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Thread: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

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    Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    Hi,
    I live in Houston, Tx, which is semi-tropical and we can and often do, get 8 inches of rain, in a matter of hours.

    My pool was built within 18 inches of house. The skimmer run parallel with the house and is right next to a sunken game room.

    Most days, this is not a problem, but, if we get that heavy rain, the water is forced through the skimmer and ends up in our sunken room. Which is a problem.

    If Im home, its not a problem, as I can put the pump on waste and send excess water away from the house. But, if the storm happens when I'm at work or on vacation. This can be a major problem.

    The pool company is saying that they have to dig up the concrete on that 18 inches and run a runoff/overflow pipe , away from the house. Since, its so close to the house, Im not (and neither are they) real sure whats under that concrete. (telephone, water and electric are around the pool)

    Is there a simpler, less costly and safer way to do this?

    Thank you.

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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    Hi neighbor! I feel your pain. We moved into this house with a pool and I noticed that the pool is a touch higher than the back door. Wood floors inside that door. Every big rain had me sitting there, watching the pool. Finally I filled it up enough to see it overflow, just to see where it would run. The scant 1/8" dip on the left side did not comfort me at all, for I know that a branch falling in the pool during a storm could block that dip and then the water would run for the house.

    Weird thing is that the pool had an "overflow grate" built in to the wall on the far side of the pool. Seemed to be blocked so we tried to clean it out only to find that it went 2' then ended in the dirt of the landscaping, above the pool level. We paid $2K to have an irrigation company dig a line from that grate around the yard all the way to the street, through the curb. One other company that we strongly considered offered to move the grate to the other side of the pool where it could be connected to a proposed back yard drainage system.

    The cost of piping was something like $10/ft, so adding that to the side away from the house, where there ought to be less lines and such may be an option. But rather than just trying to divert the water after it escapes the pool, you can add a grate to the pool itself, through the walls, using a pool contractor. Not cheap by any means, but what a relief to me to know for sure that this pool cannot overflow into my house. I believe it was PoolWorks.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    I take it the water is coming out of the top of the skimmer?
    18' x 36' saltwater inground vinyl pool

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    Quote Originally Posted by suz15
    Hi,
    I live in Houston, Tx, which is semi-tropical and we can and often do, get 8 inches of rain, in a matter of hours.

    My pool was built within 18 inches of house. The skimmer run parallel with the house and is right next to a sunken game room.

    Most days, this is not a problem, but, if we get that heavy rain, the water is forced through the skimmer and ends up in our sunken room. Which is a problem.

    If Im home, its not a problem, as I can put the pump on waste and send excess water away from the house. But, if the storm happens when I'm at work or on vacation. This can be a major problem.

    The pool company is saying that they have to dig up the concrete on that 18 inches and run a runoff/overflow pipe , away from the house. Since, its so close to the house, Im not (and neither are they) real sure whats under that concrete. (telephone, water and electric are around the pool)

    Is there a simpler, less costly and safer way to do this?

    Thank you.
    Ideally you'd setup a sensor that would use the pool pump when water reached a certain level. This would go to waste like you already do manually; however this requires a valve change on the filter and I don't know if that can be automated - and automation isn't cheap.

    Could you setup a sump pump near the pool below the level of the water level that's a problem? This could be anything from a temporary bucket submerged partway in the pool so water drains into the bucket when the level exceeds a certain mark to a more permanent underground box sunk in the yard below the water level with a PVC pipe to the side of the pool that drains into the sump when the water level gets too high.

    Electricity and water can be scary but sump pumps are typically designed for submerged use; however there may be code restrictions on this so you'd have to check into that.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    are there any overflow drains in the pool? usually pool builders install an overflow drain line an inch or so above normal water level. this drain may be on the back wall of your skimmer. over time these lines may become blocked with leaves, pine cones, dead frogs etc. can you post some photos of the pool sides and skimmer.

    how is water entering house?

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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    Quick replies,,,thank you.

    Anonapersona, we are real neighbors, I live in Conroe.

    There isnt any runoff / overflow drain. Originally we couldnt find one, but, we are not experts. We have had 2 pool companies and 1 plumber out here, nothing. Pool was built in the early 70's, no overflow. When we backwash, the water comes out, far behind the property, toward a retention pond. That works really well.
    The water never comes out of the pool. We believe that, at one time, someone that owned the house put flagstone all over the decking. Flagstone is a porous substance. When they did this , it caused the layer between the flagstone and the original decking to become unstable. When the water gets too high from heavy rains, its "pushed" through this area. It looks like original owners did re-grout the area, around most of the pool and it seems to have worked. But, the area around the skimmer, isnt holding, we had it regrouted, by pool guy, but, its crumbling. We think that is the major point of leakage. The force of heavy rains, pushes on that area and it comes in to the house. Anyone who lives in Houston, knows how saturating this water can be. I trully believe it needs some other way to drain, such as , a pool runoff. But how to do it without spending a lot of money.

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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    I like the automation idea, since, the pump to waste does go away from house. Does something like that actually exist? Thanks

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    Quote Originally Posted by suz15
    "... water is forced through the skimmer and ends up in our sunken room." ... "The water never comes out of the pool."
    Let me see if I've got this right - the pool doesn't actually overflow, but when the water in the pool reaches a certain level, it drains out, apparently through the skimmer, and gets into the house.

    Can you duplicate the problem simply by overfilling the pool with a garden hose (that is, none of the rest of the surrounding area would be swamped at the same time by rainfall).

    If yes, your problem is similar to the one I had and should be able to be fixed by sealing the leak in the skimmer. Water from a leak has found a path of least resistance and, basically, channeled a path into your house through a weak spot (another path of least resistance) into your house.

    Given that there may be many more variables than this simple one, you may have more work ahead, excavating that 18" section, waterproofing the house foundation, & installing a better French-drain system.

    Good luck! Please keep us posted with your progress as many of us have similar problems and the experts we consult don't really have the expertise to deal with the problem.
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    you don't mention how water is entering house (window well, through foundation). with pool that close to foundation I would be careful about disturbing house footings/foundation wall soil.

    you may want to consider having a overflow runoff grate installed somewhere else on pool wall (maybe at a height 2 inches below skimmer lid). best spot may be shortest distance from pool edge to grass. I would avoid skimmer area. photos?

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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    CU makes an interesting point. I'm assuming the flood is coming out of skimmer lid and from somewhere on the inside wall. which?

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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    Imagine that, a sunken room... what were they thinking? I knew of a house that had such a sunken living room in Champions, they pulled up the flooring and filled with concrete, once it was done you really did not notice the difference. Not sure what was done about walls and such. NOt sure how sunken this room was, got the impression it was just a step so maybe 8".
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Pool runoff coming in to sunken room in house

    We thought about filling it, but, still have the challenge, with the water being pushed into the skimmer area.

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