Softened water into sump pump well?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by GARoss, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. GARoss

    GARoss New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    First post at your forum!

    We built our home in 2006/07 & replaced the original sump pump in June of last year. The second sump pump (Wayne model CDUCAP850 - 1/2 HP with Switch Genius Technologyâ„¢ Cast-Iron Pump) has a "Switch Genius" instead of a float that turns the pump ON but, some times, not OFF even though the water level is low. Most of the time it works but once or twice a week it will not shut off. Until discussing this with our local Do-It-Best center, I hadn't noticed that the softener drains into the sump pump well & may be causing the problem. NOTE: I have cleaned the switch several times (even between softener cycles) using a brush but to no avail.

    I would guess that we have a few of options. Find another way to drain the softener, purchase a sump pump designed to work with softener brine or a new Pedestal Sump pump.

    Any thoughts?
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,989
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    It is possible that salt or iron residue on the probes is the cause. My sump has a tethered float but I have probes for a high water alarm that may at times false alarm. I did two things... one was to clean the probes with WD40 and the other thing was to pipe a vent to the pit to lower the humidity.

    You might try waxing the probes to repel water. You could also contact Switch Genius tech support to see if there is any way to reduce the sensitivity or if the unit is out of spec.
  3. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    USA
    i've been through 2 of those "smart switch" pumps and they are junk. the switches develop a film or any crud on them and the pump stays on. i have the same setup with the softener draining into the sump crock. i just put in another pump in last week. after i had another switch go out on me in 1.5 years on a different pump (it had the vertical float switch on a submersable pump) it also stayed on. this time i installed a tall, pedistal pump where i can replace the switch easily if it fails.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,989
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Oh, and a third thing I did was to direct the drain from the iron filter and softener into the pit in such a way that it doesn't splash around.
  5. GARoss

    GARoss New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks,

    The new sump worked great for the first year. Since then I've cleaned the switch sensor several times but can't connect the issue with softener cycles. This morning when we discovered it was on, we unplugged it for about one minute - then plugged it back in. The next time it kicked on it stayed on until we unplugged it. We plugged it back in & it has worked perfectly every since. The last time we cleaned it was early this week & the softener has NOT cycled during this time so the water is clean of salt.

    We can try WD40.
  6. GARoss

    GARoss New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hey - we're practically neighbors! We're in the thumb area.

    I think the sensor switch is just a crap design, too. It would seem best to get the pump out of the water with a pedestal type sump pump.
  7. GARoss

    GARoss New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    The manual recommends the unit placement in such a way that no inlet water flows directly on the switch; just rising water. The brine hose fits in a slot on the cover of the crock. I haven't witnessed an actual discharge of brine to see if it splashes about on the switch.
  8. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    USA
    hey neighbor! yeah mine worked great for awhile too. we have the softener drain and the condensing furnace and a/c lines dumping in there as well as the storm water from the roof gutters. there is some debris that just gets in and will mess with that sensor, hopefully this new pedistal pump will work out. i've gotten lucky with being able to return them to home depot where i bought them, but now they have a 3 or 5 year warranty instead of lifetime on the pumps. save your receipts from now on :)
  9. GARoss

    GARoss New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    Chad,

    I've been researching which pedestal to get (the Wayne has been working like a charm since Saturday) but took the time to call Wayne Pumps in Ohio. The tech admitted they have had lots of issues with the sensor switch (they do not offer it anymore) & offered to send a float switch to replace the bad sensor type. I figure it's free so I'll give it a try. I would say, "What have I got to lose?" but I know better. We've got lots of nice things in our basement to lose if it floods!
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,989
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    When changing over to a float type, just make sure the pump can't torque-walk and trap the float against the side of the pit.
  11. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    USA
    that is what i was worried about, but this one, made by ridgid, is 1/2 hp and has like a slower startup speed or something i think as there is virtually no torque, even with the motor in the air. i did somewhat wiretie it in place for peace of mind. my setup isn't ideal, it needs some rework. i have so many projects going on it will just have to wait until spring to do it correctly :)

    "The tech admitted they have had lots of issues with the sensor switch (they do not offer it anymore) & offered to send a float switch to replace the bad sensor type."

    hope it works for you :) I know all about nice basements. I have a fully finished basement with bedroom,bath, living room, workout space and a complete kitchen that i built a few yeas ago. I really should start looking for a more expensive battery backup pump. the one i have already broke. it was from big orange. pump works but the controller and battery went bad in just over a year.
  12. GARoss

    GARoss New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    I should get the float tomorrow.

    Wayne really seems sincere about addressing the issue. The tech said to attach the float on the PVC pipe & position it where it's movement wouldn't be obstructed with anything nearby. He never once asked questions like where & when did I purchase the pump. He also said if I had further issues to please call them as they wanted to make this right. I have to give them credit as they are not ducking their mistake.
  13. GARoss

    GARoss New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hey neighbor!

    Like you, we finished out basement from end to end (house was built in 2006). Nearby the basement's utility room is a very nice home theater with lots of expensive electronic toys for water to fry! :( We when to the extra cost of insulated concrete form (ICF) type basement to insure a warmer, less damp & hopefully, no leaks in the basement only to have issues with the sump pump. It's maddening! :mad: Hopefully, the new float will fix our problems.
  14. GARoss

    GARoss New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    The new switch arrived by Fed Ex a day earlier than Wayne said. It was simple to install & now is up & running; lets hope for a long time.

    My thanks to everyone who responded to my post! :)
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