Sump Pump Turns on every minute?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by tasdad4701, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. tasdad4701

    tasdad4701 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Hello, I hope some one can help me, I live in Michigan. I purchased this home
    1 year ago, here is a list of things that I have trouble shot.

    1. Replaced 1 1/2 inch pvc pipe from pump to the out side.
    2. Installed a new Check valve.
    3. Inspected outside pipe, it connects to a 4 inch pvc and runs 50 ft away
    from house to its own drain underground drain field. It is not frozen and
    is working properly.
    4. I had the water Dept check if there was leak from the main to my house,
    no leak.
    5. Cleaned and inspected pump.

    6. I have inspected the grade away from the house and it is fine.

    My sump well is made of corrigated black plastic, I have two 4 inch tiles coming through the side of the well. My pit is only 18 inches deep. The tile
    comes in only 3 inches from the bottom.
    Should my pit be deeper?
    Can I make it deeper, and would this help?
    My pump sits in some bricks and the suction intake is not below the tile's.
    Pump turns on every other minute, and at the best every 5 in the summer.
    Any Suggestions?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,804
    Location:
    New England
    Does it nearly empty the sump when it runs, or does it only pump a little? You don't want the pump sucking air, but how low can you go? Are you sure all of the gutters and any other sources of water are directed far away from the house?

    Sounds like your water table is high...there may not be much you can do if you have all of the sources directed away from the house properly. The place where it is being pumped to, is it higher or lower than the house? You'd think 50' would be far enough, though.
  3. tasdad4701

    tasdad4701 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Reply

    I have new gutters with down spouts that are connected to 4 inch solid tile that goes to my woods, I have vusualy inspected them working proplerly.
  4. carmel corn

    carmel corn New Member

    Messages:
    52
    IMHO - your pit is too shallow. I could certainly be wrong, but with your tile pipes coming in so low, I would have to think water has to continuously be collecting inside them in order to allow the water level inside your pit to reach sufficient height to trigger the switch. Drain tiles are meant to MOVE, not store water. With you shallow pit, when your switch activates, your pump is not only evacuating the water inside the pit itself, but also removing some of the stored water in your drain tile pipes. Your pump evacuates the water fast enough to lower the pit level and disengages the switch....however some of the accumulated water in the drain tile is still gushing into your pit. The stored water will continuously activate your pump more frequently than if your tiles were not being used to store water. Not sure my explanation is making sense, but what I am trying to say is that if you deepen your pit such that the "on" water level is below the drain tiles, then you won't have water being "stored" in your drain tiles. Should help to alleviate your situation.
  5. tasdad4701

    tasdad4701 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    reply

    That sounds correct,
    is there any one that knows how to make my pit deeper?
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,804
    Location:
    New England
    What's on the bottom of the pit now?
  7. tasdad4701

    tasdad4701 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Reply With Pictures of my Pump Well Please Help!!!

    It appears to have a solid black plastic bottom , the same material as the walls of the well. Enclosed are some pics, that show it all.
    You will see the well wall, one of the tiles coming in, and the brick top.
    I remeasured and the well is 14"wide and 16" deep. The concern I have is
    what is underneath, is it more cement, or sand. I live on sandy soil, but you
    never know what you will find. The person who installed this well put cement
    around the plastic well and made a square brick pattern on the floor to border
    the pit. Then they mortered the bricks in place. I have access to an electric
    pump that I can attach a garden hose to. I would run the hose out my basement window while I would dig the hole deeper.

    Attached Files:

  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,804
    Location:
    New England
    If it is really sandy, the flow could continually wash out sand from under the slab, eventually causing a failure (note, this is not a pro's opinion, just a thought). Hopefully, you'll get some other thoughts...but, it sounds like with the volume you have, a deeper sump would help. Note, if the water table is really that high, the pump will run often. Many of the pumps have an adjustment. Can you adjust it to run so it brings the level down more?
  9. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    A sump in sandy soil is a well of sorts. If you shut the pump off for half an hour, the water would rise to the level of the water table. The farther you pump below the water table, the faster the water will flow in. If the water table is below the floor level, you would not get wet until the water table rises above floor level.

    Your 14" diameter sump has a capacity of about 8 gallons per foot of depth.

    The best way to increase the cycle interval is to increase the diameter of the pit. Doubling the diameter of the pit will increase the cycle interval by a factor of 4.

    Increasing the depth will also increase the cycle interval, but not as quickly. But it will help only if you increase the depth range of the start/stop interval on the pump.

    Increasing the size of the pit doesn't mean that you have to increase the size of the hole in the floor, at least not permanently.

