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  • Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

    My house has a 1.5 year old Ridgid SEP-500 sewage pump in an ejector pit. Since December, we have had five instances (at random) where the pump "dies," or won't even turn on when the water level rises to the "high water" point; however - magically, it seems - the pump will come back to life after sitting for 10-30 minutes. As the pit is fed only by the washing machine (no sewage, no solids, etc.), it operates maybe 2 minutes/week at most.

    Troubleshooting I've done so far:

    1) The sewage pump is on a tethered float switch with piggyback plug. Removing the switch and plugging the pump directly into the outlet yields no results. Switch was tested with another pump and works fine.

    2) Power cord was removed from the pump, confirmed to be clean, dry and free of corrosion.

    3) "Technical taps" while the switch/power is on does not yield any results.

    4) Check valve installed about 30" above outlet port. Total lift is less than 5 feet.

    5) 1/8" weep hole drilled just below "high water" mark - approx. 14-16" above outlet port.

    6) Pump is on a 20A non-dedicated circuit; however, no other receptacles on the circuit are being utilized.

    7) Installed a voltage/amperage meter in-line... voltage is constant 121.1-121.4V on the circuit at all times. Current draw is typically under 10A peak, 5-6A continuous during normal operation. However, when the pump "dies," amperage draw jumps and is volatile in the 10-18A range, yet the motor does not hum, there is no "kick" of the motor, and it is completely silent/motionless. If I didn't have the meter, there would be no way to tell that any electricity was being drawn (short of doing something to electrocute yourself).

    8) From what I can ascertain, thermal overload is not the culprit as the pump will have sat idle for days prior to and be completely cool during a failure. This isn't to say that there may not be a faulty thermal switch.

    The pump was purchased in late-2009... I still have the manual/receipt from Home Depot and it appears that this should be covered under the warranty; however I'm wondering if there is a simpler fix that wouldn't cause any downtime while the pump is being shipped out, repaired/replaced, etc. (basically, we won't be able to do laundry until it returns) - not to mention that my local H-D does not carry Ridgid pumps anymore. As I said, it comes back to life after it sits

    Although I've read on many threads that Ridgid pumps are not reliable, replacement is something we'd prefer to avoid right now as our budget is very tight over the next couple months (damn you Uncle Sam). We'll look for something else in summer, but we really need to make do with what we've got for a couple months if possible.

  • #2
    Re: Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

    pull the pump out and put in a zoeller 264
    http://www.zoellerpumps.com/ProductB...x?ProductID=81
    SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

      Originally posted by Benny B View Post
      My house has a 1.5 year old Ridgid SEP-500 sewage pump in an ejector pit. Since December, we have had five instances (at random) where the pump "dies," or won't even turn on when the water level rises to the "high water" point; however - magically, it seems - the pump will come back to life after sitting for 10-30 minutes. As the pit is fed only by the washing machine (no sewage, no solids, etc.), it operates maybe 2 minutes/week at most.

      Troubleshooting I've done so far:

      1) The sewage pump is on a tethered float switch with piggyback plug. Removing the switch and plugging the pump directly into the outlet yields no results. Switch was tested with another pump and works fine.

      2) Power cord was removed from the pump, confirmed to be clean, dry and free of corrosion.

      3) "Technical taps" while the switch/power is on does not yield any results.

      4) Check valve installed about 30" above outlet port. Total lift is less than 5 feet.

      5) 1/8" weep hole drilled just below "high water" mark - approx. 14-16" above outlet port.

      6) Pump is on a 20A non-dedicated circuit; however, no other receptacles on the circuit are being utilized.

      7) Installed a voltage/amperage meter in-line... voltage is constant 121.1-121.4V on the circuit at all times. Current draw is typically under 10A peak, 5-6A continuous during normal operation. However, when the pump "dies," amperage draw jumps and is volatile in the 10-18A range, yet the motor does not hum, there is no "kick" of the motor, and it is completely silent/motionless. If I didn't have the meter, there would be no way to tell that any electricity was being drawn (short of doing something to electrocute yourself).

      8) From what I can ascertain, thermal overload is not the culprit as the pump will have sat idle for days prior to and be completely cool during a failure. This isn't to say that there may not be a faulty thermal switch.

      The pump was purchased in late-2009... I still have the manual/receipt from Home Depot and it appears that this should be covered under the warranty; however I'm wondering if there is a simpler fix that wouldn't cause any downtime while the pump is being shipped out, repaired/replaced, etc. (basically, we won't be able to do laundry until it returns) - not to mention that my local H-D does not carry Ridgid pumps anymore. As I said, it comes back to life after it sits

      Although I've read on many threads that Ridgid pumps are not reliable, replacement is something we'd prefer to avoid right now as our budget is very tight over the next couple months (damn you Uncle Sam). We'll look for something else in summer, but we really need to make do with what we've got for a couple months if possible.
      your weep hole should bee 3/16" and 2"-3" above male adapter on pump no higher sounds like its hydro locked the weep hole is to high and to small and posably cloged good luck
      Last edited by post plumber; 03-15-2011, 03:07 PM.
      SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

        Originally posted by post plumber View Post
        your weep hole should bee 3/16" and 2"-3" above male adapter on pump no higher sounds like its hydro locked the weep hole is to high and to small and posably cloged good luck
        Thanks for the response, but my understanding is that if the pump were vapor/air locked, then the pump would run, it simply wouldn't output. In this case, the pump doesn't appear to be running at all. Can vapor lock cause a motor to not even run at all?

        And as long as the weep hole is below the water line, does it really matter how close it is to the pump? After all, the water in the pipe is only going to drain to the level of the water in the pit regardless of where the hole is drilled, no?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

          Did you do a continuity test on the prongs to the pump?
          Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
          You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

          Derek

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

            1.5 years. that's an old timer for a ridgid pump. breid..............

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

              Originally posted by Benny B View Post
              Thanks for the response, but my understanding is that if the pump were vapor/air locked, then the pump would run, it simply wouldn't output. In this case, the pump doesn't appear to be running at all. Can vapor lock cause a motor to not even run at all?

              And as long as the weep hole is below the water line, does it really matter how close it is to the pump? After all, the water in the pipe is only going to drain to the level of the water in the pit regardless of where the hole is drilled, no?
              I would still like to see the hole lower but theretickly yes the water in the pit should be the sam leval buy the way if all that pit does is the washing maching no toilets no solids stop there you dont need an ejector you can get a sump pumpsave yourself $$$ the m53 from zoeller will be fine
              http://www.zoellerpumps.com/ProductB...x?ProductID=89
              SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

                That's built in design. 1.5 years and it's kaput. Just like Flotec and a few others.

                It would be my guess that the windings have shorted open. Every now and then, the wires that blew apart touch and pull current like your seeing on the amp meter.
                Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

                  Originally posted by dcman View Post
                  Did you do a continuity test on the prongs to the pump?
                  I did not do a continuity test. I'll pull out my multi-tester... what should I be looking for in the readings?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

                    Not more than 20 ohms I wouldn't think.

                    Also check from one of them to the metal case. That reading should be close to infinity.
                    Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ejector Pump On (drawing current) but Not Operating (no spin, no hum, etc.)

                      I just use it to check for an open circuit...if its open you now have a boat anchor...
                      Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
                      You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

                      Derek

                      Comment

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