Sump Pump Help Needed

I have been in my 9 1/2 year old home which is on a relatively high water table for almost 3 months now and I am having nothing but problems with my Flotec sump pump. It's a submersible 1/2 HP model and the problem stems from the tethered float switch. The first problem was during a couple rainstorms the float got caught up either on the electrical cord or the drain hose and failed to turn on. I fixed this as best as possible by strapping these items to the wall to keep them out of the way. It kept happening anyway because when the pump kicks on it tends to "walk" a little and it just seems that this tethered float switch is a bad design for something you need to be reliable such as a sump pump. The pump this week had the opposite problem. When I came home from work and heard it running continuously, even with the tethered float switch in the dropped position I determined the switch is no good. I believe this is a sealed item and cannot be opened for repair. It seems my options are as follows; replace the switch for around $35, replace the entire unit with the same model for $89, replace with a pedestal type for somewhere in the middle of those two prices, or invest $160 in a model made by Rigid which uses a bolted-in-place diaphragm type switch which I know nothing about. The downside of the pedestal type appears to be they are louder and since the sump is located below the bulkhead stairs clearance may be an issue although I have not measured yet. The sump "bucket" measures 11 1/2" W and 12" deep. A separate issue is even when the Flotec pump I have was working correctly I still had a decent amount of water that would make it's way into the basement because the point at which the tethered float switch would turn on was when the water would reach the top of the sump bucket. This water was from right around the sump but also in other areas of the basement (seam at the bottom of the walls where the floor meets the wall, and in some small cracks in the floor) so I'd imagine while not directly related to the timing of the pump, had the pumped turn on a few inches earlier this water wouldn't have made its way to the foundation level. I may be incorrect on that theory but I mention it here to be corrected if I am mistaken. I guess the easy answer is to try the Rigid pump but I know not all problems are corrected by spending more $$$. While looking at these pumps @ HD & Lowes I noticed a smaller version pump made by Flotec and referred to as a utility pump. Some even stated "not designed for use as a sump pump." While it may not be designed for it why wouldn't this work in a sump application? They appear to be better designed in that there is no tethered float switch, just some internal type of switch. My guess is the reasons may lie in the fact that their specs indicate they pump down to 3/16" but wouldn't placing it on as many bricks as necessary to place it at an acceptable level correct this? The other reason I could think of is the lack of a reasonable timeframe between low-water level and high-water level in that if it rose just 3/16 of an inch it would kick on again causing what I'd imagine would be a short cycle condition. I am thoroughly confused at this point and would really appreciate any help you can offer.
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I have been in my 9 1/2 year old home which is on a relatively high water table for almost 3 months now and I am having nothing but problems with my Flotec sump pump. It's a submersible 1/2 HP model and the problem stems from the tethered float switch. The first problem was during a couple rainstorms the float got caught up either on the electrical cord or the drain hose and failed to turn on. I fixed this as best as possible by strapping these items to the wall to keep them out of the way. It kept happening anyway because when the pump kicks on it tends to "walk" a little and it just seems that this tethered float switch is a bad design for something you need to be reliable such as a sump pump. The pump this week had the opposite problem. When I came home from work and heard it running continuously, even with the tethered float switch in the dropped position I determined the switch is no good. I believe this is a sealed item and cannot be opened for repair. It seems my options are as follows; replace the switch for around $35, replace the entire unit with the same model for $89, replace with a pedestal type for somewhere in the middle of those two prices, or invest $160 in a model made by Rigid which uses a bolted-in-place diaphragm type switch which I know nothing about. The downside of the pedestal type appears to be they are louder and since the sump is located below the bulkhead stairs clearance may be an issue although I have not measured yet. The sump "bucket" measures 11 1/2" W and 12" deep. A separate issue is even when the Flotec pump I have was working correctly I still had a decent amount of water that would make it's way into the basement because the point at which the tethered float switch would turn on was when the water would reach the top of the sump bucket. This water was from right around the sump but also in other areas of the basement (seam at the bottom of the walls where the floor meets the wall, and in some small cracks in the floor) so I'd imagine while not directly related to the timing of the pump, had the pumped turn on a few inches earlier this water wouldn't have made its way to the foundation level. I may be incorrect on that theory but I mention it here to be corrected if I am mistaken. I guess the easy answer is to try the Rigid pump but I know not all problems are corrected by spending more $$$. While looking at these pumps @ HD & Lowes I noticed a smaller version pump made by Flotec and referred to as a utility pump. Some even stated "not designed for use as a sump pump." While it may not be designed for it why wouldn't this work in a sump application? They appear to be better designed in that there is no tethered float switch, just some internal type of switch. My guess is the reasons may lie in the fact that their specs indicate they pump down to 3/16" but wouldn't placing it on as many bricks as necessary to place it at an acceptable level correct this? The other reason I could think of is the lack of a reasonable timeframe between low-water level and high-water level in that if it rose just 3/16 of an inch it would kick on again causing what I'd imagine would be a short cycle condition. I am thoroughly confused at this point and would really appreciate any help you can offer.
