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new sump pump

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  • new sump pump

    we have been having problems with out sump pump so we called in the plumber...

    turns out there is a huge in the side (miss drill of the inlet pipes) and a hole in the bottom. it was recommended the get the pit replaced. the plumber has jack hammered up the portion of the floor and removed the old pit. he then went ahead and drilled holes in the new pit even though there are inlet pipes that fed into the sump pit. i believe he was intending to have the inlet pipes not connected to the pit then fill gravel around the pit. would i be wrong to request him NOT to drill holes in the pit (aside for the inlet pipes)?

    also, there is an inlet pipe that is very close to the bottom of the pit. from the pit bottom to the bottom of the pipe is around 8 inches. the pump will not activate until the water level is well above this inlet pipe, i would estimate 12 inches above the inlet pipe. this leads me to believe the pipe is water logged and there is water sitting in the weeping tile around the foundation (correct?).

    we requested a bigger pit but the plumber brought in the exact same pit as the one he just removed. should we be looking at a bigger pit (either deeper or in diameter) so it can hold more water with the pump activating before the inlet pipe is submerged?

    hopefully the post makes sense and i provided enough details. i appreciated any help, i have found lots of good information already on this forum (hopefully my post reflects that).
    Last edited by franny; 07-27-2012, 02:16 AM.

  • #2
    Re: sump pump troubles

    franny, glad you got it posted.

    couple of questions. do you have any before and after photos you can post?

    where is the sump pit located in relation to the house, basement and yard?

    i would think that the pit should be at least 12'' deeper than the lowest inlet pipe to allow the pump to cycle before the lowest pipe fills with standing water.

    sometimes they will drill holes in the bottom of a sump to allow for the water to seep out during long periods of non use so that it's not a breeding pit for mosquito's. it also helps prevent a sump pit from floating. but it does no good if the pit is too close to the house/ basement.

    pictures are a plus.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: sump pump troubles

      i do not have any before or after photos, but can take some "during" pictures.
      the sump pump is located in the basement, newer house 10-ish years old.

      what kind of information were you hoping to get from a "before" picture, i could draw up a sketch for you perhaps?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: sump pump troubles

        was looking to see the defects in the piping connection and the relationship between the house and the pit.

        not sure why they would replace the pit with the same if the pit just needed a patch in the side. is this a fiberglass pit?

        as far as drilling holes in the bottom of an indoor pit, not sure except to help prevent a pit from wanting to float. but then the water you're trying to pump out is pretty much equalizing with the water level in the pit and the ground.

        we don't get into too many ground water / basement pumps out here. mainly more for emergency drains. but the rule of thumb is to allow the pump to start and run, not short cycle. the pit diameter has more to do with pump cycles than the depth of the pump. unless you have more than a fixed float for pump.

        lets see what others say.

        also take photos of the progress as this might turn into a battle with your plumber.

        what does the contract read that you signed? and why did you replace the pit if he's basically doing the same thing as the old system?

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: sump pump troubles

          I would like to know what the plumber doing the job had to say to the questions you have. I believe there is a communication breakdown. I do however agree with Rick that it should be deeper than it is now in relation to the lowest inlet pipe if that is actually the case.
          AllurePlumbing.com
          • leak detection
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          Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: sump pump troubles

            The sump basin should be at least 18'' in diameter and 24'' deep. I'd like to know what 'problems' you were having in the first place. Was the pump failing? Were you getting too much debris from these 'holes' in the basin? I'm assuming that this pump is serving the weeping tile around the foundation?
            For basements, I like to have a sealed basin. The lid and weeping connections to the basin are water tight so that in the event the pump fails, you don't flood the basement in the process. Also, it helps to have a piggy-back pump in case the primary pump fails. You'll generally want to have this operate on a different power source, either a battery back-up or water powered back-up pump. An alarm is also a good idea. DEFINATELY needs to have the inlet pipes connected in the case there is ever a need to maintain the perimeter drains for stoppages.
            If this is a pedestal pump, and I hope its not, that would be the only worry w/ having a inlet that low. If it's a lower profile pump like a Zoller M53 the cut on level is 7''-8'' and cuts off @ 3''. If the hole in the side was a perfectly drilled 4'' hole for the inlet pipe, I hate to say you're being robbed but, I would have attempted a patch or maybe trying to get a 4'' test plug to fill it in and likely would have been perfectly fine. But, on here, we're kinda blind-folded on the sidelines. There may have been a good reason to do all that work..... who knows....

