Sump pump crock & water level?

I'm lost. We purchased a ranch with a basement and apparently we are in a low area so our sump pump runs a lot.
We have your basic sunken sump crock and we have 2 submersible pumps in it. The primary pump runs underground to a sewer at the street. The backup just drains out to the yard and only is supposed to run if the primary would fail.
They both use float switches and the primary sump pump float switch died, so I installed a new one.
My problem is I don't know where to set the kick in level, to turn on the pump. Meaning, how high should the water level get in the sump crock?
There is a 4" drain pipe from the drain tiles that empties into the sump crock and it is about 10 inches below the top of the sump crock. When should the primary kick in?
If I set it low, water constantly runs in from the inlet. If I set it high, so it doesn't kick in until the water is above the inlet pipe, than for the most part the water seems to equalize itself in the crock and it maybe runs every 5-10 minutes in spring.
Should the pump kick in below the inlet pipe level, or just let it equalize itself until there is enough water pressure coming in to raise the float?
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The general answer is having the pump kick on at a lower level is safer as it will keep the water around the house at a lower level. The downside as you note is that with the same size sump basin it will eject less water each time and run more. You could try a compromise and have it kick on when the water reaches the mid-point of the pipe. You could try a bit higher too, doing it only gradually and checking the basement for any water after heavy rains. If the basement stays dry you will be pumping less water and that's good.
How much you want to push it also depends on what's in the basement. Empty unfinished basement and finished basement are different risks.
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wrote:

Poured walls and 80% of basement is finished and carpeted. 2 bedrooms, full bath, family room and exercise room. No water problems at all, just need to run a dehumidifier in the warm humid months.
Supposed to hit 95 tomorrow, way tooooo early for that kind of weather in Wisconsin.
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I have a similar situation here in the Chicago suburbs. I finally set the main pump to come on when the water level in the inlet pipe is almost to the top of the pipe. That way, the pump runs MUCH less often, and does run for a longer time as it not only pumps the sump down, but also the accumulated water in the pipes feeding the sump. But, the total run time is probably the same overall, and greatly reduced nujmber of starting of the pump should make the pump last a lot longer. Be sure to disable the main pump a couple of times each year so the water level comes up high enough to trigger the backup pump, and then be sure to turn the main pump back on (don't ask me how I know to do that<g>).
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wrote:

OK, this pump is giving me fits. Last night the float got stuck in the on position and the pump ran continuous for at least an hour, maybe more. My wife wakes me at midnight, so down I go give the float a nudge. Half asleep when I put the cover back on the crock, I jammed it against the backup. Primary again got stuck and backup was jammed. So neither pump ran for hours, otherwise it's about every 10 mins, this time of year. Pulled the cover off this morning and the backup started and the water came rushing in. Basic question...where was that water accumulating when the pumps weren't running? Rising somewhere, but where? First house with a sump in 30 years and this is new to me. By float switch I mean the kind that floats in water and you plug the pump AC cord into it, not the kind on a rod that moves up and down.
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