OK, just bought a house. My last house I built was a walk out basement, so
the only time my sump pump even went off was when I stuck a hose in it to
test. 6 years and it never filled at all. This house is a standard ranch,
poured basement, with a pump that runs.
My well is 24 inches deep, 17 inches wide. From the base of the well to the
bottom of the single 4" feeder pipe is 12". Then the top of the pipe is 16"
above the bottom of the well, and 8" from the top.
Now yesterday we had one of those weird wisconsin winter thunder storms, with
constant rain all day.
The sump pump was going off about every 90 seconds, running for about 15 or
20 seconds each time. I thought that was way too much. So I kept it from
firing off while I watched it fill at one point, and I saw that once the
water got around 1/2" to 1" above the *bottom*
lip of the feeder pipe, it
leveled off and filled very very very slowly after that. In fact, I had it
actually off for about 6 or so hours, and that was how long it took it to
raise up another 5 inches or so.
Once it got that high, I let the pump run again, and it ran until it got down
to the point where the water level around the house was no longer above the
top of the pipe, and was once again hitting equilibrium a little over the
So here's my questions. This has a floater valve, one of the teathered units
that has the switch that fires when it gets inverted beyond a certain point
from the water rising. But there's not enough there for me to adjust it so it
doesn't run every four or five minutes.
Right now, 24 hours after the rain, it's firing off every four minutes or so.
I measured things a few minutes ago, and here's what I found.
The pump running takes the water down to 6". Then it shuts off. From that
point, it takes the water about 30 seconds to get up to the 13" level (one
inch over the bottom lip of the feeder pipe). from that point, it took longer
than I wanted to stand down there waiting to see it rise even half an inch.
So my questions are:
1:) Is there any reason that it has to run and try to keep the water *below*
the lip of the feeder pipe?
2:) Considering how long it was able to go without running during the rain to
get the water level up to the top of the feeder pipe (which is still 8" below
the lip of the well), is there anything wrong with setting it to run far less
often, but just for longer? I'd rather have it fire off every four or five
hours during a storm and run for 5 minutes or something than have it do the
every 90 seconds running. That frequency just seems like it's begging for a
burned out motor.
3:) Is there any level I should not be comfortable with it rising to before
it kicks off the sump pump?
4:) I hear a thump a bit when the backup valve engages after the pump is done
(as well as the rattling a bit of the pipe going through the floor joists
without any padding there - gotta fix that). They have the valve about 5 or 6
floor level, so when it stops, the bottom of the pipe below
that valve empties back, and fills with air. So the next time the pump kicks
off, there's 16 inches of air in the pipe, and you can hear the air as it
bubbles through when the pump starts. Should I have that valve lower, like
right off the top of the pump, so that there's no air in the pipe? Or does
that one way valve have to be above the lip for some reason?
5:) It rises about 10 feet before going horizontal out of the house. And with
the rate of water I cited above, what should I look at for a replacement? I
had an issue with the float valve being kind of "sticky" yesterday when I was
testing things out, and I'm sure it's just one of the cheaper ones that
builders use to maximize their profits. I'd like to replace it with something
quiet. Considering the rate of flow once the bottom of the unit fills up, I'm
hoping I can get away with one of the smaller HP units that I would assume
are more likely to be quieter? With the description above, does anyone have
any suggestions for what I could get that would be more silent than this one
I have now?
Thanks for any help. I'm also going to be dealing with a backup unit (one of
the battery ones most likely) next spring to make sure I'm covered when
spring hits, since it's not unheard of to lose power around here (southeast