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I have been in my 9 1/2 year old home which is on a relatively high water table for almost 3 months now and I am having nothing but problems with my Flotec sump pump. It's a submersible 1/2 HP model and the problem stems from the tethered float switch. The first problem was during a couple rainstorms the float got caught up either on the electrical cord or the drain hose and failed to turn on. I fixed this as best as possible by strapping these items to the wall to keep them out of the way. It kept happening anyway because when the pump kicks on it tends to "walk" a little and it just seems that this tethered float switch is a bad design for something you need to be reliable such as a sump pump. The pump this week had the opposite problem. When I came home from work and heard it running continuously, even with the tethered float switch in the dropped position I determined the switch is no good. I believe this is a sealed item and cannot be opened for repair. It seems my options are as follows; replace the switch for around $35, replace the entire unit with the same model for $89, replace with a pedestal type for somewhere in the middle of those two prices, or invest $160 in a model made by Rigid which uses a bolted-in-place diaphragm type switch which I know nothing about. The downside of the pedestal type appears to be they are louder and since the sump is located below the bulkhead stairs clearance may be an issue although I have not measured yet. The sump "bucket" measures 11 1/2" W and 12" deep. A separate issue is even when the Flotec pump I have was working correctly I still had a decent amount of water that would make it's way into the basement because the point at which the tethered float switch would turn on was when the water would reach the top of the sump bucket. This water was from right around the sump but also in other areas of the basement (seam at the bottom of the walls where the floor meets the wall, and in some small cracks in the floor) so I'd imagine while not directly related to the timing of the pump, had the pumped turn on a few inches earlier this water wouldn't have made its way to the foundation level. I may be incorrect on that theory but I mention it here to be corrected if I am mistaken. I guess the easy answer is to try the Rigid pump but I know not all problems are corrected by spending more $$$. While looking at these pumps @ HD & Lowes I noticed a smaller version pump made by Flotec and referred to as a utility pump. Some even stated "not designed for use as a sump pump." While it may not be designed for it why wouldn't this work in a sump application? They appear to be better designed in that there is no tethered float switch, just some internal type of switch. My guess is the reasons may lie in the fact that their specs indicate they pump down to 3/16" but wouldn't placing it on as many bricks as necessary to place it at an acceptable level correct this? The other reason I could think of is the lack of a reasonable timeframe between low-water level and high-water level in that if it rose just 3/16 of an inch it would kick on again causing what I'd imagine would be a short cycle condition. I am thoroughly confused at this point and would really appreciate any help you can offer.
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I can't see your sump hole from here, but assuming it is at least the size of a 5 gallon bucket and within 24" of a wall, a pedestal Water Ace sump pump from Lowes may be a better choice. The float level kick in and kick out is adjustable. You can visit the section where the PVC pipe hangers are sold and buy a clamp on pipe hanger that fits the motor, add a couple of wall angles and a short section of 2 x 4 to secure the darn thing to the wall and prevent movement of the unit. Add a check valve if you don't have one to prevent back flow (which is a major cause of short cycling) and you should be in great shape.
I plugged the water Ace brand because when I broke the float guide on a new installation they sent me a replacement part free of charge. Note: my error freely confessed and they sent the part FREE anyway.
Colbyt
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At least part of your problem is that a 12" deep sump is not deep enough, especially for the tethered float switch. I think the 11 1/2" width is also pretty small to allow adequate room for the switch to operate reliably. A larger and deeper sump will permit the pump to keep the level lower and still have adequate turnon and turnoff action. Do be sure you have a check valve to prevent water in the outlet pipe from refilling the sump when the pump stops. I have seen auxilliary tethered float switches but they do require the wire being secured suitably. Don Young

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
-snip-

If you are going to stick with that tiny sump hole, I think that's your only choice. --- But I'd enlarge the hole.

I have had one for a few years. I hate it because there is no way [that I've figured out] to trip it early in the event that I want to do some maintenance in the hole-- or just want to empty it early.
The upside is that it seems to be pretty reliable.
-snip-

IMO that is *way* too small. I'd go for 24"x30" by 24" deep. That gives you a good volume of water so no short cycling-- and you can put the alarm low enough to give you some warning between when the pump has failed & when the water becomes a problem.

-snip-
I don't know where the 'top of the sump bucket' is--- but I wouldn't want the water ever getting any higher than the bottom of the gravel base below the slab.
If I were you-- First I'd enlarge the hole. Then I'd get another float type pump-- Then I'd stat working on eliminating the source of the water. [landscaping, gutters, exterior perimeter drains, etc]
Jim
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
<SNIP>
The sump "bucket" measures 11 1/2" W

Start out by making the sump pit about twice the width and depth. (no one said it was going to be fun) Don't skimp on the depth. Then follow the other instructions on how to make it cycle properly, also making sure it cycles when the water is no less than 12 inches from the top of the floor.
--
Tony

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