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  • Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

    My sump pump seems to be tripping my circuit breaker. I unplugged the pump and plugged it into another outlet on a different breaker and that breaker tripped. Is this common when the pump needs to be replaced? This will be the 3rd pump in less than 10 years and it doesn't run very often. It is connected to the utility sink in the laundry room and the downstairs bathroom. Neither is used frequently since my son moved out over 6 years ago. I've been doing some research and replacing the pump seems fairly straight forward. Are they any other things I need to look at before opening up the sump pump lid and taking out the pump? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

  • #2
    Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

    If the discharge piping/hose is restricted or too long, the pressure will become too high and overload the motor. Does the circuit breaker trip right when the pump tries to start up, or does it start, run and then trip the breaker after a few seconds or minutes? You might have a stuck check valve that's making too much back pressure.

    If you can, try this and see what happens.

    Unplug pump and disconnect discharge plumbing.

    Take pump outdoors and connect a heavy duty extension cord to the pump but do not plug it in yet.

    Set pump in a clean trash can and then fill it about 2/3 full of water unless it's a pedestal type pump with open motor.

    Now plug in extension cord and see if it runs and blasts water all over the yard. Do not leave it run for long. This is a quick test to see if the pump will start up and run.

    Please post results.

    The more info you can give us, the better we can answer you.

    I hope you're not using a sump pump to pump sewage. From a sink you might be OK but never from a toilet or clothes washer. If you need to pump sewage you need a true sewage pump. This would require a professional to figure out and install properly.
    Last edited by Woussko; 01-08-2008, 01:36 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

      I will try what you've suggested when my son comes over this weekend. The sump pump system was installed by a licensed plumber 10 yrs ago. The pump has been replaced once and it is used for the downstairs toilet, so I am assuming the plumber used the right equipment. I'll keep you posted once my son and I try what you suggested.

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      • #4
        Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

        Thats a sewage ejector, or macerating/grinding pump...not a sump.

        If you have a sump setup, then thats the trouble..they don't handle solid waste.
        Give us the make/model..start there.

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        • #5
          Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

          you need like a zoeller 267, depending on the head you have. Makes sure you have a backwater valve, maybe you could take pictures??

          if your triping the breaker, usually you have a short, this can be caused 2 ways, the sump being full and the cord or conduit full of water and the original plumber didn't pull new cord through to the box, he just cut and taped.

          Or the pump needs to be replaced.

          Pictures, pictures, pictures please.
          sigpic

          Robert

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          • #6
            Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

            I'll get pictures tomorrow and post them (although it would only be of cover and plumbing connections to lid). I don't think there is a model number on the lid, and I probably am not going to be able to open it myself. (that is why waiting for son on weekend..) Thanks, I appreciate the assistance.
            Last edited by noname; 01-08-2008, 11:58 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

              Originally posted by noname View Post
              I get pictures tomorrow and post them. I don't think there is a model number on the lid, and I probably am not going to be able to open it myself. (that is why waiting for son on weekend..) Thanks, I appreciate the assistance.

              The model number is on the pump, not the lid. Are you sure the pit is not full of water??? and you have a dead short??? Have you lifted or looked into the lid??

              Please make sure the breaker is off, and if there is a switch, turn it off also.
              sigpic

              Robert

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              • #8
                Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

                If you hav'nt pulled the pump yet, get hold of a meter that will read ac amps and see what it's pulling on start up. anything within 80% of the breakers rating and its probably the motor.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

                  I've unplugged the pump from the electrical outlet. That is pretty much all I have done. I tried plugging it into another outlet on a different breaker and it tripped that breaker too. My son has a meter and will bring that along with other tools this weekend.
                  I'm pretty sure it is full of water, but haven't opened the lid to check. When I reset the breaker you could hear the pump trying to run, but then the breaker trips.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

                    From what I glean from your last post, it sounds to me like the pump has a piece of debris caught in it, or has rusted/siezed from infrequent use, and can't get started turning. you can probably make it work again by pulling it out and freeing the impeller. If it is rust, it'll probably just sieze up again after a while.
                    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

                      Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                      From what I glean from your last post, it sounds to me like the pump has a piece of debris caught in it, or has rusted/siezed from infrequent use, and can't get started turning. you can probably make it work again by pulling it out and freeing the impeller. If it is rust, it'll probably just sieze up again after a while.
                      Sounds like something to check. Appreciate the info. I'm trying to get ideas of what to do now, so that when the weekend comes and my son is here, we have options of what to try.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

                        Regarding tripping of the circuit breaker does it trip real fast with a snap or bang, or do you hear a GRRRRR at the pump and/or a HMMM at the breaker for a few seconds and then it trips?

                        If it trips real fast with a bang, then most likely there's a wiring problem.

                        If you do hear the pump GRRRR for a few seconds and then the breaker trips, most likely the pump is jammed-stuck and needs to be worked loose.

                        Please do not try it more than once per 5 minutes and if it does growl, shut off the breaker or switch within a few seconds. Leaving it growl most likely will burn out the motor windings.

                        Be sure the breaker is off and any switches are off before attempting any pump repairs.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

                          The sound at the electrical panel is a buzz and the sound at the pump is a low grrrl then the breaker trips.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

                            Pump is stuck or the motor is bad. If it was a short circuit wiring fault the breaker might GRRR and then trip quickly or most likely it would go bang real fast when flipped on. This is something that most likely needs a good plumbing contractor to come by and check over. You need a good pump of the proper type and proper installation.

                            You can try shutting off the breaker, any switches and then remove the pump and see if it can be un-jammed. If you can get it so you can turn the impeller by hand, then with someone holding it good so it doesn't jump around, try powering it up for a few seconds but then shut off power soon. You don't want to run a pump dry for more than just long enough to check that it does start up and run.
                            Last edited by Woussko; 01-10-2008, 12:51 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Sump pump tripping circuit breaker?

                              Originally posted by Woussko View Post
                              Pump is stuck or the motor is bad. If it was a short circuit wiring fault the breaker might GRRR and then trip quickly or most likely it would go bang real fast when flipped on. This is something that most likely needs a good plumbing contractor to come by and check over. You need a good pump of the proper type and proper installation.

                              You can try shutting off the breaker, any switches and then remove the pump and see if it can be un-jammed. If you can get it so you can turn the impeller by hand, then with someone holding it good so it doesn't jump around, try powering it up for a few seconds but then shut off power soon. You don't want to run a pump dry for more than just long enough to check that it does start up and run.
                              Will try that this weekend. I pretty much have eliminated the circuit breaker as a problem. I think the problem is the pump which will get pulled when my son comes over this weekend. Thanks again for the insight and information.

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