Sump Pump Help

Discussion in 'Pumps and Wells' started by Sunho Choi, Nov 10, 2019.

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  1. Nov 10, 2019 #1

    Sunho Choi

    Sunho Choi

    Sunho Choi

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    I have a single sump pit with a 1hp ridgid pump and liberty water backup pump installed. The ridgid pump is plugged into a PumpSpy monitoring outlet that records when the pump turns on and for how long.

    When I first installed the pump it would cycle on every 6-7 minutes and run for about 50-60 seconds. There was a trickle of water into the pit from the one inlet. That was about a month ago. After a few passing storms. I noticed the water coming in from the inlet to increase to a steady stream.

    Yesterday my PumpSpy app alerted me of excessive run time. Apparently it was running every 8 minutes for 5 minutes straight. It seemed strange that the pump took so long to pump out the water so I hooked up my submerisible pool pump to a garden hose and ran it out side. The same amount of water took about 40 seconds for this 1/3 hp pump to get it to the same on/off level as the 1hp ridgid. I was wondering if something was wrong with my pump so I got another one (exact same model) and hooked it up. Now the run time is down to 2 minutes ever 4 minutes. The last rain was about 4 days ago.
    I have the pump set up to turn on below the inlet where the water is coming in.
    Here is a video of my current pit showing the water coming in.



    A few questions I have are:

    1) I know I have a high water table, but is this normal?
    2) Should I raise the sump so it activates at a higher point (maybe the water table is somewhere between the inlet and the top of my basement slab?
    3) Is there a better pump I should consider? My neighbor has a 1/3 hp liberty pump. I thought I needed the most powerful which is why I got the 1hp but I read somewhere that high powered pumps do not like high cycle rates. the total lift I have to the sump outlet is about 10ft but there is about 25 ft of horizontal travel in the basement ceiling before it exits the house.
    4) I have iron ochre.. Is there any way to get rid of this?

    What am doing wrong here? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!
     

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  2. Nov 10, 2019 #2

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    That amount of water coming in four days after a rain is not unusual, if you have a high water table.

    However, make sure you have all your downspouts extended at least five feet from the house, longer is better, and that the water runs away, not back to the house.

    Also, the soil around the house has to be graded so that water runs away.
    And patios, sidewalks, driveways all have to be pitched to shed water away.
    Concrete will often settle towards the house, and will collect water that overloads the sump pump.

    I had a house with a high water table, with two sump pumps.
    One was in a deeper part of the basement, about a foot lower floor than the other.

    They both ran fairly often, even after two weeks with no rain.
    But the lower pump ran much more often, and I had to set it to a really long cycle, to cut down on number of cycles.

    That one foot difference in depth made a huge difference in how much water they needed to pump.

    I usually set sump pumps to come on when the bottom of the inlet pipe opening is just slightly under water.

    Clients don’t like to hear that trickling noise you hear so loudly in your video.

    So I think you should set your pump to come on at a level like that.
    You might have to set the pump on bricks or blocks to get it high enough for that.

    Also, except during a big rain, most pumps will turn off after about fifteen to thirty seconds.
    So if yours is running two to four minutes, something is not right.

    Also, IMHO Ridgid pumps are junk, the switches fail too soon, and they often leak oil out the top seal.
    I believe they are a Home Depot product made by Wayne, the Wayne pumps look very similar if not identical.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  3. Nov 11, 2019 #3

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    In general and ideally...
    A pumps flow rate as well as the sump size should be selected based on the maximum inflow rate.
    The larger the sump size the longer the recycle time can be.

    In this case we have a number of fixed conditions. Sump diameter and the usable height is basically restricted to the type of level sensor you have. Looks like your pump has a 5" differential between ON and OFF.
    Many sumps are 18" dia. which would equate to approx. 1 gallon an inch. 24" dia. sump would hold about 1.9 gallons per inch of height.

    So 5" differential in an 18" dia sump would amount to 5" x 1 gal/inch = 5 gallons.
    If you want to approximate your inflow(best if can be done at worse conditions) simply record the amount of time it takes to raise the water level an inch. That would be 1 gallon per recorded time.
    If you don't know your pump flow rate you could time how long it took to say lower the water level an inch, without inflow.
    So now you're dealing with inflow vs outflow and recycle time.

    Have to go to bed now. Will discuss a bit more next time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  4. Nov 12, 2019 #4

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    The recycle time as well as your run time would of course vary based on your pump size.
    But those two times also vary based on the inflow rate.
    If you could Increase the "ON"/"OFF" level differential(assume it's at 5") that would at least lengthen the average run time as well as the recycle time a bit.

