Another sump pump question

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  #1  
Old 03-02-08, 09:05 AM
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Another sump pump question

I live in northern Illinois, and the snow melt is adding to my already overtaxed sump pump. I live on a lake, and there is a high water table already. It has about a 10 foot lift and I have check valves in place.

I have a pedestal pump 1/3 hp. I chose the pedestal because of the travel length of the float rod. A submersable pump would run way too often.
The pit fills in about 1 minute, and it takes the pump about 8 seconds to empty it, starting the whole cycle over again. I have to keep a spare pump around in case the motor burns up - which has happened several times since we bought the house. (I have a battery backup also)

I was thinking of a larger horsepower pump but the pedestals only come in 1/3.

I see submersable pumps up to 3/4 hp that say they won't overheat, but I would be going back to the problem of it running very frequently.

I guess I just need advice as to how to set this up so it works the most efficient way.

Any advice would help _ Thanks!
 
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Old 03-02-08, 11:13 AM
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A couple of years ago, I replaced a pedestal pump with a submersible, and I relocated its float switch from the top of the pump to a homemade bracket on the discharge pipe so its cycle would be about the same as the pedestal's had been. Or if you still have your old pedestal pump and its switch is still good, maybe you could use that float and switch to control your submersible.
 
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Old 03-02-08, 05:21 PM
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That is a great idea,

I do have 2 of my old float switch assemblies that both work. I suppose I could retrofit one of them on to a higher capacity submersible pump.
 
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Old 03-03-08, 04:23 PM
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Be sure to check the amperage rating. I did not think of that until just now.
 
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Old 03-03-08, 04:33 PM
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Another sump pump question

Your 1 minute fill cycle will not change appreciably. You might change your pumping time from 8 seconds to 6 seconds. Either way, you will still have a 50 to 54 cycle per minute time. - Not much improvement. Ultimately, you will slowly decrease the cycles times when the melt decreases, but you will still have the same ground water elevation.

The ground water level is controlled by the float level, not pump capacity.
 
  #6  
Old 03-03-08, 08:42 PM
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If your sump is that active, then don't risk a home-made solution. First, get yourself a reliable cast iron submersible pump that does NOT have a built in float. A Zoeller N-53 (not M-53) is a good model to consider. As a previous poster noted, higher horsepower won't help you...a good 1/3 HP model like the Zoeller will do nicely. Second, get a dual float piggyback switch. SJE Rhombus makes such a switch that utilizes two floats that mount to your main discharge pipe. You can space the two floats further apart to allow longer pumping cycles and less start/stops on your pump. You are wise to have a backup system....just make you test it regularly. Good luck!
 
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Old 03-03-08, 09:02 PM
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Concretemasonry,

Not as much concerned about the frequency of the cycle, just need to find the best pump capable of that frequency without burning out. I have not found that in a pedestal pump.

I guess I don't need the pit completely emptied every cycle (yeah right), I just need the high level of the float set to be under the the level of the bottom of the basement floor slab.
Keeping the pit totally emptied is not an option at this house, though, unless it's a drought.

Carmel Corn,

I caught your suggestion at the end of entering this post, and is a great idea also. I will look into it.

Thank you for your input!
 
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Old 03-04-08, 06:00 AM
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we've used 1,000's of zoeller,,,

pumps over the yrs,,, imo, still the best.
 
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Old 03-04-08, 07:09 AM
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Carmel Corn's dual float switch suggestions was new to me:



The installation instructions are here:

SJE Rhombus dual float sump/ejector switch
 
  #10  
Old 03-04-08, 02:13 PM
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My pump is running every 20 seconds or so. Nothing but clay in Antioch.

Just have a Batt BU and a spare pump handy. Good Luck!
 
