(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: basement pump is not coming on

  1. #1

    Exclamation basement pump is not coming on

    we moved into this house about a year ago and it has a remodeled basement with a full bath - used daily. well that pump "thing" that pumps the waste to our septic got backed up and we called a plumber in to fix it - great.

    well everything was fine for a while but not the thing is not coming on - usually when i flush, wash cloths, or shower i can hear it running.

    i tried unpluging it to see if it would reset itself 0 no luck - even checked the breaker box to see if that had fliped.

    how do i get the lid off to re set this thing - and what do i look for when i do?

    please help

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,376

    Default

    The motor could be shot, but often they blow the breaker. The more likely thing is the float switch needs to be replaced. Not the greatest thing to have to repair, but essential. Hopefully, the switch is easily replaced...some are, some aren't.

    Whenever possible, gravity works best, but sometimes, you just can't do it that way...you're stuck.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

    Default

    do i need to call a professional - or can i get the lid off (and how) and do this myself. honestly i have never done any plumbing unless you count the plunger.

  4. #4
    Plumber krow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    906

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by srn View Post
    do i need to call a professional - or can i get the lid off (and how) and do this myself. honestly i have never done any plumbing unless you count the plunger.
    It all depends on the type/style of holding tank you have. If you could post a pic of the lid, we could suggest your next course of action

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    7,463

    Default

    Is there 2 wires going to the power receptacle with kind of a double plug?

  6. #6

    Default

    there is only one wire/plug 0 it is a large round lid. the wire goes through the lid as well as the pipes. don't mean to sound "Dumb" i'm not sure all the correct names.
    Last edited by srn; 03-28-2008 at 04:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    7,463

    Default

    Oh, I was going to say if there was you can bypass the switch and see if the pump runs...

    Without it the only thing you can do is open the cover and see what is going on. If you are uncomfortable with this you could call a plumber and watch n learn. If not we could guide you here. Its a dirty job with a powerful smell in most cases. If this is for your whole house the instant gratification of calling a plumber may be your best bet! If its only a basement bath then time and usage is not a big factor.

  8. #8

    Default

    Given the nature of the materials that get deposited into this thing, it might be a good idea to verify that the outlet is good first by plugging in a lamp before venturing into the tank. It's possible that the outlet is bad, downstream of a GFI that has tripped, or otherwise unintentionally deenergized.

    The waste lines from the bathroom typically enter the tank under the slab. The pipes coming out of the top are a vent (dry) and the ejector pipe up to your sewer line. They are probably PVC or ABS and solvent-welded in place. Without unions, they will have to be cut to remove them. Make sure you leave enough material to couple them back up. The round lid (I suspect this is a Saniflo from the description) typically bolts on around its circumference.

    Just as a side note, there should also be a check valve in the discharge line. This prevents waste from the sewer line from backing up into the tank. If you remove the lid, ensure that this device is installed in the proper orientation (generally indicated by an arrow).

    If there's juice at the outlet, chances are your float switch is fouled up or the pump itself has failed. If you decide to remove the lid, make sure the power is disconnected first. This is for two reasons: One, you're working with a tank full of water (and other stuff), and don't want to get shocked. Two, if the pump has become dislodged, you do NOT want to upright it, kick the float switch on, and take a shower in the last few days' worth of basement bathroom byproducts.

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,605

    Default pump

    With your level of experience, even if you get the cover off, (and doing that is usually so intuitive that instructions are not necessary), all that will happen is you will then have deep, dark hole to look into with absolutely no idea what to do next. Call a plumber.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    With your level of experience, even if you get the cover off, (and doing that is usually so intuitive that instructions are not necessary), all that will happen is you will then have deep, dark hole to look into with absolutely no idea what to do next. Call a plumber.
    Wise advice. Nonetheless, check the outlet first. It might be as simple as resetting a GFI.

  11. #11

    Talking It's Working

    the weirdest thing happened. when i first unlpuged the pump i only left if off for about an hour. well later that evening i unpluged it again and lef it off all night. we did call a plumber and off course i pluged it it when he said he could come by and look at it well guess what - i came right on - don't know about this thing. our plumber acts like all these pumps are a pain in the ***. i have been very careful not to flush anything aother than waste and only the necessary amount of t-paper. so i guess if it does this again i will leave it off for a while i am the only one who really uses this bathroom -unless we have company - so if i have to turn it off i can use the one on the main floor. our guy gave me some other pointers anad tips to try. i guess we will just have to be very carefull.

    thanks for all the great advice - i think i will leave the difficult stuff to those who have the experience and knowledge to fix it.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SM
    our plumber acts like all these pumps are a pain in the ***.
    They are. Who the heck wants to work with a motor that's buried under sewage?

    There are a number of things that can happen to them, and there are a number of different types. One type has the integral switch - attached to the motor with no secondary cord - I had one like that and wished I hadn't had one. The other type has two cords and the float is completely separate from the pump - I like that kind best. In years past, some of those had mercury switches, but I haven't seen one for a long time. So the floats have a metal part that rocks back and forth as the float rises and hits a pair of contacts to turn the pump on.

    These floats do not last for a terribly long time because of the arcing. But you should get at least three years' use from one.

    However, if someone uses a lot of toilet paper, it can wind up on top of the float and keep it from working properly.

    Flushing anything like tampons or the like can jam up the impeller on the pump. You have to educate anyone who might use it to not flush such things.

    There's another kind of float that attaches to the lid of the sump and actually has two weights on it - they become just buoyant enough in water to "float" the spring in the switch and make contact. These are pretty durable, but eventually the spring in the switch will get weak.

    The motors can last a long time under low usage, but if they're used a lot I'd expect to replace them every three years or so.

    Some new models have a pressure switch (Liberty) and they claim it's several orders more dependable than float switches, but I have no experience with these.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •