Torpedo Sump Pump Continual Cycling

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by dzd9fy, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. dzd9fy

    dzd9fy New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Michigan
    My in laws have a Shellback #10 torpedo sump pump that does what I would call short cycling when it needs to run. In other words, when the water level is high enough to kick the pump on, the motor will violently kick on and kick off ever 1 to 2 seconds and continue this cycling until either the water is low enough, or as the case was tonight the pump overheated and would not run. {at which point they called me to say their basement was flooding :eek:}

    After unplugging and allowing the motor to cool I plugged it back in and it started the short cycling, at which point I immediately held in the TEST button to force the pump to continue to run. After probably 3 minutes the water that was on the basement floor had receeced to the point that the floor drain allowed the remaining water to drain. I am not sure why they floor drain and sump drain are connected, but that will be the next issue to resolve.

    So.......... my question is why would the pump operate like this? My father in law says it has run this way since installed about a year ago and the technician said this was normal operation. I disagree, but would lke to learn more before I deal with the installing company to resolve. Thanks!!!
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Sounds like a bad switch! Does that unit have a diaphragm switch?
    I'm not familiar with them, they are not a popular brand around here.
  3. dzd9fy

    dzd9fy New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks for the response. It does appear to have what I would think is a diaphram switch. There is a line from this switch to the motor, as well as a tube from the switch into the sump pipe.

    Is there a manner to adjust the switch? I could not tell how to do much, and did not want to pull the pump as it appears to be somewhat built in place with pvc and only a backflow device hooked to a fernco that can be disassembled.
  4. rmesic

    rmesic New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Michigan

    I realize this reply is late, but as others may search... It sounds like your pump has the same problem mine did - it required a restrictor to be installed as it was pumping the sump out too fast.

    I've just gotten the pump back today, so I'll know if it works following the next heavy rain...
  5. Switchman

    Switchman New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have had the same problem so I called Shellback manufacturing. They told me to adjust the micro-switch so the cycling does not happen. My experience has been that it will but can be minimized by adjusting the switch. You want to set the switch so it only cycles for a short time so the pump shuts off before overheating. If the switch is set for no cycling at all then there could be flooding. When the pump is set correctly it should come on and run steadily and then shut off after little or no cycling. You should also have a reverse flow check valve installed near the outlet of the pump. It is recommended to run the pump dry once a month so the water doesn't creep up the switch diaphragm tube causing the water level to rise to high before the pump comes on. Also after some years of service the micro-switch may begin to stick causing flooding. The post about a restricter is intriquing and I am interested to see how that works out. Good luck!
  6. Bob 13

    Bob 13 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Michigan
    I've got a Shellback which was repaired several years ago. They replaced the old barometric switch with a new one. The new one is a round metal can with a rubber tube going down the side of the pump into the water. It has a test switch will works fine. The problem is after several cycles, the swtich does not kick on and the basement will start flooding. Pressing the switch button, it will drain the water. It appears to be a diaphram that is spring loaded. By adjusting the spring, you can control when the sump will kick on. I think my control has a slow leak in the diaphram or it will stick and not kick on. I can usually disconnect the tube and blow air until I hear the bubbles, pinch the rubber tube, connect it back to the control and it will run until the hold is empty or water gets down to the bottom of the tube, releasing the diaphram. I would suggest calling Shellback and ordering another switch or finding another barametric type switch. Hope this helps.
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,235
    Location:
    IL
    I would consider a PHCC USC3 sump pump controller, or similar. When the water rises and touches a probe, the pump is powered on for an adjustable time. I presume this uses simple analog circuitry rather than a problem-prone microprocessor. The circuit should be simple, just looking for continuity.

    I installed a similar device I got at HD for about $45 several years ago. It has 2 outlets and 2 probes. The second probe would be set higher. The second outlet could power an alarm or another pump. I don't find it available. Maybe they had failures. I had no failure. No moving parts is good. Except for the passive probe, the control is mounted up out of the sump.

    Alternatively, maybe you could find an old mercury switch. Those were very reliable.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,977
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I have a dislike for diaphragm style sump switches and could never set the on/off ranges the way I wanted. I have seen the probe style online but could never find one locally. I opted instead to use a tethered float. The only thing with a tethered float is that the pump cannot be allowed to wander around in the pit.
Similar Threads: Torpedo Sump
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 What should I do when sump lining is swollen? Feb 4, 2014
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Help replacing sump pit Jan 10, 2014
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Noisy sump pump. Help!!! Jan 7, 2014

Share This Page