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  • sump pump and piping questions

    Hi all,

    We recently moved into a new (to us) house about a month ago and I finally have some time to address some of the plumbing issues.

    The big one i have questions about is the sump pump and piping.

    For perspective, here is a picture of the entire setup:



    The setup appears strange to me (a complete novice) in that there are quite a few bends; it's overall very rigid; the pump cycles on and off every 5 minutes or so; and there is always a very loud "thunk" when the pump shuts off. This reverberates through the house as the piping is currently touching the wall. In fact, the pipe is pressed up hard against the wall near the corner.

    where the piping goes through the wall. I suspect due to the rigidity, the joint had worked itself loose and is now leaking (very slow leak), leaving behind some serious mineral deposits.



    - what works best to remove the deposits? Commercial product like CLR, or homebrew with various mild acids, borax, etc (along with some elbow grease, of course)?
    - It appears that the bend is intact, so don't plan on breaking through the wall any time soon. I plan on whipping out my handy reciprocating saw and cutting that sucker midway. Would a rubber coupling be advisable there, given that the pipe farther upstream is secured to the wall?

    Also, the paper you see actually damps the sound of the pump shutting off and reverbing through the wall - don't laugh! I will ensure that there is some clearance between the pipe and the wall when I fix it.

    Next up is the section of pipe from the pump to the one way valve.



    - Is it (or will it be) an issue that the one way valve is so high above the pump? I would have guessed that it should be 2-3' after the pump. I was thinking about relocating it, but won't if it's not necessary.

    Finally, why does my pump (or system, rather) "thunk" when it shuts off? I suppose it won't be as big of an issue once I'm done in terms of annoyance level, but could this be a sign of problems with the system or that the pump is on its way out?

    And, just because I already took the picture, the pump itself:



    Many thanks from a novice wannabe handy homeowner guy

  • #2
    Re: sump pump and piping questions

    Well, alot of things are on mind about this one.

    1. I install me backwater valves after the vent in the discharge, not sure if you have room in your pit, before the lid, if not, after the lid, but not as high as it is.

    2. you have no strapping on the verticle or horizontal, it you have, it isn't enough, for sure. I recommend unistrut on the verticle and pipe hangers for the horizontal. I would move the verticle over, to the wall, right after the backwater, approx 2' up from the lid. then go straight up to the horizontal, along the wall

    3. What would be ideal is to run the horizontal in cast iron, but it might be overdoing it. This would silence the pipe. If I had this set up I would run cast.

    4. Overall, move the backwater valve down and properly strap/support/hang the pipe.
    Last edited by westcoastplumber; 08-08-2007, 09:24 PM. Reason: spelling, or something, bad memory
    sigpic

    Robert

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    • #3
      Re: sump pump and piping questions

      1) There should be room in the pit before the lid for the backwater valve. At the very least, I will be bringing it down.

      2) That sounds like a good plan. Should be easy enough to reroute and move the vertical over much farther downstream. There is a bracket (or something - not familiar with all the technical lingo yet!) on the horizontal, but I do see the need for one on the vertical as well.

      3) I'll probably stick with PVC, since I actually know how to work with it.

      Thanks for the advice!

      The other big question I have:
      My pump cycles on/off quite frequently, probably every 5-10 minutes, even when it's dry out. It does this ALL the time. Is that an indication that it is not long for this world, or maybe water draining back down and setting off the pump due to the placement of the backwater valve? Any thoughts on this?

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      • #4
        Re: sump pump and piping questions

        Originally posted by gobluetwo View Post
        1) There should be room in the pit before the lid for the backwater valve. At the very least, I will be bringing it down.

        2) That sounds like a good plan. Should be easy enough to reroute and move the vertical over much farther downstream. There is a bracket (or something - not familiar with all the technical lingo yet!) on the horizontal, but I do see the need for one on the vertical as well.

        3) I'll probably stick with PVC, since I actually know how to work with it.

        Thanks for the advice!

        The other big question I have:
        My pump cycles on/off quite frequently, probably every 5-10 minutes, even when it's dry out. It does this ALL the time. Is that an indication that it is not long for this world, or maybe water draining back down and setting off the pump due to the placement of the backwater valve? Any thoughts on this?
        Yes the check valve is way too high. Follow Roberts suggestion and lower it to the inside of the pit. Look at the flapper on the check valve to be sure it's in good condition. If it's not lowering it won't do you any good all the wall will seep back into the pit causing the cycling you mentioned. Every 5-10 mins is very often even during a rain storm. Can you tell if the water is entering the pit from the drain tiles? Looks like you should repipe the entire discharge line. Strap it every 4 feet and to the concrete if possible not to a joist or stud. This should help with sound attenuation. How does the line discharge outside? Is it piped far enough away from the house to where it won't cycle back to the pit?.

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        • #5
          Re: sump pump and piping questions

          Also Be Sure After You Relocate Valve To Drill Small Hole In Pipe Between Pump And Valve To Prevent Vabor Lock, Otherwise Pump Will Run But Not Pump Out
          Jerrymac Master Plumber
          JERRYMAC
          E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
          CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
          FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
          SINCE JAN. 1989

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          • #6
            Re: sump pump and piping questions

            i thought about it last night and did decide to repipe the whole thing. nice to have the pros offer that advice, though! also, i did check the discharge line outside and it drains out about 5' from the wall, where there is a gentle slope away from the house.

            thanks for the tip on the hole, jerrymac. did a little research after you mentioned that and found info on it.

            thanks all for taking the time to help out a newbie!

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            • #7
              Re: sump pump and piping questions

              What is with the check valve being so high? That is one of the quickest ways to burn out a pump, during an emergency.

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              • #8
                Re: sump pump and piping questions

                Originally posted by Ozone89 View Post
                What is with the check valve being so high? That is one of the quickest ways to burn out a pump, during an emergency.
                no idea. it was like that when we bought the place. per the suggestions above, i plan on repiping the whole thing and moving the valve down to just above the lid.

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                • #9
                  Re: sump pump and piping questions

                  Might the check valve be bad? and letting water run back into the pit?
                  God Bless You Super Good!!!

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                  • #10
                    Re: sump pump and piping questions

                    when you repipe the discharge use the same size check valve as pipe. what you have looks like an 1.5" check valve and 2" pipe.
                    Brent

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                    • #11
                      Re: sump pump and piping questions

                      Originally posted by BAPlumber View Post
                      when you repipe the discharge use the same size check valve as pipe. what you have looks like an 1.5" check valve and 2" pipe.
                      it's actually 1.5" pipe going into a 1.25" check valve. you're right about the size difference, though. I guess this is pretty standard? I looked it up and this is the model used:

                      http://www.zoeller.com/zcopump/produ.../unichecks.htm

                      model 30-0181

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                      • #12
                        Re: sump pump and piping questions

                        I am sure that the existing backwater vavle is not working properly, this is why the pump goes on every 5-10 mins, it must be letting water back down.

                        As mentioned before, don't forget to put a small hole in the discharge, between the pump and the check valve, inside the pit, if you don't, you will get vapor lock

                        I think you are well covered on this project, good luck and enjoy
                        sigpic

                        Robert

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