    Here is how you can build a good sump that will have a reasonable cycle time:

    1. Make a hole about 36" diameter in your floor and remove the plastic sump.
    2. Dig down about 27" from the top of the floor and put a layer of bricks on the bottom, as tight as you can but without mortar.
    3. Try to find some concrete type bricks that are tapered like a trpezoid, and lay up a circle of bricks as tight as possible without mortar, with the long side out and the inside diameter about 28 inches. Work around the existing tile and stagger the joints from layer to layer.
    4. As you lay the layers, try to put some small peastone behind the circle of bricks.
    5. Continue until you are up to the floor and mortar the last row to the floor.

    When you are done you will have a hole about 24" deep and about 28" diameter. That hole will hold 32 gallons per foot. Water will come in from the tiles, and will also seep in from any that gets under the floor.

    Set your sump pump on the bottom with a small standoff. There are probably little legs on the pump.

    Adjust the switch to have at least 8" to 12" between start and stop of the pump.

    Raising the pump will probably reduce the total amount of water that you pump because it will decrease the inflow. Decreasing the level interval will increase the frequency of pumping.

    If you have one of those silly pumps with a diaphragm switch that has a very small interval, get a separate float switch that you can adjust to a larger interval.
  10. carmel corn

    carmel corn New Member

    Messages:
    52
    Agree that diameter expansion will generally help any short cycling situation, but looks to me that DEPTH is still the main problem. Tile pipes at just 3" from the bottom mean that most automatic switches will not allow sufficient evacuation of the drain tiles before shutting down the motor. To me, that is a bigger problem than the diameter. If you can increase both as suggested above, even better! Taking the bricks off the bottom will buy you a couple inches of depth, but not sure that will be enough. You ideally want your pump's on and off levels to both be below the bottom edge of your drain tile pipe leading into the pit.

    You might be able to retrofit a new plastic crock if you take everything out and dig deeper. It may take some work to create new openings in the sidewall for the tiles pipes.

    On another note, it looks to me like a Flotec type pump with a vertical mechanical switch (looks like a SJE Rhombus type). If I am not seeing correctly and it is instead a diaphagm switch, get rid of it. I am also not a fan of Flotec at all and would definitely consider a replacement to a better brand as part of your project.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2007
  11. tasdad4701

    tasdad4701 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    reply

    That sounds good, thanks for all who replied so far. I like the idea of
    the brick well, but it just seem a bit to much for me to handle. The
    new plastic crock sounds like something I could do. I would just take
    location measurements of the tile's. Then I would take a 4 inch hole saw and drill the openings. I would probably use spray foam to seal them. Unless there
    is something that one of you would suggest instead. I sure hope that it is sand under the well. One of the 2 tiles is just barely entering the opening I have to be careful not to damage it. I will probably insert a 4 inch connecter
    in that one to give me some room to play with. Any suggestions on other tools for this project and a place to get a good plastic crock with a plastic bottom would be appreciated.
    Thanks
  12. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The only reason to seal at the tile coming into the sump is if there is no water under the basement slab. If there is water under the slab, then you want it to drain into the sump.
  13. carmel corn

    carmel corn New Member

    Messages:
    52
    Agreed. It is not uncommon to drill small holes in the crock to allow underslab moisture to drain into the pit. For retroactive installations (where there are no drain tiles at all), extra holes is the only way for the crock to collect water.

    I again am not a Flotec pump fan, however, they do produce accessory sump crocks. Check out the FPW73-15 or 16. I thought Menard's sold these....not sure about HD. I don't recall seeing them at Lowe's.
  14. moggi1964us

    moggi1964us New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NJ USA
    Here is my setup which is about to be installed (same for both front and back):

    Sump basin 18" x 24"
    Zoeller N57
    SJE Rhombus Verticalmaster switch
    Zoeller Aquanot 2 backup system
    Zoeller Unicheck Valves x 2 (plastic for front sump and cast iron for rear)
    Concorde 108Ah Deep Cycle battery

    Everything ordered online.

    Total cost for two of everything $2100

    Peace of mind: priceless :)

    I bought these items based on extensive research and professional recommendations. I'll be back in five years to let you know how they work out.:eek:
Similar Threads: Sump Pump
Forum Title Date
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Need exterior sump pump help Jun 23, 2014
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Looking for options to terminate sump pump line Feb 4, 2014
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Noisy sump pump. Help!!! Jan 7, 2014
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog sump pump types or other decision Oct 11, 2013
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog dainage/gutter/sump pump/rainbarrel? Aug 2, 2013

Share This Page