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Old 08-21-2012, 12:52 PM   #1
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Need advice for cleaning sump pit


The plumber was here this morning because the sump pit was draining very slowly and the pump didn't sound right.

He pulled the pump out and cleared a few of the little holes where the water flows into it.

He checked the pump and said it's fine, but the pit needs to be cleaned out. It has a lot of gunk in the bottom of it and the pump needs to be cleaned the rest of the way too. He said there is a lot of lint from the washing machine plugging it.

My question is, once I unplug the pump and pull it back out, is there anything I need to be careful of when I'm cleaning it? He was pushing a screwdriver into the holes to clear them. Is that all I have to do - clear the holes with a screwdriver? Can I spray water into the pump to wash some of the stuff away, once I've pushed some of it out?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-21-2012, 01:07 PM   #2
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Need advice for cleaning sump pit


My question is, why is your laundry draining into it? If you are ejecting the water out to the land, not to a sewer, your laundry should be draining with the rest of the sewage. Otherwise, you need a sewage ejector pump, and need to seal that space.

As for cleaning the pit, Wet Dry vac, but keep in mind, that if water is coming in, you are just going to be fighting a battle.

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Old 08-21-2012, 01:23 PM   #3
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Need advice for cleaning sump pit


This is the way it was set up before we moved in. The washing machine and A/C both drain into the sump pit.

The waste water (toilet, sinks) from the house go out to the septic tank in a different pipe.

But it all ends up out in the septic tank, so I'm not sure why they didn't run it all together. The house was built in '75, so maybe they did things differently back then (?).

I guess my main concern is damaging the pump by shoving a screwdriver into the holes. Are there any parts in there that I need to be careful of?
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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Need advice for cleaning sump pit


Scrub the sump pump pit using a brush and detergent that you would ordinarily use to clean a bathtub or shower stall.

The sump pump outlet should go up and onto the ground surface above, (or to an underground pipe leading somewhere other than the septic tank).

You may have clogged up the pump with lint from the washing machine. You need to unclog the pump and also not run the washing machine drain there.

Do not poke screwdrivers or other things into the pump.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:22 PM   #5
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Need advice for cleaning sump pit


Well, I pulled the pump out and cleaned all the stuff out of the holes, then vacuumed out the pit. After that I set the pump back in the pit, connected it to the drain and filled it about 1/3 of the way with clean water. When I plugged it back in, it didn't come on.

When the plumber was here this morning, it was still working after he pulled some of that crud out of a few of the holes. So it was working when he left.

Any suggestions as to what's going on?

Gregzol, I was wrong, the pipe from the sump pump does connect to the bigger drain for the toilet.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:37 PM   #6
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Need advice for cleaning sump pit


Sorry AllanJ, I didn't see your post before I posted.

I already did use a screwdriver to pull the stuff out of the holes in the pump. I was very careful though and didn't force it or feel it hitting anything. The screwdriver didn't go all the way into the holes, it was too wide. But I also used the garden hose and squirted water in there to bring more stuff to the edge where I could reach it with the screwdriver. Maybe that damaged something?
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:32 PM   #7
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Need advice for cleaning sump pit


My nephew stopped over and took a look at the pump. He lifted the float a little bit and the pump went on. So I just didn't have enough water in there to make the pump turn on after I plugged it in.

But he said the same thing about the washing machine draining into the sump pit - it should be draining directly out to the septic tank.

Thanks for your help guys!

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