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  • Sump Question

    I have a problem I think, I had a flooded basement last year due to heavy rain and the fact that my old (1999) ½ hp simer pump could not keep up. I recently contaracted a tradesperson to carry out work to install a new pump. I bought a Sears Craftsman ½ HP submersible with a tether switch, problem was that it was too tall for the sump pit and the backup was going off before the Sears.

    Myself and the contractor then went out on a shopping expedition to find a pump that was basically the same dimensions and had a tether float on it like the old one. Sadly I could not find a match in any of the stores I went to, problem always seemed to be that the pump housing was the same height as the old one but it had a float or diaphragm switch or it had a tether switch but was too tall. And I did not want to buy one of the cheap plastic one’s either. After driving around all these stores we ended up back in the Home Depot and after consulting with the contractor he suggested buying the top of the range model, a Ridgid 1hp with a microprocessor switch (never wears out apparently). He fitted it and for the past week it has been cycling on frequently, at the moment it is at 6-8 seconds every 1 minute 50 seconds. We live in Chicago and have just had the thaw on all the snow lying about but the constant cycling is driving me crazy. I am concerned about my electric bill and why it’s cycling so much, I did have a new backflow valve fitted but when I look in the pit the drain tile is constantly filling water into the pit.

    I have a fairly long discharge out onto the front yard as the grading in my backyard ends up running the water when it pools round the side of the lawn and back to the house. The old pump would allow water to rise up to about 5 inches from the top and keep the water in the drain tile (equalizing??) and then cycle when necessary.

    I like the idea of a 1hp pump when we get heavy rain as the basement flooding was a horrible experience as it was a finished basement.

    To sum up, is this pump too big for my sump pit, should I get a ½ HP? a pedestal? would it be a good idea to get a plumber in to assess and do the job?

    I’m probably answering my own questions but as I said this sump problem has had me losing sleep since we bought the house a couple of years ago.

    The grading around the house is fairly flat, it’s situated at the bottom of a gradual sloping street and yes, next time I buy a house it won’t be either of those combinations!

    Thanks for any help!

  • #2
    Re: Sump Question

    A 1 HP pump needs a BIG sump. I would either work out a way to have a 100 gallon plus size sump, or go for a smaller pump. Another thing (not sure you can do it with your's) is to try to set the switch so it turns on just before the sump overflows and off when there's just a little water in the bottom of the sump. Even a 1/2 HP pump works best in a good size sump. If you can stand doing it, I like to use a 55 gallon drum as a sump, but a tuff plastic rather than a steel drum because of rusting. If you have serious floods, them I would keep the big 1 HP pump and try to make the sump as big as you can. Be sure to support the pump so it doesn't twist or jump when starting up.

    Another thing you will what is to have a good wet/dry vac with a good size drum and a drain in the bottom of the drum. You can wheel it to either the sump or some other place to drain it. See the RIDGID models that are 14 and 16 gallon size.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sump Question

      I do not have a big sump pit, the 1hp pump housing itself is the same size as the 1/2 HP models and does have a similar amp draw as a 1/2 hp again. I wish I could set the switch on it but it appears to be fixed (it looks like a little handle on the outside and rises up on a bar when the water level goes up) it's the microprocessor switch (never burns out).
      I even considered about putting a block in the sump pit to raise the pump but I'm not sure that is such a good idea.

      The sump pit was there when I bought the house and I would not be comfortable in attampting to make it larger, is this a major expense when hiring a contractor to do it? This would involve cutting concrete as the pit is situated in a crawl space with a concrete slab.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sump Question

        Your keyword (Crawl Space) has me thinking that trying to enlarge the sump is not a good idea in your case. Most of the time they are out in the open and dug through the floor. Does the sump fill up pretty high and then just pump out fast once the pump starts? Does it drain it out pretty well? If yes, then maybe a smaller pump would be better for you. I wish I could see what you're having to deal with as that would give me ideas. As to hiring someone to make a new sump that would be into some good $$$ in many cases, but it may be necessary. Let's hope others come along with more ideas.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sump Question

          Thanks again for your advice, the pump is doing what it's designed to do which is expell water which it does remarkably well and astonishingly fast compared to the old one. My problem is the number of cycles it goes through, I can hear the bloody (i'm British) thing in the middle of the night as it gurgles at the end of it's cycle.

          As soon as I get home I will set my stopwatch and time it as we have had no rain for the past few days and all the snow has gone. I did take a walk on my lawn last night and the ground is very soft.

          I would be fairly happy with the pump if it did not cycle so much, anyone here think that putting a block in the pit to raise the pump is a good idea?

          I know that I can't handle the thing going off every two minutes.

          I just want to get it fixed and operating, my discharge pipes also froze this year and I had to take part of the decking up (location of the sump discharge pipe) and attach a flexible hose into the back yard. Not much fun in minus 25F conditions. The house is 30 odd years old and the previous owners who had been the house's only occupants never shared their experiences with this problem to me.....

          I called Ridgid technical support and they said that cycling every 30 seconds was an ocurrence for some people (people in a padded cell, I would think).

          I also had an ice dam this winter that caused a good section of my foyer ceiling to bulge, it's certainly been fun this winter.......

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sump Question

            Originally posted by Sump Stumped View Post

            I would be fairly happy with the pump if it did not cycle so much, anyone here think that putting a block in the pit to raise the pump is a good idea?

            I know that I can't handle the thing going off every two minutes.
            I think raising the pump is a bad idea as the pump is pumping too low.

            The pump will cycle just as frequently but at higher water levels if you are getting that much water.

