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Thread: sewage pump help

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member lowe's Avatar
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    Default sewage pump help

    Recently I had a concrete channel cut that terminates right at the inlet to my sewage ejector pit. The channel is to add a drain for a bathroom group.

    After the concrete removal, I noticed my sewage ejector pump was running 1-2 times per day, even though all fixtures (even the furnace) are turned off and therefore no wastewater was getting into the pit.

    Today I took the cover off. On a side note, it has 10 bolt holes, is 26" wide (the pit is 24) and has a a hole for the 2" waste pipe and a hole for the cord. The pit has a side vent. I am trying to figure out the brad of the pit, and have been unable to identify it.

    Anyway, today I removed the cover, added enough water to cycle the pump, then when the water was a its lowest, I unplugged the pump, vacuumed the pit until all water was gone, and confirmed that I have a leak - I'm thinking at the entry of the pipe into the pit, bt I can't be sure. If it is this, how do I correct it?

    My plan was to remove the pipe beneath the check valve from the pump, and pull the pump to id the brand and size (we're upgrading fixtures, so I wanted to confirm that it was a 1/2 hp pump). I closed the valve (red handle that was parallel to the pipe) then tried to unscrew the bottom section of pipe. It turned only slightly - maybe 1/8 of a turn?

    When I figured that I couldn't pull the pump, I re-opened the red valve, filled the pit with enough water to cause the pump to turn on, and noticed that... the pump runs, but does not discharge any water - and there is also no slam from the check valve (presumably because no water is getting up)

    Is there anything anyone can suggest that this might be? I can't stop the slow but inevitable flow of groundwater into the pit, so I need the pump to...pump. Reaching in and lifting the float turns the pump on, but no water flows upward.

    Help!

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member lowe's Avatar
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    Default How do I install a new check valve and connect a new length of pipe to the pump?

    Could the problem be air lock, since I drained the pit? If so, how can I get rid of the air lock?

    The piece of pipe below the gate valve and check valve seems to have a hand-turnable section, but it seems like there is pvc epoxy around that connection (which is why I can't turn it). Is it common to epoxy this part? Could I loosen it with a pipe wrench?

    How would I go about installing a new check valve and pipe to connect to the pump? Where the 2" pvc sits in the pump, how is that connection made? (do I need a special fitting and/or epoxy?

  3. #3
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Default

    You might have groundwater leaking in around the inlet or side vent ports. There are fittings on the basin that should prevent this when they are in good condition. They may need to be replaced.

    You can try a strap wrench on the threaded fitting, but if someone used epoxy on it, you should have new replacement stuff there (pvc pipe, couplers, pvc ball valve, pvc check valve, primer, cement, etc) and be prepared to replace it. If it is PVC pipe, there is a 2" threaded PVC fitting which connects the pipe to the pump.

    A common installation would have the shut-off about 3' above the basin, with the check valve directly below that. PVC fittings all get primed and cemented together, which is a permanent bond.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member lowe's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the info. Based on trying to turn the pipe at the union (just below the check valve) it is stuck... there' probably epoxy on it I guess. To avoid pvc epoxy (never used it before) what if I cut out the check valve, remove the pump, then replace the check valve with one that has those rubber fittings on both ends that are secured with metal bands?

  5. #5
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Those are ok for gravity drains, but I would never use them for a pressurized sewage line.

    PVC, primer, and cement is quite easy to work with. If you wanted to, you could buy a couple PVC fittings to practice on before you work on your real plumbing.
    Last edited by cacher_chick; 12-02-2011 at 04:15 PM.

  6. #6
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    You have air lock because you didnt drill a tiny hole above the water line and below the check valve.

    Go to the Zoeller website and read about it. If you want it to never plug, you put a SS cotter pin in the hole.

    The Zoeller check valves are definitely designed for pressure [small] sump pumps. Go to Dean Bennet website and see the choices available. thats a quick fix, but its not your problem as it seems.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 12-03-2011 at 11:38 AM.

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