Back-flow in Sump Pump Basin


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Old 10-05-19, 11:22 PM
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Back-flow in Sump Pump Basin

Please help. My hand is bleeding, I'm tired. I hate pipes. I'll give all the details so hopefully someone will know the fix.

I fell asleep in the basement and woke up to the sump pump constantly cycling. I knew this wasn't normal.Then it rained. It was obvious the water was coming in through the discharge pipe and not the intake pipes--and after a rain storm, there was a ton of water and it made me feel like this needed to get fixed right away. Before it rained, the water kept coming back in, but there either wasn't much in the discharge system or it came back slow. After the rain, the basin would backwash very fast. Knowing nothing about plumbing, I did some research. I concluded the problem was the check valve. I identified it and replaced it, which was a pain. Turn the pump on and...same result as before. All the water flows back in the basin. What the hell? The new valve is oriented properly--flow is vertical, going away from the pit. There's another check valve on the back-up system, this is a separate pipe and don't see how that would possibly affect anything. The water is returning to the basin a bit slower than before,--that's something, but it doesn't really do any good in the long-run. Is the new valve defective? Seems unlikely. Did I install it wrong...seems more likely, but it's a slip on, don't know how I'd mess it up. Was the thing I replaced not the check valve, even though it said FLOW and the home depot confirmed it was a check valve? Is the Everbilt compression valve a lemon? I think it's a spring. Is there a piece inside I have to take out or something? Would a slight angle mess it up...I didn't really check, looked straight. Is there some other explanation? Please help, I'm about to take a hammer and destroy the damned system.

I took it apart again, thought a re=install might be worth a try. I found after it reaches a certain level very quickly, it fills back up at a drip pace, which is a lot slower than before. I cut pipe a bit to make it more even, it was a bit jagged. I refitted the Everbilt...and it sprayed me in the face with holes in it. It's obviously a piece of garbage. But before that happened, it seemed like it was preventing backflow. Water in it wasn't going down. But before I re-did it, I could hear and feel water flowing through it and down. What gives?
 

Last edited by sonuvabish; 10-06-19 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 10-06-19, 10:25 AM
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Edit: Read the post guidelines. It's a submersible pump. Depth is about 3 feet, diameter about 2 feet--although intake seems to capable of holding a lot of water. Pump is positioned only inches above bottom. Moved in 18 months ago, worked fine until a few days ago. Got a new slip-on valve, same type of rubber garbage as the first failure, different brand. Was able to verify the check valve is back-flowing at about 1 cm-1 inch per minute after the initial back-flow (can't verify the cause of that), which is much faster. Current water level after back-flow is below the intake pipes after few hours (used to about one minute for water to stream into pipes), which is good because don't need to worry about flooding, but still can't leave the sump pump plugged in, which is bad. Have no idea what is going on.
 
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Old 10-06-19, 11:57 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

An awful lot to read here.

Are you sure the water is coming back in thru the discharge pipe ?
That would be highly unlikely especially in view of just replacing the check valve again.
If the check valve were in backwards..... the pump would not pump any water.

It sounds like the water is just entering into the pit normally.
 
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Old 10-06-19, 03:25 PM
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Looked it up on the Home Depot site seems a fair number of folks have problems with these valves.
At least if the correct valve came up.

You may also want to take a look
 
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Old 10-06-19, 06:05 PM
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PJ Maxx,

Hi, thanks for responding. Valve is definitely installed in the proper direction. Unless gallons upon gallons of water is coming from underneath of the basin (I don't understand how that would work,especially without evidence of a flood, but I'm no expert), it is coming from the discharge pipe. It is definitely not coming from the intake pipes, as by now I've spent literally hours staring at the water rise and be pumped out and repeat. The water rises rapidly when no water is coming in, and until recently, got so high that it flowed into the intake pipes--most of the water coming from the intake pipes had already been pumped out before. Short-cycling started before any rain, and for now, I have to leave it unplugged. Currently the level is below the intake pipes, so a lot of it got pumped out after the valve, but there's a certain amount I can't get rid of. I am clueless, but even my friends with a knack can't explain it. The only hint I've got is maybe back-pressure is too low to close the valve, in which case, I have no idea how to check that or what to do if it is.

You gave me an idea though. The water level going down and it slowing down is evidence pointing to a tear having formed in the bottom. So I'm gonna let it short cycle for a few hours and see if the water disappears. Cyles are 30 seconds apart as opposed to the previous 5, which is not as bad obviously--I credited the check valve, but it might be reduced water pressure--maybe it wasn't the same water being pumped out.
 

Last edited by sonuvabish; 10-06-19 at 07:26 PM. Reason: Add on
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Old 10-06-19, 06:13 PM
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Manden,

Thanks for the reply. I didn't notice people had problems, but I did go to the site to check install instructions in case I messed something up. I ended up taking it back to the store. I went to a different store. All the new store had was the exact same thing, albeit a different brand. It didn't work either. Nobody around here seems to carry a valve that isn't rubber. I guess I'll order a different type and try it, but I'm losing hope. I can rule out a defective valve since two didn't work. Maybe I should get a turn valve that I can open and close and just empty it every so often...not as convenient, but less likely to fail. I'd wonder if there is a problem at the pump, there's way too much water left in the pit for it to just be backwash from the pipe between the pump and the check valve. I'm lost.
 
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Old 10-06-19, 09:40 PM
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OK. It appears to be working. Water seems to be entering from the bottom of the basin. I started it short-cyling about 2 hours ago and it would switch on every 23 seconds. Now it's cycling every four minutes. I'm holding off on celebrating, but the problem may be fixed. I don't know if the original check valve even was bad, but I have no idea where all that water suddenly came from--cuz it was short cycling at about 10 seconds when this all started and got worse after the rain--and nothing like this since I moved in 18 months ago. So a tear formed at the bottom of the pump...or the check valve was bad, then I didn't empty out the water when I replaced the valve? Don't know. I hate plumbing. But thanks. If you hadn't have said it was extremely unlikely for it to be backlfow, wouldn't even have occurred to me to let it short-cycle for awhile--even if that is common sense, it's not for me.
 
 

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