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Head Scratcher's thread

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  • Head Scratcher's thread

    This thread is for all the "off the wall" questions relating to plumbing, hoping someone has some good knowledge to throw around to help.

    I've created threads that got one reply, have some that to this day are 20 pages deep. Hopefully I can get a few from the gathering minds of expertise to not only post replies but questions that can be asked to see if someone knows....without having to create another thread every time...bad idea good idea I don't know.

    I'll start.

    E-One systems < Here's the pump system I'm working with.

    What's happened is the pit above the sealed unit is completely full of wastewater, blew the lid right off it.

    The building it's attached to is fine, no backup
    The pump is operating, no problem
    The pump is discharging into the manhole, checked and all is fine

    There's a good chance though it's pumping at a diminished capacity because whenever the pump engages the water flows from the top of pit, along with into the manhole.

    Alarm never went off, no indication and no reason it should unless the pit isn't being removed of contents during each cycle.

    I'd buy the fact that the 1.25" discharge could be partially clogged but if you saw how forceful it's moving into the manhole....I can't see that being the issue.

    So do any of you deal with these? I just found out tonight....too late to mess with it and I'd figure maybe someone here deals with these on occaision and knows a similar episode of this situation.

    I definitely have to pump the manhole access down to the bolted lid as shown in the diagram. I have a feeling though that the discharge is cracked/broke beyond the check.
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  • #2
    Re: Head Scratcher's thread

    the discharge has to be broken or split/BIG crack.


    • #3
      Re: Head Scratcher's thread


      Looks alot like the Environment 1 system that was installed in neighborhoods in northern VA. Might even be the same company.

      Pretty inpressive pumping action. Flush a bucket of 10 penny nails down the toilet and it will turn them to mush and pump them up the hill to the manhole 300' feet away.

      Good luck finding parts and getting customer support. There was only one company on the 3 state area that had access to parts from the manufacturer.

      I would be surprised if the discharge line was broken inside the pit. These things are built Ford tough. Most likely the disconnect/ballvalve is leaking above the seal. Put on your skinny suit before you get in there.
      Last edited by plumberscrack; 11-28-2007, 10:41 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Head Scratcher's thread

        Well, unfortunately, here's the bad news:

        That seal was indeed bad that hooks that stainless steel tubing to the discharge valve.

        Why did the seal break?

        Because the control valve for those are brass, the handle is missing/gone for some reason, the valve is notorious for failure and allows the pump to vibrate badly. (it gets better)

        This in turn created a slow leak above the sealed pit, an area that is designated to serve many functions and be a waterproof type area. There are relief vents in tubing that goes into the sealed pit that allows for air movement for the atmospheric pressure switch to engage the pump.

        When the water filled this pit, it started sucking water into this "vent" allowing for water to enter the motor assembly. Unbelievable that they would build such a beast and make that switch not waterproof to the motor.

        He removed the pump, inspected the entire assembly. Said that from the electrical readings on the pump that the motor has very limited time left in the matters of longevity.

        The pump, $2400

        The discharge valve that if it doesn't get replaced will ruin the next new pump,


        Total materials and labor to rework this whole assembly,


        This guy was in total agreement with me on this, and he even suggested it, but the idea to replace that specific pump in that pit again for that kind of money would be insane, especially knowing the rather small demand that pump is required to take on ( 3 toilets.....that's it!!!!???) Now it's a dance studio for young women with tons of toilet paper down the drain, nothing more.

        No other waste other than the time that building was in use and the new sewer system came through there was a donut shop there with equipment, then led to a pizza joint but they had a freestanding grease trap and no special waste system involvement.

        Anyone want to chime in and discuss whether or not I should try to do a conversion on this system, install a Zoeller 267 series sewage ejector and run that discharge line up and out above that sealed lid to the manhole?

        I can't use the 1.25" discharge the E-ONE system had because that would cause problems with the 267 having a 2" discharge.

        The guy came out within 4 hours of calling, charged $200 which I thought was cheap to be covered in **** as bad as he was. I couldn't even shake his hand because I knew what he was wearing was familiar in my biz.

        I know somebody personally down at Zoeller in Louisville so I'm going to send an email to him, let him view this thread and see what gathering opinions may form.
        Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 11-30-2007, 09:59 PM.
        Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos


        • #5
          Re: Head Scratcher's thread

          No need to scratch your head on this one Dunbar.

          IMO it's a no brainer. Put a new pump in if you want but I'd be willing to bet the old one has alot of life still in it. These things are rock solid. Change out the control valve out though.

          Four grand for a replacement pump of this caliber isn't bad. Putting the Zoeller 267 (or it's equivalent) in that pit seems to make monetary sence but would be a poor substitute especially with it being a dance studio. Have you seem what women will flush down the toilet? No one wants to be married to a sewage ejector so do an exact replacement and walk away happy knowing you won't be back. Anything less and you will be in that pit many times over.

          It's possible that Zoeller will have some sort of cross over grinder that you can connect to the 1-1/4" discharge line. A grinder is the only thing that should be in this pit anyways. Keep in mind the TDH curve to the manhole when shopping replacements. It too will be pricey.

          What is it's current state? Did you leave the pump out and the business without a sewer while someone makes a decision?

          Keep us updated...we crave information


          • #6
            Re: Head Scratcher's thread

            If you don't want to replace the pump and all, convert it to a zoeller macerating pump, this will take care fo the need for a 2" discharge line, if I recall. Something to check into.



            • #7
              Digging up bones'

              Went to check on the pump today, red light is on and the pump stopped pumping.

              This is where it gets real ugly because even though I ran water for 10 minutes, it doesn't back up. ???

              Knowing this situation and knowing I won't be doing the conversion to Zoeller (too much effort and no chance of protecting from female hygiene waste) this is going to be a horrible replacement for the pump guy.

              I'm going to explain to him that he needs to flush the system to check for operation after he replaces the pump.

              Last time they failed to do this and the system backed up and caused a huge mess in the basement of this building, was horrible.

              When it came to pointing fingers they instantly refused responsibility stating their job was only to make the pump operable, nevermind what the failure of the pump caused indirectly.

              It was called not being thorough is what it amounted to. A $500 expenditure to the property owner involving 2 drain cleaning charges and cleanup, could of been avoided completely.
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              • #8
                Re: Digging up bones'

                "Last time they failed to do this and the system backed up"

                Maybe you can/should arrange to be present to witness the next test, or make sure it happens to be more precise.
                "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



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