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Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Ed from chicago, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Ed from chicago

    Ed from chicago Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Chicago
    my son just purchased a house and it has an ejector pump in the basement. During the house inspector tested the toilet and it and after flushing. Today we noticed that the toilet does not empty and the pump does not go on. Can you give any suggestions.

    You guys know everything...thanks
  2. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Is the breaker blown, or the pump not plugged in?
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,487
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pump

    The pump does NOT turn on everytime the toilet is flushed. It could take 3 or 4 flushes, and maybe more, before enough water accumulates to turn it on. IF it does not work, then it is either a float or electrical problem, but we cannot tell you which without being there to test it.
  4. Ed from chicago

    Ed from chicago Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Chicago
    Checked the breaker & plug...both okay.
  5. Ed from chicago

    Ed from chicago Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Chicago
    hj, the fact that the toilet does not flush correctly (water fills to top of bowl, and slowly recedes, but with no force to draw a sheet of toilet paper, have anything to do with the problem?
  6. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Possible blockage? How far away from the toilet is the tank?

    Did the toilet work properly before?

    What else drains into the tank?

    Give as much info as possible, shooting in the dark here.
  7. Ed from chicago

    Ed from chicago Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Chicago
    the toilet is on the other side of a stud wall. The toilet worked fine a few days ago. I think the utility tub also drains into the tank. The new home owners have been painting and washing the bushes in the utility tub, but there are strainers in the sink,
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,487
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The toilet not flushing would indicate that the tank is full of water, or that it does not have a vent, (but the latter is a remote possibility). The tank being full of water could be due to a pump failure, or the float on the pump is set too high for proper operation.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Based on what you have told us it could be either a clogged toilet, clogged line, or, a failed pump system.
    We can't say from here without further troubleshooting.

    Does the pump plug into a piggyback float switch?

    piggyback float switch.jpg
  10. Ed from chicago

    Ed from chicago Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Chicago
    the toilet is vented. Haven't looked inside the tank yet, don't know what kind of switch was installed. There are two plugs at the outlet coming from the tank.
    thank you all for your input. It's rare to find this sort of system in this part of Chicago.
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    With you stating there are 2 plugs coming up from the tank it does sound like a piggy back switch.

    Essentially the switch plugs into the outlet first and then the pump plugs into the piggyback switch.

    The switch plug gets power from the outlet, switches it, and then powers the pump out of the opposite end of it.

    You can unplug the pump from the piggy back switch and plug the pump directly into the wall outlet to see if the pump comes on or, not.
    If it doesn't I would test the outlet before jumping to any conclusions.

    If it does come on then the switch is either bad or it has somehow gotten hung up keeping it from activating.
  12. Ed from chicago

    Ed from chicago Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Chicago
    Thank you for your patience. I will try plugging th epump in alone, and see if it operates.
  13. blazer45

    blazer45 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Australia
    Ed, how's it going on? Is your toilet working properly now? Is it already flushing? If not try to check it's tube like the supply tube or bowl refill tube.
  14. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Wow Blazer45...
    Glad you were concerned about this thread enough to not know the problem is still ongoing by reading the thread before dropping your link...
  15. Ed from chicago

    Ed from chicago Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Chicago
    Thank you all for your input. I was able to get to my son's house yesterday, and unplugged the the switch, and plugged the pump in directly...the pump started, and cleared the tank. Replugged the switch and pump and the toilet empied properly. The toilet is working fine...now how about washing machines??? Thanks again...my son also thanks you
  16. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Ed my suspicion is that even though it has started working properly again that the way the float switch is installed has it mounted in a manner where it may hang up while in operation. Unplugging it and bypassing the switch moved everything around and freed the float. I would count on it happening again in the future. Probably the best course of action is to open the pit and remount the switch then watch it for several cycles to make sure it is not in danger of hanging up again.

    Also pass on the word that if they didn't eat it or drink it and it is not toilet paper that it should not go down the drain. This is a good tip for any drain but nothing will kill one of these pumps faster than baby wipes and tampons.
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