Sump pit water level

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Old 02-03-19, 07:13 PM
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Sump pit water level

I just recently purchased a home in central CT with a sump pit/pump in the basement. I noticed the original pump was making a loud humming sound and taking a while to drain the pit (run times of sometimes 30-45 minutes without recent precipitation) so I decided to replace the pump since the water level also seemed to be higher than what I thought was normal. You can see how high the water level came from the sediment staining the walls.

I realized that the original pump was placed on a large piece of brick that elevated it probably 10-12 inches from the bottom of the pit (the drain tile was always completely covered with water). I took out the large brick prior to installing the new pump. After installing and running the new pump a while, it finally was able to empty the pit faster than it was being filled. However, it would cycle every minute and run for about 20 seconds. I left it alone for over 24 hours, but no change in cycling time. There also wasnt recent precipitation at this time. I felt short cycling would not be good for the life of the pump.

I added a 2 brick to the bottom of the pit to raise the new pump slightly. The cycling is much better now... it runs for about 10 minutes every hour. The water level definitely is lower than it used to be, but the drain tile still gets filled nearly completely before the pump turns on. Is this a safe/good water level?

https://youtu.be/ZXzxjBAgWFA
video of pump short cycling prior to raising it 2.
 
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Old 02-03-19, 07:56 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

The nominal water level in the pit is determined by the ground water in your area. A sump pit can not always be completely emptied. Some pits will always maintain a certain level. I suspect that was the reason the old pump was so high in the pit. You may have to lift your new pump up more to find that normal resting water height.
 
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Old 02-04-19, 06:02 AM
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Old pump making loud humming sound?
Run time of 30-45 minutes?
... Pump probably clogged or with internal parts worn out.

Pump sitting on a brick or block?
...To reduce sucking up dirt that can clog the pump or to allow some water to accumulate in the drain pipes (not good if too much) which can lengthen the pump cycle (good)

Drain tile gets filled nearly completely?
... Generally not good. Can lead to flooding of far side of the basement since the overall soil around the house is more saturated with water.

****

Ideally, the pump, once it starts, should keep going until the pit is nearly empty.
Ideally the pump should start before any of the drain pipes dumping in are half covered.
If the water level rises and then stops partway up the pit, you can let it stay that way "forever" without the pump running. This stopping point will vary depending on time of the year and amount of rain.
 
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Old 02-04-19, 07:06 AM
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Thanks for the advice!

Ill clean a closer eye on the cycles... its warming up in CT so snow will be melting. The downspouts outside were all draining right next to the house, so I extended each one to drain away and downhill. The sump pit empties into the street sewer in front of my house.

The original pump was a Zoeller, pretty sure it was from 2006 when the house was built. It has a smaller on/off level range compared to the new pump which is an 1/2 hp H2OPro from Lowes (engineered by Zoeller). Ill give it some time to see how it goes with the melting snow/precipitation. I was worried with keeping the water level so high in the drain tiles.
 
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Old 02-04-19, 12:03 PM
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it would cycle every minute and run for about 20 seconds
Here is the problem, with the pump in the bottom of the pit, it fills, pump comes on short time and pit refills.

This is the death of a sump pump, short cycling.

I always raise my pumps in the pit, it allows the water level to raise, allows the pump to turn on and run for extended time.

!2" sounds like a lot but every situation is different!

BTW, any and every sump pump sold by big box stores is pure krap, you want a good Wayne or Liberty pump. A lot more $ but they run forever!
 
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Old 03-11-19, 11:21 AM
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Karwoda - how has your pump performed over the past few weeks? I have a situation similar to yours - here's my lessons learned/advice:

1. you have a high water table, and some drainage issues (downspouts emptying near your foundation). Fix the downspout drainage. Dig trenches and install drain pipes to take the water as far from your house as possible and send it downhill, or dump it in the storm sewer if you can. Use PVC pipe if possible and keep it pitched downhill so it doesn't clog. Its a LOT of digging, but you CAN do it with a shovel/pick axe. I've done 400ft of such drain pipe myself with a shovel. if you must, rent a mini excavator for $200 and dig it. You will be amazed at the difference this makes to your overall drainage. Do this for ALL downspouts.

2. Get a HydroCheck HC6000 to control your pump turn on/off points. Its the best $80 you will ever spend. You physically tie up the float switch on your existing pump (so it's always "on") and then use the HC6000 as your pump switch. then you put the pump at the bottom of the pit (or slightly up if you have gravel down there you don't want to suck in). then use the HC6000's 2 probes to precisely set the on/off points. I like to have the "on" point be just above the bottom of the drain tile, and the "off" point just before the pump sucks in air. I've used an HC6000 for 4 years and about 300,000 cycles (same pump) and it has worked flawlessly.

3. Get a 2nd pump. You have way too much water coming in to only have one pump. if it fails you will flood.

4. Look around your property --- is there water flowing toward your house when it rains?? if so, figure out ways to keep it away.

5. Consider backup power solutions. I'm not talking about "battery backup" 12V pumps at the big box stores. they are garbage. I'm talking about backup power for your 120VAC pumps so you don't flood when the power goes out. This is a much larger discussion. if you are interested let me know I have much experience with this and can give you some pointers.

6. I think your previous owners had the pump so high so it didn't run so much. but that just keeps the drain tiles flooded which is not good. you need to keep them flowing, and preferably as empty as possible.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 12:56 PM
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Two months later - we have seen a lot of rain in CT the last few weeks. I decided to return the pump I bought to Lowes and purchased a Wayne 1 HP sump pump. Should have done this from the beginning. It has been doing a quicker job emptying the pit. Also quieter since it doesn't require a weep hole in the PVC pipe. I have it slightly elevated so it turns off once the water level is about 2 inches below the stopping point.
Side note - are Wayne pumps supposed to sound like this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMZgFVvNQEA
Can't hear it unless I'm in the basement.

All the downspouts have been buried underground, as far as possible away from the house. In my neighborhood, I'm on the lower side of the street... my front yard slopes down slightly all the way through the backyard. I learned my next door neighbor just had his basement flooded due to pump failure... so we definitely have a high water table.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 01:34 PM
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Also quieter since it doesn't require a weep hole in the PVC pipe.
The weep hole has no effect on how loud the pump is. Some pumps have a weep hole in the pump volute. That weep hole is just so the pump can start into a head of water.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 04:26 PM
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Side note - are Wayne pumps supposed to sound like this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMZgFVvNQEA
Can't hear it unless I'm in the basement.
Sounds like heaven!

Yes, I am aware the quote is less than 25 characters!
 
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