Sump Pump Newbie/ trouble shooting help!

prinesurfNovember 4, 2012

Newbie here

We are DIY's but sump pumps is something I have NO idea about.

this is what I believe to be our current situation...

we have 2 sump pits. One with the pumps in it, the other is an overflow I believe. (it is sealed) We have 1 hydromatic Pentair Pump and 1 municipal water back-up. The electric pump is only 4 years old. (but I will note that during the first 2 years of our new home, it ran 2 times per hour)

I noticed that both pits were full and had overflowed slightly. I opened cover and wiggled some things and I got the water back-up to go on, however it seemed and sounded very weak to me and only drained about 4 inches of water in 30 minutes. Then went off, then went on and stayed on for 45 minutes without really doing much to the water level. Then I was tinkering around near my furnace, jiggling some run-off pipes etc., then the one of the sump pump suddenly really went off and drained the whole pit.

I couldn't tell if it was the electric pump or the water pump doing the job.

Also I don't think the 2nd pit has drained at all, there is trickles of water coming out of it., I'm not sure how to get it to drain.

I guess some of my questions are

1) how can I test the electric pump to see if it has instead failed?

2) is there some way it could get clogged? if so where should I check?

3) If I replace the pump, I have no idea how to do this.

4) what pump should I get are there some out there with a lifetime warranty? recommended?

5) my challenge will be getting access the pit. The plumbers cut the holes in the round cover then inserted the pipes!, so you can only lift up the lid about 4 inches.

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oops I forgot to have post replies emailed to me

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 8:53PM
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I'm no expert, but as far as the sump pump, it sounds like the first thing you need to do is clean it out. When we moved into our new home we had the same problem. Pit was full of gravel and construction debris. Once it was cleaned out, it worked fine.
As far as the pit with the sealed cover, sounds like the ejector pit. Should stay sealed, not messed with by average joe diy'er. I would call in a pro to open it up and check if it is operating properly.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 8:46AM
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thanks for your reply. I will check out the condition of the pit.
I have determined that it is the pressure switch that failed on this pump. I'm glad to report that the mfg purposely made the switch separate so it can be easily replaced. I ordered a new part for $50.

I trouble-shooted this item by unplugging the piggyback plugs and just plugged in the pump on it's own, and it worked like a charm.

The mfg. mentioned that since the new switches aren't allowed to be made with mercury anymore, they are inferior and fail 2-5years. I'll get a spare one to have since he is certain the pump should give 10-15 years service.

Can someone explain how the ejector pit should work? I see 2 plugs on top that could be removed and looked inside.

Can someone recommend an float alarm, I'd prefer one that uses autodialing.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:29AM
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