Quick Sump Question (DIY)

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Sonofawhatthe, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. Sonofawhatthe

    Sonofawhatthe New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Denver
    We have a sump pump in our home here in Lincoln, NE. Being a Colorado native I'm not overly familiar with them. After recent storms the pump has started it's annual cycle of running frequently. It's been dry a couple of days so now it shouldn't be running however it turns on every 5 minutes or so as it's stuck in a loop of sorts:

    The pump activates as the float rises and pumps some volume of water into the pipe and up and out but of course it doesn't pump it all out, just enough to cause the float to fall and then it stops. And the water it just pumped falls back down the pipe into the pit which starts causing the float to rise and sure enough a few minutes later it starts again. A seemingly endless cycle that wastes energy and reduces pump life.

    I'm inclined cut into the pipe and put a vertical pipe with a valve. And when I hear this happening I open that valve and allow this water to run down and I can waste-valve-it into the floor drain. I'm not sure about our local codes but I know in a lot of places you can't drain sump water into the sewers. This would be a hack of course and even if it doesn't match ordinances I'm still maintaining the spirit of the law even if it's not the letter. I'd only catch the issue when I hear it but most times I would and that's better than nothing. Thoughts?

    How do other folks combat this illogical problem? How do I actually drain the water and not have it continually go up-and-down the pipe unnecessarily?
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    The discharge pipe should have a check valve installed above the pump to prevent water from flowing backwards. Your check valve is either broken or missing.
  3. Sonofawhatthe

    Sonofawhatthe New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Denver
    Thanks for response CC.

    Okay. See attached picture. It looks like "no valve" in place so I took that hose clamp off in order to drain the tube (after disconnecting the pump) and found that the black tube from the pump was affixed to the PVC pretty well. After some wriggling I got it loose and by the water all over the walls you can see that there was a significant amount of volume / pressure in the tube and I do, in fact, have some form of Check Valve somewhere in the system :) I'm a genius in case it isn't obvious. :p

    So that slow trickling, leaking sound.. I can't tell if that's coming back down the tube or if that's actually water still leaking into my sump pit from the ground. I'm going to take the top off and have a look. Any thoughts/ cautions/ etc.. very welcome since it's obvious I'm feeling around in the dark here.


    sumpPump.jpg
  4. Sonofawhatthe

    Sonofawhatthe New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Denver
    Okay.. mystery semi-solved.

    That water trickling back in wasn't coming through the downpipe it was coming from the ground level drain pipes as designed. It's a crap ton of water! I'm wondering if I'm draining right back under the house once I pump outside. The pipe terminates about a foot from the foundation. It's at the top of steep slope but all the same it's very close to the house. That doesn't seem right. My next test will be to connect to that pipe and run the water to the curb temporarily to move it completely away from the house.

    I still don't see a check valve in the equation but perhaps the pump has one built in anyway.
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