Sump pump Running continuously


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Old 07-08-09, 06:05 AM
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Sump pump Running continuously

I purchased the house new 6 years ago - I always had a pump but don't recall the frequency though if I had to guess I would say 4-5 times / hour. For the past few months it has been running more frequently. It now runs every 25-30 seconds. My pump is a large pump and I would say pumps about 3 gallons of water every 30 seconds just by seeing the water enter and exit.

I thought I might have a water leak so I compared water bills with my neighbors and they were about the same. I also checked the crock water for chlorine and fluoride and didn't find any. Just to be safe, I had the city come out and check for leaks before the meter but everything looks good.

I then had 2 different plumbers to have a look and see if there was anything wrong. They both said it appears things are working and blamed it on the high water table - I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They both recommended I replace my battery backup system with a water commander - water powered system but for $2,000 I chose to keep what I had.

I then called the county drain commission to see if the storm drain was clogged or if there was a leak - thinking I might be getting excess water because the drains around the house are not working properly, plus my sump pumps into the storm drain. The storm drain is behind my house, pump is in front and storm drain runs from back to front, under road and into a creek which is higher than normal.

I am out of ideas - I am planning on dying the water in the storm drain and see if the dye ends up in the sump crock. This will tell me if there is a storm drain leak and I am recycling but I don't think so.

I am looking for another solution and am fresh out of ideas. I want to reduce the amount of water - possibly a different drainage solution which doesn't require water entering my basement and me pumping it out. The current solution requires +$100/month in electrical costs plus poses a serious risk should I lose power for a long period of time.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 07-08-09, 08:05 AM
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Is the pump running continuously? If so, is the switch bad (or stuck) or is it having to run all the time to keep up with the flow of water coming in?
 
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Old 07-08-09, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
Is the pump running continuously? If so, is the switch bad (or stuck) or is it having to run all the time to keep up with the flow of water coming in?
The pump has to run to keep up with the water. The water fills to the float, the pumps kicks on and empties the water to below the float and for 10 seconds after. It then stops, water fills for about 30 seconds until it reaches the float then it turns on again. This process is repeated and has been like this for the past 3 months about. The pump is working properly, the float is not stuck. I played around with the float hight as well to try and reduce the frequency it turns on. This only helped a little.
 
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Old 07-08-09, 11:43 AM
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Sump pump Running continuously

Do you have a properly functioning check valve immediately above the pump?

Another possibility is the water from the pond that is higher than normal could be draining into you buried (or interior) drain tile by following along the area excavated for the discharge pipe. Also the same thing can happen near utilities and the access ramp dug for the excavation of the foundation. The backfill will never be as impervious as the natural soil.

Did you change you downspout extensions? (should be 8' to 10' long)

Dick
 
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Old 07-08-09, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry View Post
Do you have a properly functioning check valve immediately above the pump?

Another possibility is the water from the pond that is higher than normal could be draining into you buried (or interior) drain tile by following along the area excavated for the discharge pipe. Also the same thing can happen near utilities and the access ramp dug for the excavation of the foundation. The backfill will never be as impervious as the natural soil.

Did you change you downspout extensions? (should be 8' to 10' long)

Dick
I recently installed the backup system and when I did, I replaced the check valve. I can see the water exit at the storm drain. The pond is 200 feet away and accross the neighborhood street but if the water table is higher, water would equalized so water wouldn't drain to street, my basement is lower.

Currently my downspouts extend about 10' from the house. I do plan on having them all linked and drained further away to reduce the water. It has not rained in a week and the flow has not slowed.

I am willing to hire someone to look but don't even know who to call.
 
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Old 07-08-09, 02:50 PM
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Is your float set to turn on at or below the drain tile inlets?
If your battery pump is wyed together at some pointwith your primary pump, there should be one check valve on each discharge pipe below that wye or tee. If not the water would just recirculate through the other pump.
Just some longshot ideas
Steve
 
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Old 07-08-09, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pumpguy View Post
Is your float set to turn on at or below the drain tile inlets?
If your battery pump is wyed together at some pointwith your primary pump, there should be one check valve on each discharge pipe below that wye or tee. If not the water would just recirculate through the other pump.
Just some longshot ideas
Steve
The backup pump I installed is a dual pump - see Basement Watchdog at Lowe's: Combination Primary and Battery Backup Sump Pump System

When I first installed it, it was below the inlet and running every 20 seconds. I played with the settings and its now just above the inlet and now runs every 30-35 seconds. The backup float is about 4 inches above the primary float.

I can see the water exit the house and the water in the crock lower so sure its not recycling.

If Im recycling, there might be a leak in the storm drain to the creek or the pipe might be Perforated. I have no idea.

I appreciate the ideas - keep em coming.
 
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Old 07-08-09, 03:50 PM
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Just my opinion here but by having the water fill the drain tile before the pump turns on will keep the tile saturated even if your water levels go down. Setting it to turn on above will give you a little longer cycle, but we always set it at or below the tile inlet.
Just the other day I had to change a pump which took about 20 min. During that time the water filled the drain tile and eventually the pit. After I got the pump in and running it ran constantly for an hour just to get back to the normal inflow.
 
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Old 07-08-09, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pumpguy View Post
Just my opinion here but by having the water fill the drain tile before the pump turns on will keep the tile saturated even if your water levels go down. Setting it to turn on above will give you a little longer cycle, but we always set it at or below the tile inlet.
Just the other day I had to change a pump which took about 20 min. During that time the water filled the drain tile and eventually the pit. After I got the pump in and running it ran constantly for an hour just to get back to the normal inflow.
I thought about that - since the float is above that means the tile is always full which means no water will enter it. Lowering it is probably best but I was concerned with the power use. I will probably lower back just below the tile inlet.

I still have no idea why there is so much water. I want to find out root cause - where is the water table? Where is my basement floor and how can I reduce the water entering? Would a civil engineer be able to tell me the water table? Is there a secondary drainage system I can or have someone install? What type of contractor or company could do such work?
 
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Old 07-08-09, 04:06 PM
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I have seen in severe cases where an outside pit is installed and the tile from around the house is routed to it instead of the house. It has to be a deep pit because of freezing and I'm sure it wasn't cheap. The larger plumbing companies around here do that type of work. You are right though, you need to find the cause. I've seen situations where only one house on a block has water issues and the others don't. Sure would be nice to have x-ray vision.
 
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Old 07-08-09, 06:00 PM
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There are excavation companies out there that claim, provided that the water table is not too high, that they can solve a wet basement problem. But if you blanch at $2,000 for a water powered pump, you may not like what these fellows have to say either.

Prior to 1965 or so, houses were not usually built on low land, but after that cow pastures where cows had been seen in mud up to their knees became prime real estate for building subdivisions. I don't know why. Greed I guess.
 
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Old 04-18-13, 09:18 PM
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I know this thread is a few years old, but I'd be more than interested in hearing if the original poster found out the problem. It seems we may have the same problem and was hoping to hear if he found a solution.
 
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Old 08-29-14, 07:52 PM
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OP has not been back. Thread closed. Please start new...

Thanks..............
 
 

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