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: sump pump troubles

              the plumber was in today and finished off the job. but i will still respond to the questions asked.

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK
              was looking to see the defects in the piping connection and the relationship between the house and the pit.
              the sump is located in the basement utility room, a few feet from the corner of an exterior/garage wall.
              it appears the builder reused the pit when they moved the pump to a different located of the basement-was originally located in a usable room.
              as a result of the pit being moved, the inlet pipe way moved lower in the pit.
              the new inlet hole was combined with the old which resulted in about a palm sized hole.

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK
              not sure why they would replace the pit with the same if the pit just needed a patch in the side. is this a fiberglass pit?
              when he originally came out he planned to patch the side, but with the hole in the bottom recommended a new pit.
              it is a plastic pit.

              Originally posted by Plumber26
              The sump basin should be at least 18'' in diameter and 24'' deep.
              that is roughly the size of the basin (give or take a few inches-had measured it when it was still in the ground)

              Originally posted by Plumber26
              I'd like to know what 'problems' you were having in the first place. Was the pump failing?
              almost a year ago to the date the pump failed and did not pump out water, it was replaced along with the (tethered) switch. recently, the pump did not seem to be kicking in. we have had plenty of rain in recent weeks and the pit would fill pretty much to the top of the pit. it would eventually kick in and pump out the water. the carpet in basement along the walls felt damp and if paper was left on the ground would wrinkle. once we started to cycle to pump ourselves the dampness seemed to have disappeared.

              Originally posted by Plumber26
              Were you getting too much debris from these 'holes' in the basin?
              the bottom of the pit was filled with clay from the hole in the side of the pit, and probably the bottom too. because the water level would raise above the side hole it would wash in more clay each time it filled up. there was probably a good few inches of clay at the bottom of the pit.

              Originally posted by Plumber26
              I'm assuming that this pump is serving the weeping tile around the foundation?
              yes, weeping tile both inside and outside the foundation is tied into the pit.

              Originally posted by Plumber26
              For basements, I like to have a sealed basin. The lid and weeping connections to the basin are water tight so that in the event the pump fails, you don't flood the basement in the process.
              there is a white plastic lid for the pit that screws onto the pit. the sewer drain is located a few feet from the pit. being in the utility room, the floor is concrete with lino down the hall outside.

              Originally posted by Plumber26
              An alarm is also a good idea.
              he is installing an alarm for the pit. it looks like our alarm company offers a sensor for sump pumps, might be something to add down the line.

              Originally posted by Plumber26
              If this is a pedestal pump, and I hope its not, that would be the only worry w/ having a inlet that low.
              the pump is contained within the pit. Simer 1/2HP Submersible Sump Pump 115V 60Hz 55.5Amps is what the tag reads.

              Originally posted by Plumber26
              But, on here, we're kinda blind-folded on the sidelines. There may have been a good reason to do all that work..... who knows....
              the work was already in progress, but was questioning his decision to drill holes in the pit when that was the very reason they removed the last one.
              i came across this forum when we first started to have problems and it was filled with very informative posts.
              seemed like the perfect group to ask for a second opinion.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: sump pump troubles

                this is the pit that was removed.

                Click image for larger version

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                the bottom (square) hole is where the (circle) inlet pipe was.
                upper part of the big hole was another inlet?
                the bottom circle of the bigger hole was "plugged" with random pieces of fabric...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: sump pump troubles

                  looked like a mess on the original install.

                  can you tell us why they chose to drill the bottom holes again?

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: sump pump troubles

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    looked like a mess on the original install.
                    we had a few problems with the builder-seeing the fabric stuffed in the pit was not really a surprise.

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    can you tell us why they chose to drill the bottom holes again?
                    the plumber drilled the holes in the new pit because that is how he has been installing them at the new homes he has been doing.
                    instead of filling around the side of the pit with clay they surround with pea gravel, the holes would let more water into the pit.

                    with my limited building experience (education only), i was surprised by this which is why i turned to the forum for the second opinion.
                    my concern was these holes would let ground water into the pit, which is not what the sump pump should be collecting if weeping tile is used.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: sump pump troubles

                      Save the old pit ! Nice lamp shade.
                      I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                      Comment

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