Potential sump pump switch problem

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by pbelardo, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. pbelardo

    pbelardo New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I have a pump that will continue to run after the well is pumped mostly dry. It will turn off if I lift the "bubble" on the switch and let it go back down. I can turn it on again manually by lifting the bubble again, but then it turns off fine. There is a backflow valve about 4 feet above the pump. Perhaps this is faulty?
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    If you must lift the "bubble" to turn it off, it sounds like a bad switch. If you aren't sure and want to see if you can give it some life, shake it real hard for a bit (with the pump unplugged), then see if it works for a day or so. But I would get a new switch.

    Be sure you find one that is rated for the HP of the pump, and is a "pump down" or "normally open" model. They are available at HD and quality pluming supply places.

    I recommed the kind that are separate from the pump and that have a special plug that you plug into the wall and has a place to plug the pump in "piggyback".

    The backflow valve should not affect the switch unless it is not working (stuck shut). If the pump discharges water when it runs, then the check valve is not affecting the pump or switch.
  3. pbelardo

    pbelardo New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I notice that after I lift the "bubble" and turn it off again, I can hear water flowing in the vertical pipe where the check valve is. That's what made me think it was a bad check valve. I'll look to get a new switch. Do they sell those at Home Depot?
  4. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I have seen switches at HD in my town.

    The gurgling you hear could be a result of a mixture of air and water that gets in when the pump runs down to the point of sucking a mixture of air and water. A non-checking check valve is usually not a disaster with a sump pump unless you are illegally pumping into a sewer, because the only water to come back is what is in the pipe.
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