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Christian 06-26-2009 09:23 AM

basement baseboard waterproofing system...not working!
OK...this is a follow-up to my last post. This time I have more detail after doing some research.

I have some type of hollow baseboard waterproofing system in place in my basement currently, but I'm still getting water/moisture/seepage around the wall/floor joint. Anyone have an idea as to what the problem may be!!??

I also have a sump pump, and from what I read, these types of waterproofing systems typically drain into a sump...can anyone explain how that works? I don't see how the baseboard water drains into the sump.

My sump pump seems to be working too, I tested it yesterday by lifting the plunger and it operated. It seems fairly quiet though, and I can't remember ever consciously hearing it that normal?

My downspouts are pretty far away from the house (although I'll probably extend them a little more if will help) and there really isn't anything sloping directly toward the house.

Any advice or ideas to fix the problem would be greatly appreciated.

CraigFL 06-26-2009 12:22 PM

The systems that I've seen just trap water between the system and the wall so it can run sideways ending eventually in a drainhole to the sump where it gets pumped out. These kind of systems do what the drain tile are supposed to do directly outside the wall. Either the outside system isn't there or isn't working properly or well enough so people try to bandaid it with one of these.

You should check your sump to see if water drains in when it rains hard outside. I had one house that the sump pump almost never turned on except when many, many inches of rain fell for days.

Christian 06-26-2009 12:56 PM


Originally Posted by CraigFL (Post 31726)
You should check your sump to see if water drains in when it rains hard outside. I had one house that the sump pump almost never turned on except when many, many inches of rain fell for days.

Any good advice on how to do that?

Like I mentioned, it looks like it works (I tested it by lifting the plunger) but it seems to run very quiet. No way I would hear that thing running from upstairs, even if it did turn on. I've never consciously noticed it running since I've lived here.

I should also mention that it's not an open unit. There is a cover on there and it pumps the water straight up and out through a hose to the side of the I couldn't just see if water was dripping into the sump unless I took the cover off. Unless I unplugged it and checked...

I guess I'd have to just go down there and listen for it or something...?


Nestor_Kelebay 06-26-2009 10:23 PM

Why not do the obvious that you've already suggested? Wait for a rainy day and go and unplug your sump pump. Leave the cover off the sump pit and check the water level periodically throughout the rainy day. Once you confirm the water level is rising, plugging the sump pump back in will empty your sump in a minute or two.

Christian 06-30-2009 10:55 AM

OK...we're supposed to have a couple of rainy days in a row here in MI...

I will take the cover off of the sump pit tonight and watch the water level closely tomorrow to see if it rises.

Probably a dumb question...but how much rise should I expect to see in the sump pit? I know it will vary depending on the amount of rain we have...but will I be looking at 1/16th of an inch or 6 inches or what??

I should probably mark the water level with a paint marker and use that to gauge...

Blue Jay 06-30-2009 12:20 PM

Use a tape measure or similar to measure from the bottom of the sump pit or from the floor to the top of the water, you will be looking at inches not fractions of inches. Probably not notice it right away mine takes about 4 hours after heavy rain starts to make it down to tile level. It would normally take 5 to 6 inches of rise to turn the pump on so you should be able to eye ball it.

Christian 06-30-2009 01:20 PM

Thanks Blue. I will use your method.

I'm just worried I won't see the level rise...

If it does rise and the pump does operate (once I plug it in) I hope that extending my downspouts and sump pump drain hose even further away from the house will solve my problem...

CyFree 07-01-2009 07:38 AM

A lot might be happening, depending of the type of baseboard system you have there.

The system might be needing to be flushed, it might've been installed without the proper pitch. These systems depend on gravity to divert water to the sump.

Is there a service opening in the system? Try to pour some water in it and see what happens. The water should go to the pump and it should kick in. If it does, go out to the end of the discharge line and see if water comes out.

If it doesn't you might be having problems with the check valve or the some problem along the discharge line.

It might be that the baseboard system alone will not be sufficient and you will need an actual drain tile installed along the internal perimeter of the wall.

But truly, your best bet is to call the company that installed the system in the first place and demand answers. I hope you had a good waterproofing company install that for you, because they offer lifetime warranty on their waterproofing systems. They are responsible for making it work for as long as the house stands.

Here's an online basement troubleshooting tool that you might find helpful:

Basement Troubleshooting Guide/

Christian 07-01-2009 10:49 AM

I could look for a service opening...that's a good idea to see if water is actually draining into the sump. The system looks like this...I have no idea if it's the same...but from looking at the baseboard it looks like this is similar to what I have:

Baseboard Basement Waterproofing System from Beaver

Unfortunately, the system was in place when I bought the house in April of 2008...I'm not sure which company put it in. I don't remember (or at least I didn't notice) having this kind of moisture/water in the basement last year maybe that means something as well. It seems that it should be sufficient because it worked last year...I can't think of anything that's changed!??

I have tried activating the sump pump and it does seem to work. I did this by just raising the lever inside the sump pit.

Christian 07-02-2009 06:12 AM

I checked last night after a short but heavy rain, and had a few inches of water drain into the sump that part is working.

I think what may need to be done is some grading on the outside of the house where the sump drains out. I saw a little puddle building up last night and that corner is by far the worst of the 4. I think I'll try extending the downspout a little and also the sump pump outlet, and also add some dirt to grade it away from the house more.

Hopefully that will solve my problem...

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