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Thread: Sump Pumping too frequent

  1. #1

    Default Sump Pumping too frequent

    I recently purchased a ranch style home with exposed basement. We had considerable rain for one day and the sumppump was running every 10 seconds for about a week and has still kicks on every 3 minutes right now even though we haven't had any measurable rainfall in approx. two weeks. Talking with my niehbor next door, his sump pump never runs but the guy on the other side of him has two running all the time. The water is run 30ft away from the house from the sump and downspouts by 4in. drain tiles trenched underground and eventually running out down hill. The pump is a sealed submersible and the crock it sits in doesn't have drain tiles entering from the sides like a conventional setup, but has small holes in the bottom allowing water in. I'm guessing that the water coming in isn't runoff at this point but rather groundwater. I was told by a contracter friend that I should unplug the pump and see if the water came to a certain level and stopped, which it did. He said to then monitor the walls and floor for dampness and if none appeared after a couple of days, to adjust my pump setting to that water level and all should be okay. Sound accurate?

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Yes, How far below the floor is this water level with the pump off?

  3. #3

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    I would say approx. 8" to 10" inches.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Set the pump in there so that it will turn on if it rises any higher and see how it goes... Chances are once you do that it will rarely run unless the water table is up from a storm. See how it goes.

    Make sure that you periodically exersise the pump... Manually operate it to keep it from seizing up.
    Last edited by Redwood; 06-25-2008 at 11:08 AM.

  5. #5

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    Sounds like I have a weekend project! Thanks for your input.

  6. #6

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    I was able to make the adjustment in about 15 minutes. I disconnected the pvc pipe at the check valve, put two bricks on bottom of crock which raised pump about 5 inches, cut off 5 inches of pipe, reconnected at check valve and walaa! The sensor which acts as on/off switch on top of pump now sits approximately 2 inches above water. It rained about 1/2 inch about an hour after I made adjustment, and the water never rose over the top to kick on pump. I did test the pump with a bucket of water to make sure it was functional after reconnecting. I'm pretty sure I was dealing with purely groundwater because when I took the pump out of the crock I could see a draintile at the back that I didn't know was there, and it was bone dry and looked like water hasn't been through it for a while. I've come to the conclusion that this type of submersible pump will work but isn't the greatest solution in this case because it doesn't have adjustment for the water level like one with a float. It being a new house I think the builder simply put it on the bottom of the crock to pump any and all water and not take any chances.

    Thanks for your help.

  7. #7

    Default Dump the submersible

    If it were mine I would dump the submersible and put in a pedestal pump. My experience with the submersible is that you can check it and it will be ok, then 6 months later when you need it, it craps out because of corrosion from sitting in the water.

    My .02 from personal experience.

    Jerry

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the advice, the thought has crossed my mind especially since we're thinking about remodeling the basement. For now there is nothing down and I can keep an eye it, but eventually I think I'll do that.

  9. #9
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    My experience with submersible vs. pedestal has been just the opposite.
    A good quality submersible will outlive a pedestal many times over.

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