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lilargie 09-17-2012 08:18 AM

sewerage ejector pump
I posted back in April ... I have a finished basement with a bathroom w/the usual ... sink, shower, tub, toilet, bar sink, laundry. We have an ejector pit underground with basin cover and pump pulling water up to main. Back in April the pump was tripping the GFI. If we took it off the GFI and plugged it into a regular outlet, it worked fine. Thats what we did and it worked since. Two weeks ago, the pump came on, ran, but wouldn't shut off. It *could have* been the float, but the pump was at least 12-13 years old, so figured replace it anyway. Purchased a pump online (same 2 inch pipe fitting, so not much in the way of changing it out) and my brother came up to do this. Cut the pipes, removed the basin cover, he cleaned out the entire pit, put the new pump in, bought new PVC pipes, installed, we filled with water, turned pump on and nothing - wasn't kicking on. When we bypass the piggyback plug for float, pump runs (but of course won't stop). Whats the deal?! Faulty float direct from manufacturer? Or could it be float maybe cannot rise if its hitting side of barrel or something? The thing is, you cannot get in to see without cutting pipes apart again and redoing all over - piping and stuff was $18. Don't want to do this each time. How can we possibly test the pump outside of the pit to see if the float works?

joecaption 09-17-2012 08:35 AM

Got a web site or a picture of the pump you bought?
All you had to do was plug the pump in and lift the float to see if it worked before installing it.
If the pits to small or the pump is installed in the middle of the pit, not off to the side then the float can not lift to turn the pump on.

There was also suppost to be a check valve in that riser line, so when the pumb shuts off all the sewer in the line does not just fall back into the pit.

I use a Fernco coupling, or a PVC union instead of a PVC coupling so I can just loosen the hose clamp and remove the pump.

lilargie 09-17-2012 08:39 AM

Its a Wayne RPP50 and looks identical to the old one that was in there same size, etc. How can you run the pump outside of the pit w/o water? I thought you cannot run them dry. What would make the float rise (to test it) if it wasn't in water? It *should be* sitting right where the old one was as my brother did it so the plumbing lines up exactly the same and the screws on the basin cover lining up, so plumbing exactly the same.

Explain the check valve to me more. Is that something separate we need to do? I was told just that the pump needs to sit in the pit just as the other one was - then the 2 inch PVC pipe is connected to the pump and comes out the top of the basin and goes into the main (just as it was before).

lilargie 09-17-2012 08:42 AM

If I'm looking correctly in the photos, check valve is something that should have already been there on the pipes to main - not something in the pit itself?

joecaption 09-17-2012 08:54 AM

Lifting the float just long enough to check the float operation outside of the pit is not going to hurt it. It's only needs to run for a second.

I also always install a PVC ball valve above the check valve so I can shut off the sewer line when doing service.

Since we do not have a picture of your exact set up your going to get generic ansewers.

Should be a PVC adaptor, A piece of PVC long enough to stick out the top of the cover for the pit, a vertical check valve, (if you use the style that attaches with two hose clamps it can act as a coupling to remove the pump for service) another short section of PVC then the a Ball valve.

lilargie 09-17-2012 08:57 AM

Ok, gotcha. I guess running in for a minute outside isn't going to hurt it, but what is going to make the float rise to test it if its not in water that is filling up? (Sorry, I'm clueless)!. I could take a photo of my setup and post it. Its basically a sewerage pit in the ground (less than a few inches sticking out, the basin cover, and two 2 inch pipes coming out - one the discharge pipe that is attached to the pump and goes up to the main, and the other being a 2 inch vent pipe.

joecaption 09-17-2012 09:04 AM

All this is shown right in the manual that came with the pump.
Only thing I would change from what was shown is using a ball valve instead of a gate valve.
Gate valves load up with trash after a while and will not shut completly off or if there stuck the stem breaks off.

Alan 09-17-2012 09:20 AM

You could use no-hub couplings to make the connections again to allow for service in the future.

lilargie 09-17-2012 09:21 AM

OK - so that would allow to just take those off and on w/o cutting the pipes, right?

Alan 09-17-2012 09:25 AM


Here's a picture of one.

You need to make sure to get them nice and tight, though.

lilargie 09-17-2012 09:27 AM

Thanks. That makes things easier for the future. Still not sure why new pump isn't working - but we'll open back up and see. Either fault float direct from manufacturer or somehow its getting caught up and not rising.

lilargie 09-19-2012 08:30 AM

3 Attachment(s)
This is what the setup looks like. As you can see, the previous owner of my house finished the entire basement and basically hide everything with walls. The pit is next to the toilet and behind a door but comes out a bit (we took two panels of wood off the wall at the bottom to access it). The second picture showing the pit is what you see when you go behind the wall (there is a door). As you can see, not a lot of wiggle room. The third picture is of the check valve. I didn't know what that even was. That shouldn't play a part in this anyway, right? Wayne is sending me a new float in case the first one is defective. We are going to take the new pump out, I will test it outside of the pit. If it works, then we know it is probably that the pump is not sitting right in there, correct? If the float does not work and kick on the pump, how easy is it to change out to the new float?

Alan 09-19-2012 08:56 AM

Wow. That's a ridiculous setup. :eek:

Anyway... If I were you, i'd cut the pipes in order for the lid to be removed, then use no-hub couplings to reassemble without the lid in place so as to be able to see what is going on in there. As tight as those pipes are you may need 2 no-hubs on each one, to make it work.

Once it's back together, it's very easy to see what is going on with the floats, and make adjustments from there.

A float is usually easy to change out..... is the pump hardwired or plugged into an outlet? If it's plugged in, it's usually plugged in through a "piggyback plug" and the piggyback is the float. So you just unplug the float, and plug the pump in directly.

If it's hardwired, it makes it a little more difficult to bypass the float as you may need someone to trip the breaker for you quickly to check that the pump is working without said float.

Then again, once you get the lid off, you may find that the problem is pretty simple. Hopefully the float didn't get stuck in the "on" position and burn up the pump. That would be your worst case scenario.

lilargie 09-19-2012 08:59 AM

This is a brand new pump. When installed and the pit was filled, it did not kick on (plugged in w/the piggyback). At this point, pipes were connected and lid on and all that. If we unplugged the piggyback and plugged the pump directly it, it worked. So that would mean either float is defective or float not able to rise (being blocked, not sitting right in pit), correct?

Alan 09-19-2012 08:47 PM


Originally Posted by lilargie (Post 1012911)
This is a brand new pump. When installed and the pit was filled, it did not kick on (plugged in w/the piggyback). At this point, pipes were connected and lid on and all that. If we unplugged the piggyback and plugged the pump directly it, it worked. So that would mean either float is defective or float not able to rise (being blocked, not sitting right in pit), correct?

Sounds right to me. Now all you have to do is get dirty. :wink: :yes:

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