Sump Pump running every 3 minutes

hehatemeMarch 19, 2011

Hi:

We live in MN. This year we had near record snow fall.

Now with high temperatures snow is melting quickly.

Today my sump pump has been running every 3-4 minutes. It runs for 15 seconds or so.

Is this a cause for concern?

I have lived in this home for 4 years with no water issues.

Reason why I am paying more attention to this right now because I am about to finish my basement. I will be getting a water powered backup sump pump installed at the same time.

Thanks

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worthy

Check that the one-way valve is operating properly.

The backup is a good idea, as is a battery backup.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 9:14PM
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hehateme

Thanks Worthy.
I looked at my sump pump.
It seems that it does have a check value.
It is Jackal Model DJ-545. I don't know how to check to see if it is working.
I opened the cover from the sump pump pit.
I noticed that no water was coming into the sump pump pit from the drail tile. It seems to me that water was entering the pit from the holes at the bottom of the pit.
I went outside the home to make sure that water was being discharged. I did see water coming out.
Typically the sump pump discharge is connected to a hose that takes the water well away from my home. However that hose can freeze in winter so I disconnect it.
Our soil type is clay.
Either I have a water leak, or we just have very high water table due to excessive snow melting or my landscaping/gutters are a problem.
I cannot find any issues with Gutters or Landscaping.
I will call a plumber and have them check the check value.
I will also quickly install a battery back valve now.

Thanks

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 12:15AM
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It seems to me that water was entering the pit from the holes at the bottom of the pit.

Then it's not the check valve. The check valve simply stops water that you have pumped but that's still in the pipe above the valve falling back and starting the pump again in a wasteful cycle.

It sounds like your sump pump is doing the job it was intended to do. We had one like that. When it would start running after 11 months of idleness I was always wondering what that new noise was about. Spring runoff.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 2:22PM
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artknotly

the check valve is a black collar on the discharge line above the pump. you either don't have one or it is installed wrong. there is an image in the link below

Here is a link that might be useful: sump pump information

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 11:57AM
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brickeyee

"Typically the sump pump discharge is connected to a hose that takes the water well away from my home. However that hose can freeze in winter so I disconnect it. "

Hook the hose back up.

The water entering the crock may be the water you just pumped out near the foundation.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 1:54PM
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Good eye, brickeyee!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 6:40PM
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hehateme

Brickeyee,

You are correct. I had hose disconnected during the winter.
I connected the hose again and now the sump pump runs every 5 to 10 minutes.

I also had city come in and inspect the water in my sump pump pit. They tested for chemicals to determine if there was a water leak. It turns out the there is no water leak.
When they looked at the city plans to noticed that my house is in an area that had wet lands. So we have clay soil and high water table. These two issues are causing sump pump to run often.

I had several water proofing guys come in to see my basement. They all told me that my basement is dry, no water seepage or humidity. They told me that my landscaping is fine too.

All of them recommeded a backup sump pump. One of them recommeded replacing my current pump and getting another sump pump pit.

My current plan is to keep my current sump pump as it has been working well for 5 years now.
I will add another sump pump in the same pit and keep it unplugged.
I will also add a water based backup sump pump that runs off the city water. This pump does not go into the sump pump pit.
I already have an alarm in the sump pump pit that alerts my security company if the water rises beyond a certain level.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions.

Thanks

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 12:06PM
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KrisMN

hehateme,

I was wondering if you solved this problem. We live in MN too, and during the nine years in our house, the sump pump has hardly ever run. In the last week it has starting running every two to three minutes.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 10:33PM
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