Septic Pump-Up System Switch Problem


  #1  
Old 10-12-05, 07:59 PM
A
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Septic Pump-Up System Switch Problem

I have a pump up system where the pumpseems to have malfunctioned. It first started when i noticed some foul smell in the back yard. Around the same time i noticed the lights in our home would occasionally flicker. This went on for about a week until we called the electric company telling them we had power supply problems due to the flickering lights nd the foul smell from the septic. He checked the power load and draw, and said everyting was fine. He shutoff the breaker to the septic pump and the lights stopped flickering. The pump will not shut itself off apperently.

I left the breaker off and it took about a week until the alarm came on. I would manually turn on the septic pump for about 2 minutes every 6 hours. It took about 3-4 cycles to clear the tank and then the lights wood flicker and i could hear the water gurguling in the tank. I have done this manual weekly clearing of the tank for about 3 weeks now and i am confident it is the "off" switch in the tank and the pump works fine. The proplem appears to be that when the water drops to a certain level the pump will not turn itself off.

Is this a DIY job f do i have to call someone out here to fix it. I consider myself pretty handy around the house, but septic is a new thing for me with this house. Any guidange of how to replace the septic pump "off" switch in the tank and where i could get parts would be appreciatted. BTW the home and system is 6 years old. Thanks
 
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Old 10-13-05, 07:14 AM
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You could have a system that uses one float switch to start and stop the pump, or that uses two floats...one that starts the pump, and the other to stop the pump. There is also a float that activates the high level alarm.
It is possible that one of the floats is bad. It will require some understanding of how the floats are wired in order to troubleshoot the problem and make the repair. It sounds like the pump is working properly, except that it shouldn't make the lights flicker. The pump should be on it's own circuit.
It may be a good idea to have a pro check it out and make repairs.
Ron
 
  #3  
Old 10-17-05, 07:26 PM
birdgs
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I had the same problem with the pump in my raised bed septic system. I called out a septic person I now thoroughly trust and was given some OJT. After finding the ~20 gallon hard plastic chamber with the pump in it, he pointed out that the single float had become tangled in a wire near the top of the tank. He used some tie-down straps to secure the float lower in the chamber. Once he did this, the float no longer got caught in the open position, turning off and on like it should. This was such an easy job that it gave me the confidence a few months later to replace the pump myself. I guess that with the constant running, the pump out. The parts and material cost me about $150.00.
 
  #4  
Old 11-28-05, 04:16 PM
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Problem fixed! I had been running it on manual every 3-4 days ever since. The weather is getting colder and i did not want to keep doing that. I bit the bullet and popped the cover off to see if i wanted to tackle this myself. I used an old paint roller handle on and extension to manually check the floats for operation with the pump on. I have three floats: off, on, and alarm from bottom to top. It turns out the off switch works but it is set about 2" too low on the verticle pipe. At the lowest point of the pump inlet the switch is not shutting the pump off. That is why it is gurgling and the lights flickering. The sump pump is starving for water to pump. When i force it below the water surface it shuts off. So i used a garden hoe to shimmy the zip tied floats up about 6 inches. I did this for both the off and on switch. I ran the water until i could visully see it cycle on and off and it works great. I figured i would report back for anyone experience a similar problem on how i fixed it since everyone here is so helpful. Thanks everyone for the input you shared.
 
 

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