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Sump Pump can't keep up....

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  • Sump Pump can't keep up....

    My sump pump keeps running and running (drains very slow). During heavy rains, like tonight, it is inching closer and closer to the top of my pit (running continuous know for at least the last 6 hours). I know the run to the storm sewer seems like a long run to me (1 1/2" pipe run approx 9 feet up to the ceiling, 35 feet across the basement, then drops outside the foundation for about another 45 feet to the street (sloping down) and there are several turns along the way.

    The pump is humming along but the water doesn't drop, I do have a wep hole and when the water gets low enough, I see it gushing out (just not tonight).

    Would putting a larger pump solve the problem, or is there some other way to help move the water out? (BTW, if I run a temporary line out the basement window, it will drain fairly quickly....).

    Interested in any ideas or suggestions.



  • #2
    sounds like your check valve is sticking partially closed or the discharge pipe is plugged

    since you tested it with a bypass hose, it sounds like the pump is still ok.

    have you checked the pit bottom to make sure the intake is clean

    phoebe it is


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply, I replaced the check valve yesterday but I haven't checked the intake (I'll do that).

      Ultimately, I beilve that there is something wrong with the discharge line (and always has been). To make a longer story shorter, I noticed that the pump seemed to be staying up with the heavy rains better than it usually did, until my son mentioned that there was standing water outside the house. Sure enough a 1 foot section of the pipe had cracked and was allowing water to escape to the surface. Water in the hole wasn't draining very fast, so I ran a snake toward the street, ran about 12 feet, seemed to hit a turn (couldn't get past it), then used one of those bladders to see if it could try to flush the system clean. No luck, so went in from the storm sewer side and got lots of mud and the water came back out the other hole. Once we turned off the water and it drained fine....I thought problem was solved, put it all back together and here I am today.

      So feelinging like there nothing I can do with the drainage line and assuming that the intake is clean, will adding a larger pump make a difference? And if so, how should I calculate the correct size (the one I have is 3/4 HP says it pushes 5,000 GPH up 10 feet).

      Thanks again....


      • #4
        it sounds like that 1.5'' pipe is an issue. if it is cracked then it is in poor condition. also a 3/4 hp. pump at 5000 gph should have at least a 2'' downstream pipe. if you can get better flow with a bypass hose connected after the check valve, then i would change the pipe to the street.

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          sump pump woes

          What kind of temporary line are you refering too?? Are you using the same pump with this temporary line?

          Cut the discharge line on the outside of the house, and see if you are getting plenty of water volume. You could a broken or non-rotating impeller(stuck or slipping on motor shaft). Even with a defective check valve (stuck open) you should have seen the water level drop fairly quickly in the pit. But remember if your 4" drain lines are submerged for a long period of time then you will be pumping water from them as well as the pit, so it could take minutes for the pump to catch up. If you get alot of rain, installing a 3/4 hp pump should be considered and is recommended. And Home Depot is a good source for sump pumps.


          • #6
            Thanks for all the replies, the water in the pit is about 2-3 inches below the the drain lines coming in (the pump has been holding the water at that level for about 16 hours (running continuously it appears).

            The temporary line I mention is just the black flex (1 1/4 - 1 1/2) that I clamp on above the check valve (I also temporarily conected it to the area above the cracked pipe this weekend and it drained fine from there...seems to be focused on the last 20 feet to the storm sewer.

            I still need to check the intake to make sure it is clean and am going to do that shortly as well as temporarily run it out the window so that I can give everything a good inspection....


            • #7
              have you looked at how much water is flowing out into the storm drain with the pump running? It should be a similar volume of water that comes out when you use the temporary line. If not then your line is plugged and you are just circulating the water for the most part. You pump water out of the pit to the outside were the majority leaks into the ground and eventually back into the pit. If you got a bunch of mud out of the storm drain end then you pipe is likely damaged and needs to be replaced


              • #8
                Thanks again to all that replied. I feel fairly confident that I have a partial (or total block) in the outside line. I have ran a temporary line out the window and it drains in less than 1 minute (then kicks on/off every 5-10 minutes) through this method. It has been raining here the last few days (making me a nervous wreck) so I have not been able/willing to crawl down in the storm stewer to see what is coming out (appears to be mostly recirculating in the pit). I called in the experts for tomorow, so we will see what they come up with.

                I'll try to respond with the end results later.

                Thanks again