Water in basement at window well

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    • #278688
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      Three years ago we moved into the model home of our community. The home is six years old and was used as a model/sales office for three years, and was sold to us as new. We have three basement windows, each with a garden-variety window well: semicircular corrugated metal, a PVC-pipe drain at the bottom, surrounded by gravel. Once or twice a year we get small amounts of water (a gallon or two) in our basement in close proximity to our windows, but we never “caught it in the act” before this weekend. On Saturday we had a heavy rain that came on fast. Upon going downstairs, we saw that one of our window wells had flooded to the point where our basement window looked like a fish aquarium! We ended up with hundreds of gallons pouring in the window (the other windows didn’t leak), ruining carpet, furniture, etc. What is curious is that our well filled from UNDERNEATH, because I have installed window well covers to keep rain and debris out. Today we called our builder’s representative who visited this morning. He ran a garden hose into our window well and noted that our PVC-pipe drain filled quickly due to the presence of what he characterized as ‘silt.’ He essentially said we were negligent in keeping our window wells clean, because of the silt… but I’ve always kept leaves and debris out of the wells. Since the well flooded from the bottom and is filled with silt, not leaves, wouldn’t that indicate a different problem? I could better understand his case for my ‘negligence’ had the water been coming in from above, not below. And even if the PVC-pipe drain had been 100% clean, I don’t think it could’ve handled the 75-or-so gallons of water that filled our window well. Those PVC pipe ‘drains’ aren’t connected to anything, are they? My gut tells me I’m getting the runaround, but I don’t know enough about the anatomy of a window well drain to argue my case. All I know is that I’ve kept leaves out, installed plastic covers, and now I’m being told that I’ve been negligent with maintaining my home because my window well leaks from the bottom up. Help!

    • #299073
      wpc

      You need to determine where the window wells drainpipe terminate. Once you find the end of the line make sure it is open at that point. If you cannot find the pipe you could hire a plumber who has a pipe locator and go from there.

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