            However the noise you are hearing sounds like the pump is sucking air. That sound is noticeable and disturbing. If the pump is completely submerged in water, you should not notice much sound unless you are standing relatively close. I have had problems with flooding and purchased a pump that pumps down to 1/8" of an inch. At ground level the unit is sucking air. You had mentioned that you can not adjust the float or switch on the pump so save yourself the aggrevation and purchase a pump that doesn't pump that low.



            Do you know how low of a water level the pump operates at?


            Tony
            Last edited by onlycordless; 03-13-2007, 07:44 PM.
            http://www.cgiconnection.com/download

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sump Question

              I got the flashlight out and carefully checked it's operation, the contractor I hired drilled a breather hole at the base of the pipe where it joins the pump and that alone makes an annoying sound as when the pump is finishing it's cycle it skooshes water noisily out of the hole. Then the water level appears to go below the switch and about halfway down over the holes where the pump sucks up the water and makes that terrible din.

              I can't even find a picture of it on the internet, it must be a brand new model. Closest I can find is the SP-1000 but has a diapragm switch instead of this state of the art microprocessor one. According to the istructions it's supposed to switch on at 8" and go off at 2". After looking at what it's doing in the pit it's certainly going further down than 2 inches. I will call their Tech support tomorrow and let them listen to the wonderful noise it makes.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sump Question

                I am sorry I dont have enough experience with sump pumps to offer any advice.Alot of people here do,just give them a little more time.

                A little side note.
                A close friend (movie set builder) is working on top of one of your high rises in Chicago next to Donald Trumps new building,He says it's for the new Batman movie.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sump Question

                  SS

                  About how big of a sump does this pump sit in? About how much water (above bottom of sump) must be in it for the pump to start?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sump Question

                    Originally posted by Sump Stumped View Post
                    I got the flashlight out and carefully checked it's operation, the contractor I hired drilled a breather hole at the base of the pipe where it joins the pump and that alone makes an annoying sound as when the pump is finishing it's cycle it skooshes water noisily out of the hole. Then the water level appears to go below the switch and about halfway down over the holes where the pump sucks up the water and makes that terrible din.

                    I can't even find a picture of it on the internet, it must be a brand new model. Closest I can find is the SP-1000 but has a diapragm switch instead of this state of the art microprocessor one. According to the istructions it's supposed to switch on at 8" and go off at 2". After looking at what it's doing in the pit it's certainly going further down than 2 inches. I will call their Tech support tomorrow and let them listen to the wonderful noise it makes.

                    Ok, let us know what Tech support says because if it is pumping below 2" then we may have found your problem. And I am will ing to bet it is a defective pump. Good luck
                    Last edited by onlycordless; 03-14-2007, 03:02 PM.
                    http://www.cgiconnection.com/download

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sump Question

                      I called up technical support this morning which is actually Wayne Pumps (they make Ridgid). I explained the situation and the fact that the water level on a pump cycle goes further down than what it says on the diagram that came with the pump. The water level goes to halfway down on the water intake holes (about 1 inch from the base) which is resulting in the terrible noise reverberating round my house every two minutes.

                      The guy I spoke to said that the sound did not sound loud to him (I put the cellphone by the pump while it was going off) Hmmmmmmmmm. Then when I told him about the fact that the water level was going down further than it should when it cycles the reply was it’s designed to do that. I called my contractor and he called the tech support and obviously spoke to someone that knew a bit more and agreed that there is something wrong with this pump. The upshot looks like I will be returning it for a ½ HP submersible with a vertical float as opposed to this ‘watersense microprocessor switch’.

                      This model SSP-1000 has only been on the market since January of this year so I’m not sure if I’m just unlucky with the one I bought. My contractor will be fitting the new one in next week, will post result when accomplished.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sump Question

                        I bet you'll like the new pump better. When they suck air and water it does made noise for sure. With a float switch you can set it so that the sump has to be pretty full for it to start and hopefully (if rod is long) you can set it to stop with about 3-4 inches of water in the sump. Have you ever had the sump overflow with any of the pumps running? That would be some heavy flooding, but has it happened that you know of? You might be better off with say a 1/3 HP pump that doesn't pump quite as fast.

                        You might like this one and do stay away from the plastic pumps. Cast iron is better. This one looks like it would be good in a rather small sump too.

                        http://www.waynepumps.com/prodlist.asp?pcode=CDU790

                        http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/SP-330-Sump-Pump
                        Last edited by Woussko; 03-14-2007, 02:37 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sump Question

                          Do not pay much attention to the horsepower(it is mainly marketing hype). GPH or gallons per hour is more of a realistic measure. GPH will determin how fast the pump is able to discharge water. If you can use 1/4 or 1/3hp and the GPH output is high enough, do it. Your amp draw should be lower as well, all things considered.

                          That is what I go by(or go buy). I have a steady flow of water coming in the basement and my 1/4 hp does fine. I think it is rated at 1400gph or something close.

                          Tony
                          Last edited by onlycordless; 03-14-2007, 06:09 PM.
                          http://www.cgiconnection.com/download

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sump Question

                            I too have an SSP-1000 that is winding out at the end of the cycle - due to the water level being within the intake range. I just read your post. What did you end up doing to resolve the situation?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sump Question

                              Hi Out There Been Following Your Post For Some Time,
                              Had To Put In My 2 Cents On Sump Pump Problem,
                              The Main Problem As Posted Above Is The Pit Is Too Small If You Have A History Of Flooding Problems, 99% Of The Time The 1/2hp Pump Will Work, But!! Itmust Have Water Up Over The Motor On Any
                              Submarged Pump As This Is A Fuction Of Keeping The Motor From Overheating During Cycleing, Also The Hole Must Be In The Discharge Pipe To Keep The Pump From Vacuum Locking Up. The Total
                              Discharge Lenght Is The Head Of Pump Power You Need. To Get The Water All The Way Out, This Was The Question ??? You Need To Be Asking Tech. Support About

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