Septic system: "hand"/manual switch

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Old 08-17-19, 12:09 PM
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Septic system: "hand"/manual switch

Hi,

My septic system alarm went off. Because it's the weekend, I can't get anyone to come and take a look at it until Monday, so I started to diagnose the situation myself. What is the purpose of the "Hand" or manual switch?

When I switch from "auto" to manual/hand, I can hear the pump start. From what I've read, this means it's most likely a float switch issue.

Can I just flip the switch to "hand"/manual and resume using water until the service providers get here on Monday?
 
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Old 08-17-19, 12:16 PM
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You can run it in the HAND mode but it can't be left that way.

How long does it usually run in AUTO mode ?
You should run it for the same amount of time. As far as I know..... the pump should not be run dry.
 
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Old 08-17-19, 01:37 PM
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Ok thanks. I don't know how long it ran in auto - good question. It has been in "auto" mode since we bought the house a year ago and I never paid attention to how long it ran.

What's the purpose of the manual/hand mode?
 
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Old 08-17-19, 02:04 PM
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Auto is supposed to cut it on/off as needed. Manual turns in on and it runs until you turn it back off.
 
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Old 08-17-19, 02:26 PM
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By running..... I mean when the switch was set to AUTO....... how long did the pump run.... 30 seconds....60 seconds ? You may have to run it in manual until the pit alarm shuts off.
 
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Old 08-17-19, 02:42 PM
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will do... thanks for the idea. Does it sounds like a float switch issue to you?
 
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Old 08-17-19, 03:38 PM
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It worked. I flipped it to "hand"/manual for about 75 seconds and the red alarm light went off. Of course, I'm not sure what it means going forward. I turned it back to auto. Any chance I "fixed" it. Or more likely is it a float switch issue that will trigger the alarm again?
 
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Old 08-18-19, 11:24 AM
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Any thoughts? Should I still have someone come in to inspect the septic system? The alarm has been off since I ran it on manual and then flipped it back to auto yesterday.
 
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Old 08-18-19, 01:28 PM
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There is a chance the "start pump" float was stuck..... possibly by its tether wire..... and now it's free.
Try the system but keep an eye on it. As long as the pit alarm is working you won't overfill the tank.
 
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Old 08-18-19, 06:44 PM
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Thank you PJ (and mark)! I appreciate the advice
 
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Old 08-19-19, 01:51 AM
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My wild guess is you have a septic system with a pump tank. The red light and alarm is a high limit alarm to let you know when something has failed and the tank has over filled. Most often it's a failed float switch. If you can hear the pump run turn it "on" manually and let it run until you hear the pump change sound or for maybe 2 minutes. Do NOT turn it "on" and walk away as your risk burning out the pump. If you choose to repair it yourself replacing the float switch is relatively easy albeit a bit stinky.
 
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Old 08-23-19, 07:05 AM
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Thanks, all. Turns out the alarm float switch was tangled. All good now.
 
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