    Sump pumps should not be picked based on HP but rather their head vs flow capabilities and the piping system it is used in.
    For example without changing the pump size the total height(elevation head) it must pump, as well as the friction loss in the piping system will affect the flow rate.
    Just out of curiosity, what is your total elevation difference between the low water level in the sump to the point where the discharge pipe terminates to a gravity system or atmosphere. Does it exit the pipe at that 10 ft point or does it drop?
    Assuming a 1-1/2" pipe, that would not add very much to your total head loss.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  5. Nov 12, 2019 #5

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Zoeller is a very popular and reliable sump pump.

    You can find them in some hardware stores, and plumbing suppliers definitely carry them.

    Amazon also sells them, at a great price.

    Lots of different models and horse power.
    And several different types of switches, or they have manual models that you can add any switch that you like, for a longer or shorter cycle or different water levels.

    You can also get excellent “pro only” brands from a plumber.
     
  6. Nov 12, 2019 #6

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Where does the pumped water go?
    And how does it leave the house?

    The reason for the question is, sometimes the discharge line fails due to a crack in the pipe or at a joint, or the house settles and cracks an underground discharge line.

    So the discharge water leaks out and eventually runs right back to the foundation, then into the sump pit.

    So you end up pumping the same water over and over.

    That might explain your very long pump cycle time.
     
  7. Nov 12, 2019 #7

    Sunho Choi

    Sunho Choi

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    The elevation difference form the low water level to the point of discharge (gravity) would be around 9-10ft max. The discharge pipe goes up about 9-10ft to the ceiling of the basement, then runs horizontally about 40 ft and exits the side of the house and connects (at an angle down) to my gutter downspout which is connected to an underground pipe that runs about 60ft to a storm water creek. Please excuse the crude diagram sketch. I do have an overflow wye fitting on the downspout just in case the underground drain gets clogged.

    I have a levelguard pump switch that allows me to set the "on" point of the sump. I moved it up to the top point of the inlet with hopes that maybe it would be around the water table. However the pump still runs. Now with the electronic auto adjusting switch, it will pump for 1 minute with a 3 minute rest.

    Not sure what to do here. I'm wondering if I should run a new discharge pipe to the other end of the house where the horizontal travel to exit the house would be around 20ft.
     

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  8. Nov 12, 2019 #8

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    Jeff...
    He bought a replacement pump already and reduced it to "down to 2 minutes ever 4 minutes."

    That's not bad. That's 10 starts per hour,which I don't think is excessive for that a one HP pump.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  9. Nov 12, 2019 #9

    Sunho Choi

    Sunho Choi

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    The pumped water goes out to a storm water creek in front of the house. I will check the pipe at the end of the creek tomorrow morning to see if I see the sump water coming out. The last time I checked I did see the water come out every time the pump was on.

    I'm also wondering about this. Recently I installed one of those quiet check valves that have a clear window to see its operation. the valve is spring loaded and states that it is a 2lb spring. I am wondering if the 2lb spring along with the water above it is too much pressure to fully open up the valve. I can't quite see how much it is opening because of the iron ochre. maybe I should go back to a standard rubber flapper check valve?
     
  10. Nov 12, 2019 #10

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    Sunho...
    Not sure what you are trying to accomplish.
    Are you trying to reduce the starts per hour?(That's typically the concern for possibly overheating a pump motor. Starts per hour, not how long it runs for.
     
  11. Nov 12, 2019 #11

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    You guys are going off on a tangent, I believe.
    Once the discharge flow has no more resistance, as in a gravity flow, it has no effect on the pumps flow and pressure.
     
  12. Nov 12, 2019 #12

    Sunho Choi

    Sunho Choi

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    Ah yes.. I guess I'm trying to figure out if my pump is set up correctly. What I did not mention in my original post was that before I got the 1hp ridgid, I tried a 1/2 hp zoeller. However after about 1 month of use I got a water sensor alert and found the water way above the trigger point of the zoeller. It was making noise but I don't think it was pumping any water or maybe the water coming in was to much? Anyway I went back to a 1hp. Then I read that high powered pumps do not like a high cycle rate. I'm not sure what you call high. 15 times an hour?

    So if my main concern is to make sure the pump doesn't fail prematurely, which option would be the best?

    1) run 15 times an hour (every 4 minutes) for 1 minutes using the levelguard.
    2) run 15 times an hour (every 4 minutes) for 2 minutes using the built in pump float.

    By the way, thank you both for trying to help me out on this!
     
  13. Nov 12, 2019 #13

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Diehard, I was asking about the drain line because sometimes there is a failure in the drain and some water gets out, and runs back into the ground and then back into the sump.

    So the pump is being overworked because even though some water is making it all the way out of the drain, there also is water leaking out and finding its way back to the pit.

    This is not an uncommon problem, and due to his very long pump cycles it was worth considering.
     
