sump pump running too frequently

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  #1  
Old 01-18-06, 11:12 AM
G
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sump pump running too frequently

About three weeks ago we noticed our sump pump in the basement started
running every three minutes. We ignored it for two weeks (not very
handy or pretty much clueless about home ownership). Then we notived
water in our foundation wall in the sump pump room and finally called
rofessionals (water proofing company, plumbers). They found that the
drainage pipe (plastic 1.5 inch) that comes out of the house and the
sump pump was broken right near the foundation and there was standing
water. By putting a 5 inch 20 foot hose we diverted the water away
from the house. The pipe goes underground after it comes out of the
house but we cannot tell how far it goes underground and if it is
connected to anything else. There was an area further down in our
backyard that was soaking wet 5 days ago but it seems to have dried
now. We had the city engineer and the water department to come over
and look at it and pretty much everybody agrees that the sump pump was
just draining into the yard underground without connecting to the storm
sewer (which runs through our backyard as well).
Even though it has been almost a week since we diverted the sump pump
water away from the house our pump still runs every 10 minutes. It has
rained once in the past week and we are at a lower level than our
neighbors. We have lived in this house for four years now and never
noticed the sump pump woorking this frequently. I have talke dto
several plumbers and they are telling me to wait for the ground to thaw
(we live in Chicago) and dig the back yard and install 6 inch pipes 3
feet underground as far away from the house as possible. What I am
worrided about i sthe sump pump just dying due to the frequency it is
working at in the meantime. Does anyone have good advice on how to get
the water further away from the house (other than digging the
backyard). We have gone through our options at Menards and Home Depot
and could not find anything that works.
 
  #2  
Old 01-18-06, 11:54 AM
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It sounds like your water table (ground water level) has risen. Before you fixed the discharge pipe, the pump must have been dumping all that water right back into your french drain and re-pumping it over and over again. But now, there's really no other reason for it to cycle this often. If rising water table is the cause, you may want to look into getting a second pump. Good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 01-18-06, 11:57 AM
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water table rising?

Why would the water table rise (as I said I am clueless about all this stuff)? We already have a back up pump but I think you are talking about an additional main pump.
Thanks for your kind reply.
 
  #4  
Old 01-23-06, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by gsanyer
About three weeks ago we noticed our sump pump in the basement started
running every three minutes. We ignored it for two weeks (not very
handy or pretty much clueless about home ownership). Then we notived
water in our foundation wall in the sump pump room and finally called
rofessionals (water proofing company, plumbers). They found that the
drainage pipe (plastic 1.5 inch) that comes out of the house and the
sump pump was broken right near the foundation and there was standing
water. By putting a 5 inch 20 foot hose we diverted the water away
from the house. The pipe goes underground after it comes out of the
house but we cannot tell how far it goes underground and if it is
connected to anything else. There was an area further down in our
backyard that was soaking wet 5 days ago but it seems to have dried
now. We had the city engineer and the water department to come over
and look at it and pretty much everybody agrees that the sump pump was
just draining into the yard underground without connecting to the storm
sewer (which runs through our backyard as well).
Even though it has been almost a week since we diverted the sump pump
water away from the house our pump still runs every 10 minutes. It has
rained once in the past week and we are at a lower level than our
neighbors. We have lived in this house for four years now and never
noticed the sump pump woorking this frequently. I have talke dto
several plumbers and they are telling me to wait for the ground to thaw
(we live in Chicago) and dig the back yard and install 6 inch pipes 3
feet underground as far away from the house as possible. What I am
worrided about i sthe sump pump just dying due to the frequency it is
working at in the meantime. Does anyone have good advice on how to get
the water further away from the house (other than digging the
backyard). We have gone through our options at Menards and Home Depot
and could not find anything that works.


Maybe the water is just coming back into the house because it is discharging too close ?.

I dug a small trench (no more than 8 inches deep) to run my pipe all the way out to the street. Since this pipe has a good drop, I don't have to worry about water standing inside the pipe, freezing and blocking it.

When it rains a lot, or there is a lot of snow melt, my pump kicks in and out 8 to 12 times per hour, sometimes more......this happens for a day or two, then the frequency drops, and eventually it hits a point where it stops completely.

I've lived in my house 2 years, and the pump was there before I moved in, so I think as long as you are moving good water volume, the pump is OK.
 
  #5  
Old 01-23-06, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by gsanyer
Why would the water table rise (as I said I am clueless about all this stuff)? We already have a back up pump but I think you are talking about an additional main pump.
Thanks for your kind reply.
I can't tell you why or even if it's true in your case. But this has been known to happen sometimes. I just don't see another reason for the abnornal pumping rate. Are there any spots around the foundation where water pools? How is your grading, away from the house? Do you have a septic system?
 
  #6  
Old 02-03-06, 11:48 AM
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I have two wells next to each other, connected, and each has a pump. I have the main pump set lower so it turns on before the second one, which is set a little higher, in the other well. Lately my pump has started to run every 5 minutes all day long and it's worrying me. We did have snow and heavy rain but it's been a week now and the pump still runs continously.

The water gets discharged into a well outside thats connected to the Village sewer system so it shouldn't be coming back. I can hear the water being discharged in the well outside so I know the pump is working.

The pump literally shuts off for no more than 5 minutes and turns on again.
 
 

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