Sump pump issues

Well it's at it again. We got a new sump pump and now it's doing the same thing the old one was doing.
The water level in the pit is low, but high enough to trip the pump. That's fine the pump starts, and pumps out some wayer ( needs to go 7' vertical than out the discharge).
Problem is, that 7 feet is enough to empty the pit enough so the pump shuts off. I can only assume the check valves don't work, because the pit fills up enough again to restart the pump. This happens every 2 minutes or less.
It is just recycling the same water over and over. The electric company will love me :(
Any ideas on how to fix this? Thsi is our THIRS check valve. I can not imagine these are designed so poorly.
The checl valves are made by Flotec. The pump is a Rigid brand that was purchased at Hiome Depot about a year ago.
Chris
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Can you adjust the float for a longer distance? If not, get a better or second check valve in the line. It may also be crud it is picking up in the sump and not allowing the check to close properly.
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wrote:

Set the float switch so it runs for minutes not seconds if possible, maybe pump is to powerfull?, set it so the pit is full for longest run time and longest idle time. With a submergeable you lengthen the wire to the float at the base, there is a clamp to loosen. Is pit small. Where is check valve at pump or high up.
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The check valve should be screwed directly into the pump discharge and it's directional. You may have it in backwards. Also, when the pump shuts off, you will hear the check valve "thump" when it closes and the water above it slams it shut. Do you hear this?
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How about reading the directions on the check valve. If mounted horizontally it must be oriented properly.
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wrote:

Is the water draining back in, or is this new water coming into the sump from the ground? If it is refilling from the drain pipe you probably have it in backswards.
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On Sat, 20 Dec 2008 12:34:36 -0800 (PST), "Chris (SilverUnicorn)"

My sump raises the water also 7 feet or maybe over 8, and I don't have a check valve but when the water falls back, it only raises the sump level 2 or 3 inches.
Maybe you have another source of water. How fast is other water pouring into your sump? When the water table outside is higher than your sump entry pipes, there is in practice an unlimited supply of water. The higher the water table the faster it enters.
Maybe if you raised the float level there would be fewer periods when the pump would run.

I don't have a check valve and have never had one. The pump turns off when there are two inches in the sump, and when the pump turns off and the pipe water falls back, it rises to 4 or 5 inches
Five inches is a far cry from the height needed to start the pump again, which is about 12 inches, and that is still 3 inches from the top.)
If my water level rose 7 inches in 2 minutes, it wouldn't take much longer to rise 10 inches.
(I think these numbers are right. I'll check if you want.)
I would think if your check valve were backwards, there wouldn't be much water coming out. Can you check outside the house if and how much the sump pump is discharging?

I put a check valve on my basement sink drain, but it doesn't work. I tried hard to keep lint from the washing machine from getting in but maybe that ruined it.

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I would add, how big is the sump pump basin? If it only holds two gallons, of course the pump is going to shut off after only a matter of seconds. If it's at least average size, then you will have enough water for it to run for a decent cycle. If it has no bottom, you can also dig it deeper and then place a few inchs of washed gravel or large crushed stone in the bottom. Don't be afraid that is going to bring more water in. Water will only seek it's natural level. Also, so pumps have adjustments on the float which can change the on/off points.
And how much water actually gets discharged outside now with each cycle? With 3 check valves, it seems clear that the check valve itself is not the problem.
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On Dec 21, 9:07am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Thank you for all the replies.
The system we have is this:
The RIGID pump is 1/3 HP, and is the main pump. There is also a backup pump, a Basement Watchdog. These are plumbed inline. Here is a really crappy picture of the setup.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3206/2379097028_8f9b75d367_b.jpg
In that picture, the discharge for the Rigid pump is on the right, the basement watchdog on the left.
At this point I am not convinced all is hooked up correctly though.
When the pump stops, there is a clunk, which I can oly assume is the water closing the sump pump.
Each of the 2 pumps has it's own check valve, and they are directly at the pump discharge.
Thanks for all the replies. Maybe I should add some gravel or rocks to the bottom of the pit and raise the pumps themselves. These were installed by a contractor, and a competent one at that :)
The basement watchdog pump worked very oddly when we got alot of water, som I am not sure if that was a worthwhile investment. It is currently unhooked because it alreasy needs a new battery (1 year old).
Chris
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wrote:

I don;t understand this statement of the problem:
"Problem is, that 7 feet is enough to empty the pit enough so the pump shuts off. "
That would seem to mean that you are saying that on each cycle, the pump only pumps enough water to fill 7 feet of pipe, which isn't much water at all. It's a funny way of expressing the problem and measuring. If that is actually true, then definitely something is wrong and the check valve is not the main problem. A faulty check valve will allow water to come back in, but it can't keep a pump from first completing a full pump cycle. Either the float is set with the on/off too close together, or the volume of water in the sump pit is too small. The bigger the sump pit, the longer the cycle will be, which is better for pump longevity, energy usage, etc. With a faulty check valve in an otherwise correct system, you would still have gallons of water actually ejected outside, but then the remaining water in the pipe flows back in.
What happens outside at the discharge? How much water is coming out? With lots of water, it could be perfectly normal for a sump pump to come on every two minutes. The real issue is how much water is it actually discharging
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Chris said:
...

