Sump pump question

I've just installed my 3rd sump pump in 14 years. Granted, that's probably better than some, but since high water is typically not a problem in my neighborhood, I think I should get more life out of these pumps.
This pump failed 3 days ago. I didn't have time to replace it immediately, so I just kept an eye on the water level until I had a chance to buy a replacement. Over the 2 days it was out, I made what I consider to be a startling observation. The water level rose during the first day, as expected (the pump runs frequently when it's working, so rising water didn't surprise me). However, it appears to have topped out at about 12" from the top. This caused me to wonder if I would be better off raising the height at which the pump starts so that it starts only when it exceeds this 'natural' level. I'm speculating that this could result in a considerable savings in both electricity and wear and tear on the pump.
Am I off the wall on this? Is this common practice? How would one go about this with a submersible pump? Could I put it up on blocks? Or is there a way to adjust the float? (memory doesn't provide me with any clues because I didn't look at it with that in mind when I installed it) Would there be issues with stagnant water in the pit? Any other considerations?
Thanks, Mike
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Mike Hartigan wrote:

Personally I would leave it where it is and have a little more safety factor. I would also buy a larger and better quality pump. In fact I did a few years ago when my 7 year old pump died.
--
Joseph Meehan

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a
good advice. take it one step further, and buy 2 pumps just in case there is another failure, so you have a back up on hand at your disposal.
mike..............
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What safety factor? The water table either wants to rise higher than the floor, or it doesn't. If it does, the pump can either keep up, or it can't. Starting to pump sooner if the pump can't keep up doesn't make you safer. A second pump set to start about 2" higher than the first is a good idea, though.
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snipped-for-privacy@uri.edu wrote:

If the pump fails you have a little more time to catch it. It also means you have lowered the local water table slightly and that may help prevent a leak somewhere else.
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Joseph Meehan

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In article <HCDyd.1148878$Gx4.242035@bgtnsc04-

That's a good idea that I have already considered. I'll probably do that to prevent an otherwise minor annoyance from turning into an emergency.
--
-Mike

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What failed? A sump pump consists of a motor and a pump attached to it. Is the pump freezing up, debris getting into it? Is the motor failing?
Yes, you can set it on blocks (we do that) and it keeps crap from getting sucked into them and extends the life. Periodic cleaning of the sump is necessary also.
You should get a lot more life from them. We use a couple at work and run them 16 to 24 hours a day and they last for about 5 years. We buy Zoeller pumps.
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snipped-for-privacy@snet.net says...

It was running continuously without pumping anything. I unplugged it to let it cool down. When I plugged it back in, it hummed but the motor wouldn't run.

--
-Mike

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It is probably the drain tiles around the footings filling up with water. When you do get a pump going, instead of a trickle there will be a flood of water coming out for a while, until they drain. The 4" (or so) pipes around the foundation will hold a fair amount of water.
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snipped-for-privacy@newsguy.com says...

Does that mean that if I let go for a few days that the water would begin rising again?
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Usually, yes. Depends on the water table, and drainage of surface water, but yes, left unpumped most basements will flood.
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I had a couple friends of mine whose sump went out. Like you say, the porous rock or something under there held a lot of water. took a while to get down an inch.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Mike Hartigan wrote:

I had the same problem. My sump pump quitted after 4 years of very hard working. I put more gravel in the sump, and installed a valve that prevent water flow back to the sump. The water now is mostly 6" or more from the basement floor, and I rarely hear the pump working. I do occationaly unplug the float cable and test the pump though.
The humidify level in the basement seems rise a little in summer though. Not sure if that was related.
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I use two sump pumps connected by 1 1/2" pvc to a single check valve and discharge. One is set lower than the other and both are set to run below the inflow pipes. They (submersibles) are adjustable if you buy the type that uses a float bulb switch. Keep in mind that if you are not pumping the water out that it is still there behind the walls/floor and the tiles around the house are full. Your house then sits in a puddle.

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After reading the above responses, I think you should at least try raising the pump and see if it runs less often thus extending its life. I also like the idea of gravel being used to prop it up. That should reduce (slightly) the amount of moisture escaping into the air making for a less humid basement.
PJ
wrote:

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PJX wrote:

...
That may or may not be worth trying, but it can't hurt much: EXCEPT, do NOT use gravel to raise it up. Sand, gravel, dust, etc., should not be allowed to enter the pit to extend the life of the exposed parts. Same for salt, lime, soaps, bleach, etc.. Only water should be allowed in the pit, so if you need to raise it, use something solid which won't shed into the water. It would be better to suspend the pump by the bracket on top. We typically get 10 to 14 years on our sump pumps (have only had two since we've been here, so that's an average of, uhh, two pumps? <g>. The first one, a piece of wood got into the pit and jammed the float; stopped the motor from shutting off: had a houseful of smoke, but no damage. When a sumbersible isn't submerged to the specified depth, it gets hot. And when there's no water, it really gets hot!! Self destructively hot, so be sure it's submerged to the point recommended by the mfg. Many brands do not require submersion, though; check which one you have if you're concerned about that area.
Regards,
Pop
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it sounds like the motor isn't cooling itself very well. is the area you have the pump enclosed or is the pump motor easily vented?
mike..........
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

It's in a typical basement sump pit with a lid so yes, it's enclosed. It's also submersible, which, as I understand it, provides cooling. And since it's submersible, venting doesn't apply.

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these
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working,
that
you
oops, i blew righ past that part of it being a submersible, my mistake.
mike............
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