Septic Pump Troubleshooting

Discussion in 'Septic Tanks' started by Frank52, May 15, 2019.

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  1. May 15, 2019 #1

    Frank52

    Frank52

    Frank52

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    Greetings everyone. I searched thoroughly through the forums to find an answer relative to the problem I am experiencing. I just purchased a home last month which had a new septic system installed in 2018. The tank overflowed initially after moving in and I found simply that the fuse had blown on the main panel, most likely after a power outage and I never noticed it. I had a septic company come out and completely drain the system. A few days ago, the high water alarm went off. I went out and removed the 3rd tank cover and saw that it was full. Switching the control panel from auto to manual did nothing. Upon inspection I found the wiring box next to the tank was filled with sewage so I drained it out and cleaned all of the connections. I tested the 3 floats for resistance and they all seem to work okay. The pump just wouldn't come on. I directly wired the pump to an exterior outlet and the pump came right on. I believe the 2nd float is the pump float. When I manually raise it, you can hear something click in the control box but nothing happens.

    So the pump works fine. The floats seem to be working correctly, but the pump won't turn on without bypassing the whole system. Any ideas on what else may be preventing the pump from coming on? I took a few photos so you can see what I am working with. Thank you in advance for any knowledge you can share, it's greatly appreciated.

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  2. May 18, 2019 #2

    frodo

    frodo

    frodo

    Just call me Macgyver Professional Supporting Member

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    NOT SURE

    maybe the float is shorting out
    you did say the system had tripped a breaker, i assume, because it is code
    the breaker is a gfi breaker

    only way to tell is with a meter,

    just for grins
    what is being used as the strapping to hold the float wire onto the pipe?
    is it a metal strap or a zip tie?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  3. May 18, 2019 #3

    Frank52

    Frank52

    Frank52

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    The float is with a plastic zip tie. I knew that the high water alarm float was good because it goes so off so I switched the floats and the problem is still there. I am thinking it's the contactor now. It engages when I raise the pump float but these apparently are a common issue in HVAC for engaging but not completing the circuit due to dirty contacts or a broken coil. So I will test it tonight to see if that works.
     
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  4. May 18, 2019 #4

    frodo

    frodo

    frodo

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    ok, good. i have seen gear clamps used, after the float goes up an down a few times the wire is cut
     
  5. May 20, 2019 #5

    FishScreener

    FishScreener

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    When the alarm is sounding, put an Ohm meter between contacts 9 and 10. You should have little of no resistance. If this has more than a little resistance then the float is bad. Or, it is hanging up, on something and not going vertical.

    The other option is the pump contractor relay. If the pump wont run in either Hand or Auto, the relay is most probably bad. If it is clicking in, in the hand mode, but the pump doesn’t run, the contacts on it could be bad. Depending on the size of the contactor, the points my be replaceable without replacing the entire contactor.

    You really might want to have an electrician who understands pump controls take a look at it. A few plumbers are capable of doing it, but a lot of them aren’t.

    Also, the round black thing in the lower left, appears to have over heated a few times. I think it is the audible alarm, and it isn’t your problem. But, it should be replaced.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019

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