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how do I hook up an exterior sump well to the house tile system?

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We are installing an exterior sump pump as we have too much water coming into our interior sump well (every 30 seconds on a 1/2 horse power pump). We are fairly sure the house was built below grade and have flooded twice already in 2.5 years.

We are putting in a 10 foot culvert surrounded by clear gravel (not sure if we should have a permeable bottom or poored concrete). We are going to hook up the house o-pipe system around the footings to the culvert, as we want the water to default to the exterior pump with the interior as a back up. However we cannot get our exterior sump pump right outsisde of the interior one, it will be about 5 to ten feet further along the wall outside the house, and was just planning on using a t-junction to divert it to this culvert (which will be at least 2 feet below the existing  draining.  I'm not sure the water will default to exterior pump, if the water encounters the interior pump opipe first. So I think essentially my question is how should the exterior sump well culvert be attached to the existing opipe draining system at the house footings?

Sorry if my question is clear as mud!
asked in Sump Pump by fuego_77 (120 points)
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1 Answer

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Hi Fuego77,

I’m sorry for a delay but I hurt my back a couple of days ago and sitting on a chair in front of a computer was unbearable. Fortunately it’s slowly getting better smiley
I’m not sure what do you mean by: “We are fairly sure the house was built above grade and have flooded twice already in 2.5 years”… Is your house on a concrete slab or elevated on pillars and the entire surrounding area is flooding?
Since the sump pump is activated so often an underground water table must be pretty high. There might be an underground aquifer, nearby river / stream (above ground or underground), water well, as well as favorable topographic and geological conditions for the floods to occur. 
Although your project might work, there’s a chance that the exterior drain, being 2 feet lower than the interior one, will be flooded all the time, which would make the second pump running constantly. Ideally you should have the secondary drain discharging naturally, without any mechanical pumps, into some lower area… but that’s probably not an option.
To make sure that the water from the interior drain is flowing into the lower (exterior) drain / culvert without first activating your existing (interior) sump pump you should probably make a connection at the lowest possible point of the interior sump pump pit (its base or just above the base in a side wall). That way the pump’s switch wouldn’t be activated, maybe something like on the picture below?
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)
Thanks so much for your advice; I hope you continue to feel better :)

The house has a poored concrete slab, and we agree there must be an aquifer or something below us. It must be low enough during the majority of the year, its just in the late fall when it rains for 2 weeks straight that the water is abundant and then slows down, but doesn't stop until spring melt, at which time it goes every 30 seconds.

I was afraid to get your answer, as it was what we suspected. There is a huge deck in the way of doing getting to the lowest point in the opipe, which we trying to avoid taking off.

Thanks again
You're welcome Fuego_77, and thanks, I'm better already. I hope you can get that water away from your home. Good luck and please, come back and share your experience :-)