Sump pump air locks intermittently

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Old 04-05-14, 01:34 PM
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Question Sump pump air locks intermittently

Hi folks! This is my first post on the forum. I was googling my sump pump problem this afternoon and came across this old thread (http://www.doityourself.com/forum/we...water-out.html) which prompted me to sign up here. I have a 2 year old house on municipal water & sewage in Eastern Ontario area. We've had a lot of snow and precip this winter & spring and my sump well is getting a lot of action.

Here's the problem: the submersible sump pump intermittently air locks (I believe) and the sump well fills up with water. The pump still clicks on and keeps humming but no water is pumped out. I need to manually unplug the electrical cables from the wall outlet... at which point a bunch of bubbles come up from the pump... and the when I plug the pump back in, voila, it works again and empties the well. This only happens intermittently. Sometimes it works perfectly fine.

I noticed the previous thread suggested drilling a small hole in the ABS pipe right above the submersible unit. Is this good advice? I'm getting so much water draining into the sump that I'm not sure how long I could take the pump out to do any maintenance.... the water trips the float switch every 50 seconds or so.

Here's a picture of my setup: http://i822.photobucket.com/albums/z...p/IMG_0192.jpg


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Old 04-05-14, 04:38 PM
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I had the same issue. Drill a small hole after the pump, before the check valve. This will release the air lock and allow the pump to operate normally.
 
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Old 04-05-14, 05:02 PM
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I've had this house for about a year and never have I seen the pump run so frequently. I'll drill that hole above the pump just as soon as I get some relief from the water.

The weeping tile spout is draining water into the sump at a pretty fast rate. Granted, this just may be the spring melt. But it's a couple gallons a minute. Here's a video: MVI_0193.mp4 Video by anjp | Photobucket

1-Could this be some sort of freezing pipe/water main leak?
2-Can my sump pump survive this sort of sustained use? (on every minute or two for about 10-15 seconds)
 
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Old 04-05-14, 05:25 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You can hold the float switch up so that pit empties fully and then quickly drill your hole.

1-Could this be some sort of freezing pipe/water main leak?
It could be anything. You have to look around at your property and mentally layout where any pipes could be. You need to be a detective. The water main comes from the street to your house. Is it close to the pit ? Usually a water main leak will bubble up from the ground but it depends on your grade. Is there a stream nearby ? Are you on a hill where the water can run down the hill and into your house ?

Can my sump pump survive this sort of sustained use?
Probably not. What happens when the pump doesn't pump ? Does the pit flood ? With that much water you may need to consider a backup one.
 
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Old 04-05-14, 05:45 PM
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OK my hole is in and the pump is no longer having the the air lock issue. However, I'm still getting lots of water from the weeping tile spout as in the video above. I figure I'll give it a day or so to see if the incoming water stops... if not I will start investigating for a water source break.

I don't have any sink holes or anything out of the normal on the property. I have no clue where the pipes could be run.... but this is only a 2 year old house so maybe I can seek out the builder (lives in the neighbourhood somewhere) and get some details from him.

I do have some small hilly terrain behind my back yard. Basically an old farmer's field that is about 20 ft higher than my yard level.

My water meter and incoming water pipe are a couple feet away from the sump well. It comes up through the bottom of the foundation like so: http://i822.photobucket.com/albums/z...p/IMG_0195.jpg
 
 

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