Question on Zoeller Pumps

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by buw, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. buw

    buw New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    I am interested in installing a Zoeller Pump in a basement sump. Water flows in continuously.

    Considering either the N53 or N57 model. Looking for any experience with both or either of these.

    Thank You
  2. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Good pumps. Buy the smallest one so you get longer run time, longer cycles.
  3. bubb1957

    bubb1957 New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Northern Ohio
    N53 (no switch on the unit) with a SJE Rhombus Vertical MasterSwitch #1003590 is your best bet for a great pump and a reliable switch with a decent on/off range. The SJE switch is very reliable, has a long life and is easy to replace, dont have to pull the pump out of the pit to replace it.
  4. buw

    buw New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thank You bubb1957 & ballvalve. I am planning an external switch and may bite the bullet cost wise and go with the touchsensor levelguard. My application cycles approximately 100k per year.

    More specifically regarding the N53 vs. N57. The N57 features a cast iron housing and I am curious if others have observed an actual benefit in terms of pump life or reliability. The cost premium seems acceptable if the benefit is there.
  5. bubb1957

    bubb1957 New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Northern Ohio
    Performance wise I am not sure there is a difference between the 53 and 57. I prefer the 57 for the quality and the cast iron impeller vs the plastic impeller in the 53. I have never tried the levelguard, but have generally not had much luck with the electronic type floats/sensors. For the money, I would stick with the Vertical Master Switch, which is a proven good switch. Just my opinion from many years of battling the active sump pit that I have.
  6. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Plastic impellers work fine. You might bust out a huge sump at that gallonage, and pump 1/2 as much.
  7. buw

    buw New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks bubb1957 again for the reply. I have not made the decision (levelguard) yet and wondered if you might be able to relate some specifics of your experience with the Vertical Master Switch. Can you tell me approximately how long one lasts in your application? Can you tell me how frequently it cycles. With a 6 inch drop, my pit will typically cycle every 5 to 7 minutes which gives me the 100k per year I mentioned.

    Mechanically, a switch like that should last a million cycles or more. The limiting factor is the inrush current on start up. If the contacts are underdesigned, (e.g. using 1/4 hp contacts in a 1/2 hp application), they will erode, pit and frequently weld together resulting in switch failure. Achieving more than 100k cycles under these conditions was unusual with less than 50k more typical.

    I see it is rated at 1/2 hp and 60 amps starting current. I have seen inductive motor loads draw inrush in the 90 to 100 amp range. Not sure what a pump like the Zoeller might actually draw. Regardless, your experience with the 'life' of this switch would be greatly appreciated.
  8. jhoybs

    jhoybs New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    buw,

    I am also interested in the Levelguard switch. Did you end up buying one or did you go with the Vertical Master switch? My pit is even more active than yours (262K cycles/year). I started a thread (Switch for Active Sump Pump), but I currently have no replies.

    I have a BSEE so I have the same concerns that you do about switches failing due to inrush currents destroying the switch contacts. All the electronic switches that I've looked at still drive the pump with a relay. I'm not sure if Levelguard is doing this or not, but with the rated cycles of 1.5 million on their data sheet and the fact that they design/manufacture industrial switches as well, I'm thinking maybe they are using a solid state switching device.

    Please update this thread - I'm curious as to your direction...Thanks!
  9. buw

    buw New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    jhoybs,

    Procrastination rules at the moment. Not made a decision but I am leaning towards the Vertical Master. It is a lower cost and is easily troubleshot. There were some Linked In contacts at Touchsensor Technologies, (I think somewhere on this board) . I would chat with one of them prior to purchasing it. I also suspect it is a solid state switch of some sort but I would not want to assume that, particularly at $130+

    So, for the moment, my Wayne pump and switch labor on. The MTBF is about 4 months and I return it to the store and obtain a replacement under the generous 'Lifetime' warranty. My plan is to place the Zoeller alongside it and plumb a separate discharge line from it. (my line plugs with mud over time, so it will be nice to have a second) Eventually replace the Wayne with a second Zoeller. I already have a Zoeller battery pump as backup.

    I will keep you informed.
  10. jhoybs

    jhoybs New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    As I mentioned in my thread, my plumber installed a Little Giant 4/10hp with an integrated diaphragm switch and the switch only lasted 15 months. I was then able to use a switch replacement kit to get it working again. I'm contemplating having my sump basin enlarged and switching to a manual pump with external switch. I've never seen a house with a more active sump than mine. Right now the Levelguard and Vertical Master are on the top of my list.

    Boy, MTBF of 4 months - that stinks! At least you have the warranty. Even with the Aquanot 2 backup (great backup pump) and a generator, I still get nervous when we loose power. Besides the active sump pump, our subdivision's streets flooded halfway up our front lawns in summer of 2010 three times.

    Good luck and thanks for the reply!

    DSC05894.jpg
  11. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    If you want a switch to last many millions of cycles you wire it through a top notch relay far oversized amp wise, that feeds the pump.
  12. buw

    buw New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    That is another good option. Thanks.
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