  14. Nov 12, 2019 #14

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    And I agree, what kills a pump is starts per hour, cycling on and off is the hardest work it does.
     
  15. Nov 12, 2019 #15

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    Well I don't believe a 1 HP motor is large enough to be concerned with starts per hour. Plus being a submersed application I believe makes a difference.
    I called ridgid pump and their tech help person doesn't have a clue. Couldn't get to talk to anyone in engineering.

    You could probably call any pump or motor manufacturer and ask about a 1 HP motor in general.

    You can purchase a separate piggyback float switch assembly that would allow you to broaden the on/off differential levels.

    You can throttle down your discharge if you feel you are pumping a lot faster than needed.

    A 2 psi spring amounts to 6.6 feet of head, which would only lower you flow rate some.

    Did you calculate pumps discharge flow rate based on knowing gallons per inch in sump, etc. (per post #3)
     
  16. Nov 13, 2019 #16

    Sunho Choi

    Sunho Choi

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    Sorry I did not see this message. I did not calculate the pump discharge flow rate with the levelguard. I will check it tonight and report back. Thank you!
     
  17. Nov 13, 2019 #17

    Sunho Choi

    Sunho Choi

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    You are correct. I had a Wayne 1hp pump right before the zoeller. The wayne pump failed and I noticed that they were identical to the ridgid pump with just a different sticker. At least with home depot it is easier to return if it fails. So which brand would you recommend? My neighbor swears by liberty, but they only have a 3/4 hp pump which still costs significantly more than the 1hp wayne or ridgid. Would you recommend liberty?
     
  18. Nov 13, 2019 #18

    Jeff Handy

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    I have never installed Liberty pumps, but they have a good reputation.

    I think the biggest Liberty is 3/4 hp.

    I think the biggest Zoeller is 1/2 hp, unless you installed a Zoeller sewage pump.

    So I guess you are stuck with the Ridgid, if you want Home Depot easy off the shelf pumps.

    You can check Amazon for other big pumps.

    And plumbers can get pro-only big pumps that are proven reliable.
    You can sometimes get pro-only brands at plumbing supply houses.
     
  19. Nov 15, 2019 #19

    Sunho Choi

    Sunho Choi

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    So I wanted to calculate how much water was coming into the pit but I had the levelguard switch turn on right above the Sump pit inlet. I decided to pump all of the water out to get the pit water lower than the inlet. The pump had a hard time getting the water level down so I turned on the 1/3 hp superior submersible pool pump. The water was evacuated within a minute or two. This was all going through a garden hose which essentially ran upstairs to the garage. 9ft vertical travel 25ft horizontal.

    Once the water level was lower than the inlet I set up my levelguard to turn the pump on right before it reaches the bottom of the inlet. Then I watched. It takes less than 30 seconds for water to move about 1 inch in the pit. The pit is 24" diameter so I assume this is 1.9gal in 30 seconds. Then it takes my ridgid pump about 60-90 seconds to pump out the 1.9gal while the water is still coming in. Strange thing is, in 60 seconds the 1/3hp garden hose pump can lower 4-5 inches.
    Now I'm wondering if my discharge pipe has a clog somewhere? Would you agree?
     
  20. Nov 15, 2019 #20

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    It's not doing you much good to try to compare it to a different pump that has a different HP, likely different efficiency, and possibly different pumping elevation head conditions. Not to mention likely a smaller diameter(hose). Too many variables unless you consider all factors, including the pumps characteristic curve(flow vs head would be different).

    By the way, before I forget, one of the pump persons that has a lot of videos and id in the business I believe, passed on the info that the rule of thumb is a 1 HP or less motor requires @ least 1 minute running time. ( Not sure how this relates to motors restarts per hour when you don't know duration of off time.)

    Of course, when you try to time the pumped flow while there is inflow, you must add the inflow rate to the calculated outflow rate.
    I believe I mention something along the lines that you could time your typical or few inflow rates while the pump is NOT running. Then you would know what to add to the outflow rate.

    You never said what size pipe you have. I was going to approximate some numbers when I had asked about the elevation where the PRESSURE pipe terminated and friction lost stopped play a role on head loss.

    To confuse you further, I have to mention that the total discharge head is not to the highest point of the discharge pipe but to the point where it dumps into a gravity line or sees atmospheric pressure. For example if the discharge pipe went up 10 feet and then turned down for say 2 feet, the total elevation head would be 10 - 2 = 8 feet.

    We should be dealing with the actual performance curves for that pump or develop our own system head curve based on recording actual flow rates and elevations.

    But Like I said what exactly are you looking for?
    1. The pumps maximum discharge flow rate should at least match the maximum in flow rate.
    2. You want enough capacity in the sump to to keep the motor restarts down to an acceptable number.
     

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