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Old 06-18-2012, 07:12 PM   #1
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Backup sump pump & check valve issues


Hey all,

I recently bought and installed a Liberty 441 battery back up sump pump. I had tested it previously by filling the sump pit with a bucket of water and it did the trick. Today was our first decent rain and the sump pump was running every few minutes so I decided to give it a true test run.

I unplugged the AC pump and the backup kicked in, but it would not pump any water. As soon as I plugged in the AC pump it ran and emptied the pit. I unplugged it again and let the backup kick in. No luck. I disconnected and emptied the discharge pipe above the check valve, turned on the 441 and it pumped the water. I let it refill a couple more times and it pumped out the water quickly. Problem solved? No. I plugged the AC pump back in and let it run to empty the pit and then unplugged it to let the 441 run. Again it would not pump.

So here's my guess as to what is happening. Tell me if you think I'm right. The 441 has a smaller diameter discharge so I'm under the assumption that it outputs a lower volume of water than the AC pump. So when I start with a clear discharge pipe and only the 441 runs, there is less water weight left sitting on top of the upper check valve after each cycle. As soon as the AC pump runs, it leaves a lot more water in the pipe and the 441 isn't strong enough to break open the check valve.

Each sump pump has its own check valve down in the pit, per the manufacturer's instructions, so really, the upper check valve outside of the pit is only a backup. My next step is to try to remove it but if the weight of the water in the pipe left by the AC pump is just too much for the 441, then what?

Any opinions, suggestions?

Thanks

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Old 06-18-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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Backup sump pump & check valve issues


Are you sure the backup pump is pumping nothing. Or is the check valve for the AC pump still ajar so whatever is pumped by the backup pump goes back down into the pit through the AC pump backwards?

If the backup pump is not strong enough, could you give it a separate smaller diameter outlet pipe which joins the existing outlet pipe after the latter has begun its downslope outside the foundation?

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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-18-2012 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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Backup sump pump & check valve issues


Check to see if the check valve is on backwards. There should be an arrow or the words in and out on it.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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Backup sump pump & check valve issues


I am having the same exact issue! Very frustrating. Richo did you ever figure out the answer to this problem??
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
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Backup sump pump & check valve issues


Yes I did find out the problem from a rep at Liberty. They originally told me that the pump could not be completely horizontal, that it had to be tipped at an angle or it would get caught in a cycle or some sort.

I had tried tipping it, about 15-20 degrees but that didn't make a difference. It turns out that it needed to be tipped at a full 45 degrees. Seems strange but now it works.

I don't recall reading this in the installation manual though.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:47 PM   #6
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Backup sump pump & check valve issues


That is strange. How were you able to tip it, wasn't it connect with a straight piece of piping? Or did you connect with an elbow or angled piece? Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:04 PM   #7
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Backup sump pump & check valve issues


The pump is threaded onto a T-fitting that connects to the discharge so it can be twisted/tilted slightly in either direction.

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Old 10-14-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Backup sump pump & check valve issues


I'm with AllenJ..check to make sure check valve is closing at AC pump otherwise battery pumped water wil follow path of least resistance back to pit through the AC pump

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