Zoeller sump pump short cycling

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by NW3, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. NW3

    NW3 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I have a Zoeller model 53 pump in a basin approximately 24" deep and 24" in diameter.
    The pump sends water up out of the basin to an 8' vertical x 2" diameter schedule 4o PVC pipe and out the house. I've had this setup for over 15 years and am on the second pump after the contacts burned out on the first pump after around seven years.

    We've had a few days of heavy rain so I went down to the basement to check the sump/basin at it was about half full, over the top of the pump. I pushed the float up and down to cycle the switch and the pump began working. It is now cycling constantly, approximately 18 second on and 6 seconds off. I unplugged the pump and the level rose very slowly. it's acting as if the check valve is not working. I have the valve mounted low near the pump to reduce the amount of water that flows back into the pump. I disconnected the check valve and a pretty good head of water drained back into the sump so I assume the check valve is good. I blew air through both ends anyway and it seems to work as it should. Got everything back together but it's still acting the same. Don't understand how a setup that has worked reasonably well for so long could begin cycling like this after I touched it.

    I understand a remote float/switch is probably the way to go but it's Saturday night and more rain is expected so I don't want to ignore this until Monday. Suggestions appreciated.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It may be working. Are you sure it's not more ground water that is slowly filling back in?
    My parents have a pump like that to keep their yard from going underwater. I replace it every 8-10 years. Normally when I have to wade out to get to it during a good rain.
     
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  4. JRC3

    JRC3 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Location:
    S.W. Ohio
    Zoeller switches go bad. They either stick on and dry-run for weeks. or they stick off like yours. Even if you toggle it and it seems to work properly, it will fail it again. I've seen replacement switches online for $25-40. If the pump is crucial I'd replace the whole pump. Maybe buy an exact replacement switch and keep the old one as a emergency, temporary backup. For me, I replace the whole pump for customers.
     
  5. NW3

    NW3 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Looks like it was the check valve. I couldn't blow through it but once it had an 8' column of water above it, the water would drain back into the sump. Looks like Zoeller has a history of known issues wit their switch design and hasn't done anything with as far as a redesign, etc. I'm going to take a look at a liberty pump with a water powered backup system.
     
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