Sump Pump Basin Issues

Our 1989 house flooded this fall after our sump pump and backup failed. The main unit burned out, and the backup's float was stuck with a gooey orange sediment. After installing a new main pump, it wouldn't discharge the water, only to find out that heavy sediment had completely clogged the 1 1/2" (or 2") PVC above the check valve. When I cut the PVC pipe at the ceiling, there was less than 1/8" gap to pump the water ... the entire pipe was filled with orange sediment (clay probably). I replaced the PVC pipe up to the ceiling and stuck some hoses and snakes through the PVC pipe to the outside of the house and got the water flow after installing a new pump.
Two questions: 1) What's the best way to snake out the PVC pipe ... I opened it up the bathroom drainage snake, but I'd like to give it a good thorough sweeping. The run is about 35' long.
2) What could be causing so much sediment to be draining to the sump pump? I'd always noticed the orange sediment, but didn't realize how much it could impact things.
3) if you allow me one more, is this at all common, and how may I go about fixing?
Thanks in advance,
Paul
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On Nov 13, 2:36�pm, peterpa_at_umich_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (peterpa) wrote:

replasce the drain line, and go larger to make clogging less likely. perodically flush and wet dry shop vac out the sump, to clean the pump and minimize future clogs.
where does the drain water discharge? if its to daylight try flushing with garden hose
if your sump is above the grade of any part of your yard, dig ditch install sump overflow line to prevent future floods.
yeah they do slowly clog, you need to add sump / pump maintence yearly check to your list of home maintence items.
some people add a additional sump with seerate pump and drain line, to prevent disasters.
amazing how many sumps are above grade, overflow line although costs for ditch digging is highly reliable. if you can do this go with 4 inch PVC to make snaking easy
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I bet you have a check valve. When the pump shuts down the silt/clay filled water just sits there and the silt/clay settles out and sticks to the pipe. Try removing the check valve and add a tee just where the pipe exits at its highest point with a vertical piece of pipe and a drain air valve (or a pump foot valve) so that the water drains from the pipe and sucks air in through the valve. This way the silt/clay cannot settle out inside the pipe.

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I had one where the check valve failed, and blocked the discharge. I also am believer in dropping the discharge point below the run so it will drain the line and help eliminate need for a check valve.

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peterpa had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Sump-Pump-Basin-Issues-341986-.htm : Thanks for both replies ... replacing the entire run of PVC isn't an option since it's closed in a finished ceiling. But if I can, I will.
I do have check valves above both pumps that go into a Y connector that then goes up 10 feet to the 35 ft run out of the house.
I will try the other option ... I'll have to look into that one, I don't quite get it yet, but I'll go to the hardware store and try to figure it out.
So is this a common issue?
And is there a good snaking option to clean out the 2" pipe? Is there a snake that will clean out something that large?
Thanks again,
Paul
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On Nov 14, 6:33am, peterpa_at_umich_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (peterpa) wrote:

While 'no checkvalve' sounds good, the drawback is that when the pump shuts down, you will have 10' of pipe full of water that will drain back into the sump.
Harry K
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(peterpa) wrote:

While 'no checkvalve' sounds good, the drawback is that when the pump shuts down, you will have 10' of pipe full of water that will drain back into the sump. ------------------------------------------------------## True, but that is only a gallon or so, unless your sump pit is microscopic, that will not be a problem. The air vent can and does in my case, clear the line back to the pump, and it also clears the 75 foot run to the street ditch which has prevented any freeze up in winter.
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