Sump pump backflow?

I moved into my house durring this winter and now going through spring thaw, it has also been raining for 3 days straight and now the sump pump in my basement that I have not had any issues with before is backing up. My utility sink and washer both drain into the sump pump crock so the pump runs frequently and has never backed up before. I checked it out to see if the float was maybe lodged on something and it seems fine. I started taking the water out and emptying it into a bucket but no matter how much water I take out of the crock the water doesnt get any lower. So I sat and watched to see what the pump was doing. It will kick on and I can here the water draining through a pipe in the basement wall but it will only run for about a minute and drains about 1/2" of the water then stops, when it stops the same amount of water runs right back into the crock from the drain pipe and I'm right back where I started. I know that there shouldnt be any backflow into the crock. Any ideas??? det1015 -------------------------------------
##-----------------------------------------------## Delivered via http://www.thestuccocompany.com/ Building Construction and Maintenance Forum Web and RSS access to your favorite newsgroup - alt.home.repair - 350188 messages and counting! ##-----------------------------------------------##
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
det1015 wrote:

If the float switch is working right, the pump may be tripping an internal protection switch. If you are using it for laundry water, maybe some thread or cloth has gotten into it and is binding up the impellor.
What happens when you manually operate the switch?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
det1015 had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Sump-pump-backflow-369452-.htm :
det1015 ------------------------------------- Bob F wrote:

The sump pump is fully under water because it is one that is mounted to the bottom of the crock and the crock is full. The float is not on a small electrical line like most that I have seen. It is underneath a lip on the pump and is attached by a 3-4" long thin metal rod...when the float rises on the metal rod and reaches the lip on the pump it kicks on. Well the float is at the top of the metal rod (due to the pump being fully submerged) and the pump will not stay on for longer than a minute at a time. I have pulled the float down and back up and the pump does nothing.
##-----------------------------------------------## Delivered via http://www.thestuccocompany.com/ Building Construction and Maintenance Forum Web and RSS access to your favorite newsgroup - alt.home.repair - 350212 messages and counting! ##-----------------------------------------------##
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
det1015 wrote:

Sounds like you are ready for a new pump.
s
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
det1015 wrote:

So, the float is way under water, and the water never drops down to the float level? Does the pump cycle regularly, without ever moving the float? If so, something else is causing the pump to turn off after a short run time, which takes us back to a thermal protection switch or some such thing.
Does it just keep cycling for the same short period, over and over? A short time on, and longer time off, with little change in water level from after the pipe drains back until it turns on again? Again, something binding the impeller could activate a thermal protection switch.
Can you disconnect the output and see if it keeps pumping then? Does it continue running then? Is the water flow good? Look for a plugged outlet pipe then.
Does water come out of the outside pipe?
If you unplug the pump for ten minutes so it can cool off good, then plug it in again, does it start pumping right away? Does pushing the float down quickly stop it? Multiple times? This would suggest that the switch is good.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
det1015 had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Sump-pump-backflow-369473-.htm : ok here is where i'm at...I unplugged the pump for awhile and when I plugged it back in it came on immediately and did the same thing ran for a minute and shut off. While it was running I manually pulled the float down several times and this made the pump shut right off so the float is working fine. So I think that the thermal protection switch is being tripped like you said. The pump is connected and draines directly into the main sewage line for the house through the basement wall so I cannot check and see if it is draining outside although while it is running I can here draining in the pipe and the water flow "sounds" fine. I think this means that the problem causing the trip is maybe a clog in the impeller which leaves me still with a question. How can I get to the impeller to check and remove anything clogging it...the pump is secured at the bottom of the crock and I cannot drain any water from it, when I try the water fills back up as fast as I can remove it. det1015 ------------------------------------- Bob F wrote:

##-----------------------------------------------## Delivered via http://www.thestuccocompany.com/ Building Construction and Maintenance Forum Web and RSS access to your favorite newsgroup - alt.home.repair - 350237 messages and counting! ##-----------------------------------------------##
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
det1015 wrote:

My best guess.
It is probably not secured. It probably is just sitting there. Disconnect the outlet pipe/hose and lift it out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
det1015 wrote:

By chance is their a check valve in the pump drain pipe that is not working thus allowing back flow?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
det1015 had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-Sump-pump-backflow-369458-.htm : There is a check valve on the drain pipe but I am not sure how to tell if this is the problem and if it is what do I do about it? Since there is a check valve the only way for backflow to be happening is if the valve is bad or is there anything else that could cause it? det1015 ------------------------------------- IGot2P wrote:

##-----------------------------------------------## Delivered via http://www.thestuccocompany.com/ Building Construction and Maintenance Forum Web and RSS access to your favorite newsgroup - alt.home.repair - 350208 messages and counting! ##-----------------------------------------------##
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
det1015 wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Since the pump only takes out about half the water before stopping, it sounds like the float switch either needs to be adjusted or replaced. It should empty most of the water before turning off.
Second, if you're sure the water is running back in from the drain line, as opposed to the sump pit refilling with water running in from perimeter drains, ground water, etc, then the check valve is not working. But given it's Spring thaw and heavy rain, the pit may just be refilling with normal ground water.
Since it sounds like this pump is critical and it's age and condition is unknown, if it were me, I'd probably replace it. And I'd also install a second backup pump that has a battery backup too, so that if one pump fails or you lose power for a few hours you won't get flooded.
Finally, depending on where the water is being discharged, it may be a code violation to discharge sink and washing machine water with the sump pump water.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Apr 21, 8:45pm, sara.jane1015_at_yahoo_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (det1015) wrote:

a 1/4 hp sump at about 6 ft head should pump about 25 gpm, so you are dumping 25 gpm back in? does the pump turn on and off with the float rod, you said no but you said it runs a minute so it sounds like the float works. This makes no sense, your pipe wont hold more than maybe a gallon or so unless you have a real long run. A new pump and check valve is cheap. You are probably wasting enough electricity to pay for a new pump in a few months.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Apr 21, 6:45pm, sara.jane1015_at_yahoo_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (det1015) wrote:

Sure sounds like new pump time. A new pump and new checkvalve together won't run a $100 and replacign either is not rocket science. At least pull your current pump and see if something is blocking the impeller.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It sounds to me that you need to replace the check valve and to adjust the float mechanism to allow the pump to pump out more water. You don't want to pump the sump dry but just down to the top of the intake.
If the pump is not handling the influx of water, you are probably due for a new pump and check valve.
Why are your utility sink and washer draining into your sump hole? At least around here that isn't a correct hook-up.
(det1015)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Also, in most parts of the US, it's illegal to pump ground water from a sump pump into the sanitary sewer system. The basic problem is that it's a huge increase in the amount of water that the system, processing plant, etc must handle. It creates costs to deal with water that in most cases could just be discharged on the surface outside the house
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.