Sump Pump Question

My new "Water Ace" R33SP submersible sump pump has a little label on the bottom that says "air vent must be cleaned periodically to prevent air locking."
How often is that? Are all sumps pumps like that or should I return this for one that doesn't require hauling out of the sump pit to clean? From what I see we are talking about a 1/8" opening that seems like it should be labelled "guaranteed to clog as soon as warranty expires."
-- Bobby G.
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On Sun, 8 Jun 2008 06:13:13 -0400, "Robert Green"

The vent has to be small because it is on the outlet side of the pump and allows water to flow back into the sump. FWIW, I've never had one clog. I suppose if you have a lot of mud and gunk in the pit it may clog occasionally.
Not all pumps have the vent built in; some just tell you to drill a 1/8" hole in the output pipe below the check valve.
In general, it's a good idea to pull the pump at least once a year to inspect it, and to clean the input filter screen anyway. Just take a nail and poke it through the vent hole when you've got the pump up. And while it's out, clean any major gunk out of the pit. A messy job, yes, but better than a flooded basement.
HTH,
Paul
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wrote:

Thanks, that's helpful, but not what I wanted to hear. )-: That pump is going in a nasty, hard to reach place. I would prefer to spend more money for less maintenance. It will be bedded down in gravel, too, to keep leaves and other debris out of it and help anchor it.
I am now thinking of inserting a 6" length of clear tubing in the drain pipe so I can check for good water flow. Not sure if I would know there was an airlock until there was a flood, and then the pump is even *harder* to reach than usual. (-:
Thanks for the input. Oddly enough, my newsreader attached your reply to the same-named thread of last August.
-- Bobby G.
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why bed it in gravel? the exhaust line is a good anchorage, and ifyour concerned with leaves surround it with screen.
sounds like a outside sump?
put the pump in a seperate sumpo pump pit, in a convenient place to service, and hve water pass from collection point to pump pit, thru a filter pit, a screened easy to reach spot.
dont ignore the possiblity of a gravity drain to daylight.......
gravity tends to be highly reliable:)
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the most important thing is to make sure the pump runs for a few seconds at least once a month so that the bearings don't seize up.
Mark
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<stuff snipped>

Primarily because that's the way the old one was installed. It ran unmaintained and unattended for 19 years so I thought "if it ain't broke . . ." The sump sits at the bottom landing of the basement stairs on the outside of the house. Leaves collect like crazy. The sump was protected by a metal grate (22" by 24" with 1" squares) that was laid onto a sheet of wire mesh. Can't tell who made it, the plate has rusted too much although perhaps some CSI fans could recover the date. (-:

Yes, hence the concern about leaves, twigs and other crap. This pump has a rather unusual float switch. It's a metal bulb a little smaller than a toilet float, but there's no metal arm or shaft. It's connected to the pump at the cord so that when the sump is empty it lies next to the pump as the water rises, it floats up.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productIdC577-48284-57 639-LWS1&lpage=none
also: http://tinyurl.com/yurszr
looks the most like it, but I find it disturbing that the one I bought last month (169491) is now no longer listed. That suggests they aren't holding up so well. Shazzbat. )-:

Best solution would be a pedestal pump installed inside in a new sump, but the flooding problem is so rare (years go by without flooding) that with my *four* new pumps will handle it. The small Flotec has an input hose stuck down the basement center floor drain, which my "consulting crew" believes is connected to the public storm drains. That's pretty likely because when water comes up through that floor drain, it has the very distinct smell of the street when it's rained for the first time in weeks. No raw sewage has ever come up (crosses fingers!). Anyway, there's an electronic leveI have a 1/3 HP battery backup sump pump which I was going to install in the sump next to the AC pump, but I've decided to keep it in reserve in case friends or neighbors need a pump out after a failure.

That's a good idea, but I live at the intersection of two raised state highways and there's a large field behind the house. When I see standing water in that field (the lowest point around) I know the basement will flood. But you've given me a good idea. I might be able to determine the relative elevations of my basement floor and the field out back with my GPS. If it turns out to be lower, and if I run a long enough pipe, I might be able to gravity drain the sump.
What I am most afraid of is that I will spend lots of money pumping water around from the outside into the sump and back outside again. There are just some situations where all the pumping in the world isn't going to change the level of the water table.
It looks like the storm that is battering the Midwest is heading this was so I am looking for a rubber ball that I can jam into the floor drain and then keep forced in place with a plywood plate braced against the ceiling joists. We'll see what happens.
Thanks for the input.
-- Bobby G.
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use a water level to check elevations, the GPS probably isnt accurate enough.
I made a crude water level with a garden hose and one valve.
put valve at hose connection from source. put end of hose in air. at destination of water. like on a step ladder.
turn on water till it flows well out of end on ladder.
turn off valve on hose, then source hose off.
get friend and walk around open valve, lower hose on ladder.
when they are same level, water will just pool at either end.
sorry poor explnation its easy to do but hard to explain
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<stuff snipped>

Probably true.

<stuff snipped>

I've used water levels before - it's a great way to level out a large room or check drainage levels. The main problem is that there's about 400' between measuring points!
Thanks for the suggestion, though. I suspect that I am going to have to depend on pump and not gravity power for this situation because the slope of the pipe would be too little to insure adequate drainage. Besides, a healthy surge of water tends to clean out the little life forms that would want to make my gravity drain pipe their new home.
-- Bobby G.
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On Sun, 08 Jun 2008 21:12:03 -0400, Paul Franklin wrote:

Its as often as it clogs. There is no need to clean it if its not clogged. Depends on how dirty your water is.

I was under the impression this vent was to allow air to be pushed out of the exhaust pipe in case it got filled with air. That way the pump can continue to work. Without that hole, the pipe can get filled with air between the pump and check valve, and be incapacitated.

I drilled the hole. They didn't tell me what size though..

None of my pumps had any sort of screen on them. Thank goodness because my sump is basically a mud pit. I have installed a cleanout in the pipe so I can snake it once a year to get the mud out... In my case I have to clean my pump once a year too. However, the sewage ejector pump seems to be staying much cleaner.
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