1. MarieMarieMarie

    MarieMarieMarie New Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Hi. I moved into my house about ten years ago, and because we are on sloped property, the downstairs closet has a sump pump in it. (I think it's called a pedestal pump.)

    Lately it has been raining and raining and raining. In the past, when the sump pump kicked in, it would take about 40 seconds to empty the water. However, this winter, it is taking approx. 5 minutes to empty. Needless to say, it is now running almost continuously.

    My question is: Since it is now taking so long to empty the water, does that mean the sump pump is dying? ....... or could it somehow just need cleaning?

    Since the sump pump and bucket thingy are NOT underground, should I just buy a new one and put it in myself? However, I have absolutely no clue on how to do this and am wondering if it is a really really simple procedure?

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    The way to check if the sump pump is dying, or if there is a problem of some kind, is to find the model number, and then find how many gallons per minute it should be pumping, and then measure the discharge by seeing how long it takes to fill a 5 gallon bucket.

    It really is a simple procedure to replace a sump pump. You will probably be able to buy and install a pump for 1/4 to 1/3 of what it will cost if you call a pro to furnish and replace the pump. If capacity is marginal, larger capacity pumps don't cost a lot more.

    There are other things you can check, such as whether there is junk in the pump, or whether the discharge is restricted. Where does the pump discharge go? To get maximum capacity, it should have a large discharge pipe and discharge as low as possible.

    The lowest point is often a sewer in the basement (usually illegal) or dump it out on the ground. The best legal outlet is probably out the lowest window convenient to the pump, and the pipe should be pulled down to ground level with something done to hold it there. The siphon effect from a low discharge after it goes out the window actually increases the discharge rate. It should discharge far enough away that it will drain away from the house.

    If you can find the make/model, post it here and you will get a reply on the expected capacity of the pump. Many submersible pumps can be used as replacements for pedestal pumps, and you will probably get more capacity at lower cost. You basically connect the discharge pipe, drop them in the "sump", plug it into a convenient outlet, and let it pump the sump out.
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  4. MarieMarieMarie

    MarieMarieMarie New Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Thanks for the reply.

    I decided to just go buy a new sump, since they are relatively inexpensive. Couldn't believe how easy they are to install.

    The new sump empties in about 30 seconds (compared to 5 to 7 minutes the old one was taking).

    Thanks again. Much appreciated.
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Sometimes it is that simple. I'm glad the advice here helped you out.
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