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Thread: Sump pump woes

  1. #1

    Unhappy Sump pump woes

    I recently built an addition to my home. The new basement was built about 1 foot lower than the existing basement with footing drains transfering water to a pit outside my basement in the backyard. My problem is as follows, the pump keeps overheating or tripping the fuse. I have gone through 3 pumps now (in 1 week) and I suspect it has something to do with the electrical connection. FYI, since the pump is connected outside the basement, my contracter connected it with an extension cord. He claims it is a 12 gauge cord (about 25 feet long) and should be able to handle the load. Now I know the pump manufacturers state not to use cords. Can this be the cause of the problem?

    Also, we get ALOT of water in this pit. I want to replace the pump with a new pump that is capable of pumping large amounts and can also handle the constant on and offs (about every 10 seconds). I dont want to have any problems in case leaves, dirt or pebbles get sucked up. Can someone recommend me a good reliable pump for this? Thanks

  2. #2
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    There are lots of problems here. One if the extension cord. I can't imagine any contractor hooking anything up permanently that way. Hopefully, it's just temporary.

    Second is, what brand pumps are you using? If you don't buy a quality pump, don't expect it to last long with this type of duty.

    Third, I would try my best to find out how many gallons per minute are running into this pit so I could try to find a pump that will do about the same volume so it doesn't cycle itself to death. If the pit is big enough, you can tether the cord out longer so the pump goes on for a while then stays off for a decent amount of time to give the pump a rest. If the pit is small and a lot of water is coming in, I would consider making it larger.

    bob...

  3. #3

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    The extension cord was not temporary, the contractor still claims it is not a problem.

    The pumps were "Little Giant", "Simmer 1/3 HP" and "Meyers 1/3 HP"

    Regarding the size of the pit, it is a large round circular pipe about 12 - 14 inch radius.

  4. #4
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    The pipe is way to small in diameter and the extension cord is still a problem. I would be looking for another contractor.

    This small pipe is going to be problem from now on. I would be looking for something like a leach basin that has the measurements of maybe 6' X 4' and about 4 to 6 foot deep. This way you can let the pump run for half hour or so to empty the pit, then turn off for a half hour to cool down.

    Myers is probably the best choice for the pumps your using. I would stay away from sump pumps and go with effluent pumps. They are made better and will last longer. If you have problems with solids, you may want to look into a sewage pump. Like the SRM4 by myers. It will pass 2" solids. I sell that one for $461.82. It comes with a 20 foot cord and has a piggy back float. It pumps around 100 gpm.

    bob...

    bob...

  5. #5
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    What Bob is saying to you is absolutely correct: You need a larger sump pit and a heavier-duty pump selected to match with the size of a larger pit and your needed output. I have a small Wayne submersible in a shower-drain sump that is much larger than yours, and I have things set so that pump never runs for less than 30 seconds and usually only twice per shower. You need a system that will run even longer and rather infrequently.

  6. #6

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    Update,,,I had my plumber come back tonight and he said the pump was clogged with mud and that was why it stopped working. He took it apart, cleaned it out and it started pumping again. Of course about 30 minutes after he left the pump started acting up again and it would not pump water out.

    I had an old craftsman pump that connects to a garden hose for emergencies like these. I quickly connected it to another extension cord and plugged it in to the same outlet as my Myers pump, and lo and behold the Myers pump that was still in the pit came back to life. I watched it for about 3 minutes pumping out water and then,,, it stopped working again.

    I believe it has something to do with the extension cord that is being used, but my contractor claims that he uses power tools and portable generators on that same model extension cord with no problems. I also called an electrician and he said that even a 16 gauge cord should be able to power the pump,,,so now I am completely lost.

    Regarding the pump getting clogged, I read that there is something called a sump liner. My pump is in a 5 gallon bucket that was cut down so only the bottom plastic base and about 2 inches of the origional pail sits on the bottom. There is also no rock or gravel at the bottom of the pit, just dirt. Is this usual? Is there anything better to prevent clogging?

  7. #7

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    Also, a correction from my earlier post. The exterior drain is about 14-18 inches wide, not 12.

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barumord
    ... footing drains transfering water to a pit outside my basement ...

    My pump is in a 5 gallon bucket that was cut down so only the bottom plastic base and about 2 inches of the origional pail sits on the bottom. There is also no rock or gravel at the bottom of the pit, just dirt. Is this usual? Is there anything better to prevent clogging?
    So then, your pump is not actually in a sump of its own?

    Somehow, you need to have a large volume of water waiting to be discharged when the pump comes on ... and the extension cord is not what is making the pump stop working. The pump you have cannot handle dirty water and its thermal overload is shutting it down.

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    I agree with Lee, the sump should be made of concrete, plastic, wood or something other than mudd. A hole in the ground is not a sump, it's a hole in the ground. When water rushes in, mudd is stirred up. When the pump shuts down, the mudd (sand) can lock the impeller so the pump can't start again. Who is this guy that you call a contractor. He's really your brother in law isn't he?

    bob...

  10. #10
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    Maybe he's a beaver disguised as a plumber. I would get yourself a professional to correct your problem, it will save you time and money.

    SAM

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