Idle ejector pump causes regular light blink

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Old 01-15-15, 10:54 AM
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Idle ejector pump causes regular light blink

I had a 3/4 HP 11.5 FLA sewage ejector pump (ION SHV75i) put in the basement to replace an old Hydromatic pump. It is connected to a regular outlet with a piggy back switch for the "digital level control switch".

Now, even when the pump is not running, every 2.5 minutes, the lights in my house blink and the UPS battery backup for my computer beeps and switches to backup mode for a moment.

I connected the pump to an outlet on a different circuit and the same thing happens. Only, when I totally disconnect the pump from the outlet, does this stop.

I am going to get a replacement pump, but I am curious what would cause such strange behavior. I wouldn't want to replace the pump again in a few years because of some unreliable component or design.

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-15-15, 12:32 PM
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What specifically is your "digital level control switch"? How does it operate?
 
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Old 01-15-15, 12:33 PM
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I'm guessing that your level/float switch is making intermittent contact and causing the pump to come on when it shouldn't. Look into replacement of that component.
 
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Old 01-15-15, 01:53 PM
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SHV75i | Ion Products

The switch is the black bulb (pear shaped) at the lower side of the pump. It is advertised as having no moving parts and I don't know how it works.

I don't hear the pump turning on. I can look at my stopwatch, and after every 2:30, the lights in the house blink. It's almost like there is some capacitor getting charged up and discharged after this time. Whatever happens, it is powerful enough to affect other circuits in the house.

I will replace. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-15-15, 05:51 PM
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I've seen some "switches" that don't directly sense the presense of water. They turn the pump on at regular invervals. If the pump pulls more current the switch assumes it's pumping water and leaves the pump on. If the pump doesn't pull much current the switch assumes it's spinning free in air and turns off.

If your lights are dimming every 2:30 it's a pretty good assumption that something every 2:30 is drawing a lot of current. It might be a capacitor or a motor starting but it's definetely something.
 
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Old 01-16-15, 06:14 AM
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I looked at it again and the pump does in fact make a regular kick. If I plug in a lamp into the piggy back switch, it will flash regularly too. When I get the replacement pump I'll make sure it doesn't do that. If this were by design, I would think it would shorten the life of the pump.
 
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Old 01-16-15, 06:45 AM
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You really only need to replace the "smart" switch with an aftermarket float switch -- like $30. No need to throw the pump out with the sewer water.
 
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Old 01-16-15, 08:37 AM
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It is connected to a regular outlet with a piggy back switch for the "digital level control switch".
It won't affect the blink in the lights, but this does need to be GFCI protected. Is it?
 
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Old 01-16-15, 10:02 AM
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Thanks, replacing the switch is an option.

I do wonder about the surges that this pump induces. Every time it starts, it causes an instant surge in the house -- I don't know if it's over or under voltage, and while it runs the voltage meter goes from 125 up to 134 in the outlet.

Maybe I should have gotten a 1/2 HP instead of 3/4 HP.
 
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Old 01-16-15, 10:57 AM
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All motors cause a brief voltage drop during start-up. Larger motors have larger voltage drop. If you don't have a dedicated circuit for this pump, running one from the main panel would probably reduce this effect, but it is unlikely to completely eliminate it.
 
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