Sump Pump Problems


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Old 06-04-24, 08:33 PM
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Sump Pump Problems

I purchased a building to house my business less than a year ago. The previous owners installed a sump pump to keep the back lawn from holding water. It work fine for the first few months and then I noticed that it started tripping the 20 amp breaker located in the storage room behind the office. I had an electrician over evaluating the installation of an electrical sign. I told him about it and we put some water in the basin to make it turn on. He noticed that this pump was pulling 30 amps and simply told me to buy another one because it was going out. Today, we have had enough rain to make me do some research on my own. I seem to think that the basin was too small for the 1/3 HP pump and the water is being pushed too far for this size pump. I want to upgrade to a 1/2 or 3/4 pump but I am finding that all of them suggest a larger basin but I don't want to disturb the underground inlet pipes that are attached to this basin. Tomorrow I am also going to see if it has a check valve and discharge hole. Does anyone have any suggestions?


 
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Old 06-04-24, 08:39 PM
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Old 06-05-24, 05:25 AM
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You said the basin was too small for a 1/3hp pump... so you decided that getting an even bigger pump would help???
 
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Old 06-05-24, 07:48 AM
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Asking For Suggestions

I have not decided to buy the pump yet but merely asking for suggestions. I have read that I can cut the bottom out of the existing basin and put a bucket or some other container into it. This didnít sound like a good idea to me. I was hoping that someone that has successfully dealt with this situation could give me a solution.
 
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Old 06-05-24, 08:26 AM
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The problem, as you have pointed out, is that the sump is too small. You need the smallest pump you can get which is probably 1/3 hp. To make the situation better you'd need a larger sump so the pump can run longer when it cycles on.
 
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Old 06-05-24, 10:59 AM
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I had a similar situation. In the end I busted out some of the basement floor and added a larger sump.
 
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Old 06-05-24, 12:23 PM
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If you don't want to disturb the existing sump and piping, perhaps you could install a bigger sump next to it for the pump and just cut a hole in the side of the existing sump near the bottom and run a short piece of 4" pipe to allow the water to move from the old sump to the new. OTOH, if the existing pump lasted for years, you could just plan on replacing it from time to time....
 
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Old 06-05-24, 07:36 PM
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It is not best for the sump pump outlet pipe to be continuously uphill all the way to the far open end. This would cause all the water in the full length of the outlet to fall back down into the pit when the pump shuts off. This detracts from the available space in the sump for new water, and the old water has to be pumped out a second time.

IMHO the sump space for water to accumulate before the next pump cycle should be at least 3 cubic feet (about 20 gallons) below where the inlet pipes dump in and not filled with stones or gravel. This is to assure a reasonable run time for the pump on each cycle. Almost no molded plastic sump liners are this big.

 
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Old 06-16-24, 12:55 PM
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Where is The Check Valve? Vent hole

I am about to replace this pump using the same PVC. As stated in prior posts, this pump was here when I purchased the property. As I look at it, I donít see a check valve. How like that there is one or it was buried underground with the discharge pipe?

 
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Old 06-16-24, 05:38 PM
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If that pipe goes underground and is pitched down..... away from the pump... then a check valve is not needed as the water will travel away from the pump by gravity. This is actually a good thing because when the pump shuts off.... the water in the pit will be siphoned out. Additional draining for free.

If you can't tell if the line is pitched down..... fill and keep filling the sump and allow the pump to run for a few minutes. Stop the water. Turn the pump off. Does the level in the sump go down or does it start to overfill from returning water ?

 
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Old 06-17-24, 05:47 AM
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I tried that yesterday and when the pump stopped I saw some water go back into the basin from the side holes. What should this tell me?
 
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Old 06-17-24, 05:58 AM
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"What should this tell me?"
Not much. The side holes are probably how water enters the sump. In such a small sump the pump can pump it down so fast that the water just outside the sump doesn't have time to flow in before the pump turns off.
 
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Old 06-17-24, 02:07 PM
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If you saw water come in from side holes but not the pump means the line is pitched away from the pump.
 
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Old 06-20-24, 03:55 PM
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Try this:

After the pump stops wait a short while until the water slows down coming in from the side holes. Now manually pull the float to start another pump cycle early. This time after the pump shuts off observe how much the water rises that will tell you whether you need a check valve (or a new check valve) in the outlet pipe.

 
 

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