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Old 03-05-08, 08:29 AM
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I was just curious as to how big the sump pit is? It sounds to me like it is way under designed.
Your current setup, with an 8 second run time every minute or so, is a pump motor killer. Ain't no pump going to stand up very long against that.
Have you looked into redesigning your setup?
Ron
 
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Old 03-05-08, 11:06 AM
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Pumpman:

I also have a similar set up and run time. How would you redesign it? I can envision a plastic bucket/box, maybe 2' x 3' x 2' deep. This would allow a lot of water collection prior to the pump running. I have checked as much as I can and have not found anything other than the usual "round sump bucket" option.
Thanks
 
  #13  
Old 03-05-08, 12:17 PM
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Whenever I get fast snow melt, or heavy rains, my pump goes on as often as once per minute, but when the storm passes, the intervals get longer over the course of the next 3 days or so. By then it only goes about once per hour. I guess this is normal ?.
 
  #14  
Old 03-05-08, 06:09 PM
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I agree with pumpman. Cycling every 20 seconds or so is not acceptable. Either you have too big a sump pump or too small of a sump. Cycling that much will kill a motor. Looks like you might have some digging to do.

Cycling once a minute is also a lot. Sump pumps don't develop much pressure but they will pump a lot of water. If might be possible to put a restrictor in to give it some false head (head meaning something to pump against). You can use something like a gas **** to provide some restriction.

Probably the best answer in either case is a bigger sump.

Jim
 
  #15  
Old 03-05-08, 08:25 PM
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No, they are not gas *****

Yes, they are called gas cocks. I guess I was edited by someone who does not know. For that person's information:

Plumbing: Heating and Gas Installations - Google Books Result
by Roy Treloar - 2000 - House & Home - 432 pages
The definition of a ****, tap or valve can give rise to many an argument. ... been used for gas pipelines and is widely known as the 'gas-****'. ...
books.google.com/books?isbn=0632053321...

Jim
 
  #16  
Old 03-06-08, 08:15 PM
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Hi, Herm -

Could you explain your setup to me, please? Do you have a perimeter drain system, or drain tile, or something like that feeding into your sump? Is your sump "open to the earth" so that ground water rushes in?

I have the opposite problem, and have a thread going about it. My sump is an enclosed pit, not open to the earth, and I don't have a perimeter drain or anything like that. So I'm trying to learn more ...

Thanks - Dave
 
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Old 03-06-08, 09:31 PM
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Dave,

I'm certainly not an expert on this, but there are two 4" pipes that emtpy into my 18" wide sump pit, in what I'm assuming is from drain tiles around the basement slab.

I've purchased a Simer 3/4 hp stainless steel/cast iron submersible pump, and their "piggy back" float switch - which mounts separately from the pump and allows me to get the float travel I want. I'm still on the fence about the tethered switch in such a small pit, but for the 8" travel of the float switch doesn't take up much room for this pump.

I'll be installing this in the next coupla days. It's not even spring (lots of rain) yet. I'll let ya know. I'm going to keep a close eye on it.
 
  #18  
Old 03-07-08, 03:27 AM
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Herm..the 3/4 hp may be overkill, bigger hp is not necessarily better, it will pump it out quickly for sure, but will not decrease the frequent cycling. Also, you may find as I did, that the Simers brand will give you nothing but heartache at 2:00am. They will honor the "lifetime" guarantee, but it sure is a pain to be changing it out a couple times a year. Next time go with Zoeller, Hydromatic, or a better brand name. Just my opinion.
 
  #19  
Old 03-07-08, 03:31 AM
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I would also recommend getting a non-automatic sump pump and going with this type of switch. Easy to replace and you wont need to pull the pump.




VerticalMaster® Pump Switch
Mechanically-activated, wide-angle switch
Heavy-duty contacts
Controls pumps up to 1/2 HP at 120 VAC and 1 HP at 230 VAC
Adjustable pumping range of .75 to 6.5 inches (2 to 17 cm)
Includes standard boxed packaging
UL Listed for use in non-potable and sewage
CSA Certified
Three-year limited warranty
http://www.pumpshop.us/verticalmaster-pump-switch.html
 
  #20  
Old 06-13-08, 02:39 PM
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Hi
I have not had your problem, but wondered if you have had mine. I recently installed a well pump and now soap suds are coming through the vent on top of my house. I laughed at first, but this seems serious now. What did I do wrong? thanks
 
 

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