Correct Water Level in Pit


Old 02-06-20, 06:32 AM
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Correct Water Level in Pit

I live in an area with a high water table so there is constant flow into my sump pit. The float switch is set to empty maybe a pail of water ever minute or so. The level gets just slightly over the pumps and is then drained.

i recently noticed that when the level got to about an inch over the bottom of the intake pipe that the flow stopped (I had unplugged the pumps to do my regular check of them). It never got high enough to activate thr battery back up. I assume the pit level was at the same level as the water in the perimeter drainage system, so no where to flow.

So, my question. Should I adjust the float switches to have the pumps only start when the pit exceeds the water table level, or should I keep allowing the pit to fill and empty. The adjustment would leave the pit with water in it at all times. But it would likely reduce the frequency of discharge significantly.

It seems like a waste of energy to be pumping out a pit that will quickly refill, and then stop. But, maybe you want water moving through the drainage system and not just sitting. Not sure.

I am in Canada so also wondered if there was a risk of freezing if the water is not moving. Maybe that is important.

Hope this makes sense.

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Old 02-06-20, 07:03 AM
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It could be that water reaches varying levels under different circumstances and it's not necessary for you to get the sump pit to dry. It is not uncommon for some water to be in the pit at times and it sounds like that's your situation.

I suggest considering your basement conditions. That is, if your basement is not damp, you don't have a mold or mildew issue, and you're otherwise satisfied, I'd leave it alone. If you're not satisfied, adjust your pump accordingly.
Old 02-06-20, 07:34 AM
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The pump should be set to run when the water level reaches the drain tile, then empty as much as possible for longer cycle times. The drain tile should not be left with water in it, it's job is to capture and divert the water into your pit, keeping the perimeter as well as your basement dry.
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Old 02-06-20, 08:11 AM
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If the water partly fills the pit partway and stops rising, it is not necessary for the pump to come on. The water can stay in the pit that way indefinitely. But if the water level gets too high then the pump has to come on even if the pump runs every so often 24/7..

The stopping point, if any, will differ depending on weather conditions. You choose how high you want to allow the water to get. You may get away with the water covering a part of the drain pipes. If you guess wrong and let the water sit too high and then you get flooding at the opposite side of the basement, then adjust the pump and allow a week of normal running of the pump before concluding whether your downward adjustment was good enough.

The critical water level is for the backup sump pump, if any. Then the "regular" pump would start sooner.

If you are worried that the standing water in the pit will make the basement too humid, the amount of evaporation with the pit half full is the same compared with the pit with one half inch of water in it. It is not practical for the pump to suck the pit completely dry. Or you can reduce the evaporation by putting a cover on the pit.
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Old 02-06-20, 09:10 AM
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The pump should be set to run when the water level reaches the drain tile
This is a topic that has been discussed several time with varying opinions.

First, the death of any sump pump is directly related to how many times it starts, not for how long it runs.

Your drain lines always have water in them, it's just a question of how high to set the float.

Personally I have my pump set so when the drain lines are about 3/4 full the pump comes on and runs for about 5 min. With that setting there is a large volume of water in the pipes and around the foundation so pump does not short cycle.

Others feel having that much water is an issue but the ground is full of water anyway, it's just the level that is being discussed!
Butch Benitez voted this post useful.

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