Decent looking installation and a pic's worth a thousand words:
Unless it's a semantics issue, the pumps are installed in parallel, not inline. One pump does not push anything through the other pump, which would be the case were they "inline".
Can one safely assume that, were the cover removed, and the pump outlsetS clearly visible, that the check valveS would BOTH be right there and visible? From the pic, I can't see anything that looks like a check valve. If so, BOTH check valves need to be functional or either one would allow water to run back into the pit. If either one leaked, the water would just flow right back into the pit, maybe even siphoning extra water from wherever they connect to outside. In order to use only one check valve, it would have to be in the horizontal pipe, to the left of the place where the two pumps connect into the horizontal pipe. And I'm sure I don't see a check valve there.
If the check valve is farther away than the pieces shown in the picture, then it's mislocated and simple air in the pipe/s/outlets could flip one of the other open on you and you might get a slow return from a poor closure.
IMO: 1. Either get two check valves in there, one at each pump, or, remove one pump and plug its pipe so nothing can flow either way. The latter makes it harder to put the emergency pump back into service though, so makeing sure each one has a good check valve is better.
2. If the bottom of the sump isn't clean, has sand, floor grit, fur, wet dust dust bunny fur, small pebbles that can get into the pumps, then those can easily defeat the check valves by getting stuck and tangled up in and around them. Sump pump regular debris screens are almost never fine enough to keep out debris that would let a check valve be compromised. And sand will wear it very quickly. So perhaps a good cleaning of the pit is in order, and possibly the addition of a galvanized screen around the two of them so there is plenty of surface area on it, but a much smaller grid opening size, to keep out normal flooring debris. But get the water-return problem fixed before worrying about this one.
3. The dead battery: Died within a year? Was it kept properly charged/topped off as per the installation instructions? It's hard to see but I don't see any charger connections, IF it is supposed to need one, which I suspect it is. If the charger is there & I just can't see it, do you know it works?
4. Last and least likely, are you certain the water is coming back in via the pipes to the pumps, or is it leeching in somewhere in/under/along the floor/walls? I had a very similar problem once, changed the check valve and no help: It turned out the water was seeping back to the wall from outside and coming into the floor tunnels and then running into the put. All the water routing is underneath the cement, so you couldn't easily just look at the ditch and see the water running; I had to remove inspection caps to look for it.
It's a fairly simple solution, whatever it turns out to be, and just as simple to diagnose, once the right thngs are looked at. Try getting the house quiet and just sit and watch it run thru a cycle or two while it's doing that. Between your eyes, ears and mental visualization of what's happening,, the problem and thus the solution may jump right out at you.
Question: Where does the water go outside? How far away, above or below the grade of the exit thru the wall, etc.? Are you certain the check valve/s are working? Yes, that clunk usually indicates the valve closing; but are there two of them and is the second one staying closed and correctly closed? Etc.
HTH
Twayne
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PS - that water hose; probably water softener or water heater, whatever: Looks like it runs right into the floats. Is it interfering with the float operation at all?
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wrote:

It looks like your check valve is too far away from the pump because you have that horizontal run in there. That, combined with the smallish-sized pit refills all that water prior to the check valve (apparently located outside the photo). Re-plum it so that the check valve is vertical and directly above the pit, then do your horizontal sweep elbow run over to the wall, then up and out. This will mean the horizontal run we see will be raised about a foot or two higher than it is now. I really like those Rigid sump pumps though, good power and nicely made. You simply have too much pipe between the check valves and pumps.
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On Sun, 21 Dec 2008 06:25:56 -0800 (PST), "Chris (SilverUnicorn)"

Well, I was going to suggest you really didnt need a checkvalve, but if you have two pumps, of course you do. You need two of them. Otherwise one pump will pump and the water will come out through the other pump.

Very neat job.
So your check valves are clamped in below the lid? Right?

The water closing the check valve, when the water starts to fall back.

Then you will pump out LESS water, because the pumps will be higher. That's not so bad if you started that way -- your pump willl pump less water so it will have to turn on more often when the water outside is coming in -- but it won't solve your problem.

Why unhook it. Yes, it's no good during a power failure, but it should pump in tandem with the other pump when there is power, and when the water in the sump is high enough to reach the second float.
My home is 30 years old, and once but only once during that time has my pump not been enough. The water was pouring out the pipe outside, but inside the water level still rose above the basement floor, and got a few things wet, mostly the cardboard boxes things are stored in.
BTW, is your battery charger good? Check the output voltage of it. Must be over 13 to work, but I don't know exactly what it actually should be if working as designed.. 13.5?
Chris
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Please condsider run the discharge pipe UP, and then over. Inverted P trap. Lets see if I can draw it, using the key board. +========+ || || || L===drain hole in the wall || || || SUMP
That will help to keep the water from draining back. Please forgive the crappy art.
This kind of thing drains back:
+===drain hole in the wall || || || || || SUMP
--
Christopher A. Young
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either will drain back without a check valve. the up and over won't affect the drain back in the least.
s

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