sump pump depth

Old 07-17-03, 07:37 PM
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sump pump depth

I have a question regarding how deep in the well my sump pump should be. I have a 55 yr old home with a 4' deep concrete well. two clay tiles drain into the sump. I recently rerouted the pvc and in so doing I raised the level of the pump and the water level to just beneath the clay tile inlets. I've noticed now the sump almost never goes off despite some recent 1" + rainfalls. Previously it would cycle every five minutes for days. Tonight we had another large rain and I took off the cover and noticed the water appeared stagnant in the pit. I manually raised the float and made sure the pump was was. The clay drain tiles are not clogged as they have had water runing from them into the pit in the past, and I put over twenty feet of garden hose in both sections to check for obstructions and found none.

Finally, the questions, Could the higher level be compromising my foundation in some unforseen manner? Should I just relax and enjoy a lower utility bill and longer pump life? Is there some sort of rule of thumb about setting the depth of the pump in relation to the depth of the foundation footer?

any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks.....
Old 07-17-03, 08:09 PM
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If your sump pit is less than 14 inches wide, you need a vertical float switch. Larger sumps basins (14 inches or wider) accommodate either vertical or tethered float switches. Baskets are approx. 30 inches deep.

Not knowing what type of pump you have but it sounds like a pedestall.

The pumps should be as you see here. Not elevated or you will have problems. 4' deep well is deep. The stagnant water should be pumped out. Lower the float level accordingly and ensure that the pump is resting in the bottom on a flat surface.

Hope this helps!
Old 07-18-03, 04:02 AM
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I am not going to disagree with Doug, just come at it form a different direction. To answer your question, you are not going to impair your footings from what you have stated. Now whenever I have a sump pip over 3' deep, this is what I do. In fact I do this in amy sump pit. I always put my pump in a 5 gallon pail. I take the 5 gallon plastic pail, drill 3/4" holes all around it from the base up 4". In other words, I make alot of holes for water to come into the pail. I then put the sump in the pail. for shallow hole, i just set the pail in the pit. For 3' deep or more, I tie a rope on the pail handle and lower the sump into the hole. Now you may be wondering why I am doing this. The reason is, I can then raise or lower the sump very easily according to my water depth. In your case, at the level your sump is, there is not enought water to activate it. But you could just lower the rope with my case, suck out the water and reset your sump to its original position in only a couple of minutes. For your information, my sump hole is 6' diameter, and 8' deep.

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