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Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
edited June 2019 in THE MAIN WALL
We live in ranch style home over an encapsulated 3’ crawlspace - new drain tile around the perimeter into a new pit in the back corner of the house, wall drainage system covered by spray foam insulation, and a new concrete floor. The new crawlspace is about 4 years old, no water whatsoever.

This year I added French drains for the downspouts and sump pump. The pump discharge pipe is 1 1/2” goes up vertically 3’ and then horizontally 3’ to the outside. The pump is a 1/2” hp Zoeller.

For the most part, I’m happy with it. The pump rarely runs anymore, which is what my hope was when adding the French drains. The problem I’m having is it’s flooding the part of the yard where the pop-up is.

What I’d like to do is have the sump pump discharge into a rain water barrel that my wife can use to water her garden and flowers. The downspouts would still be connected to the French drains.

Do you see any flaws in this approach?

Steve Minnich


    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,865
    I'm not much of a gardener but other than algae and bacteria from the collected gutter water? Would that effect the plants and flowers?
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
    @HVACNUT Haha. I’m not either. That’s a good point.
    Steve Minnich
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
    I don’t think the stagnation or any of that matters much to the plants.

    I can’t necessarily comment on your idea, but I can tell you what I helped my father do 20+ years ago for plants and it works fantastic.

    He put in a grey water system just for the washing machine, Parents are on septic and they have clay soil, so he was looking for a way to help the system. We buried 2-30” pieces of 18” fiberglass pipe (he acquired for free). We left it bottomless so some absorption could happen, but with clay these function primarily as tanks. We connected them at the top and capped them. He then put a pipe from the top of one up into an old style hand pump with a shelf for filling a watering can. They have been water plants with this for over 20 years and the plants thrive.

    I know you didn’t ask about burying it, but I figured feedback on the general concept couldn’t hurt.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
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  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,262
    I collect rain water in some barrels and use a small sump pump to water gardens. I think as long as the tank or barrel is covered it would be garden safe, not attract mosquitos or algae.

    The barrel may fill quickly if it is only 50 gallon? The farm stores generally has a selection of plastic tanks.

    At my house I buried a 1000 gallon plastic septic tank that the gutters dump into. You can also get leaf and debris valves for rainwater tanks if you collect gutter water.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,902
    What I'd do is route each downspout into a rain barrel, which would overflow into the drain system if needed. This way the rain water would go directly to the collection point and the yard would not flood unless there was overflow.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
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    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
    I have seen old houses in the Dakotas that collected rainwater for their underground cistern.
    There was a diverter valve that had to be switched for water to go to the cistern. The thought was to wash the roof and gutters first and then pull the lever to redirect the runoff.
  • nibs
    nibs Member Posts: 516
    My favorite wife, an avid gardener, and retired microbiologist, says that rainwater barrels work very well with no harm to plants. Do keep it covered so that mosquito's can not use it as a love nest.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,446
    The real trick to rain barrels is to have enough of them... a half inch of rain on a house with a 2,000 square foot footprint is over 600 gallons of water to store! Great for the gardens, though.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England