall side.

Who do we need to contact in regard to our concerns? Do you think these issues are linked?

A:

I’ve seen many garage floors that heave upward when it freezes. The culprit is obviously water beneath the slab. In your case, that water is flowing toward a foundation wall that may not have been waterproofed. The builder possibly didn’t see a need to seal the wall since there was going to be a garage on that side of the house. He may have sealed it but obviously not adequately.

Your first order of business is to keep water away from the garage. Make sure all ground around it is sloped away 4 to 6 feet. Check to see that the gutters do not overflow, and that the leaders all discharge 4 to 6 feet from the garage. Seal the gap between the garage floor and the driveway with a viscous sealant.

After that deal is sealed and the problem continues, I’d call a basement waterproofer for estimates. You’ll want to waterproof that entire wall from the basement side.

Q:

I have a granular carbon water filter system flowing from my main house line. The problem I am having is that it greatly reduces water pressure throughout the house. So bad in fact if you flush a toilet you lose most pressure everywhere until the toilet refills. I figured out that removing the actual filter solves the problem. Is that ok or do I need a professional to come and have the housing system removed from the pipe?

A:

You can keep the housing system in place without the filter and it shouldn’t present any real problems. More to the point, why is your water pressure so bad? If you have old galvanized pipes that are causing poor water flow, you’ll need to replace them in the very near future. They generally last 40 to 50 years. Galvanized pipes were replaced with copper around the 1950’s. That means don’t get a sentimental attachment to your existing pipes. If you have city water your pressure should be between 40-60 PSI. That should be adequate if you have copper or plastic pipes. Then if not, check your blood pressure before you call the plumber to determine why you have a problem. Call the city to check if the meter is restricted or defective.

If you’re on well water you may want or need that filter. Check with a water conditioning company. They should be able to install a system that will not restrict the water flow as much as the one you have. This is one time when you’ll be glad that the pressure is on.

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