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Old 03-09-2010, 09:30 PM   #1
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Sump Problems


Not sure where to post this so I apologize if this question is misplaced. My sump pump will not keep water from filling up my pit. I cannot figure out why the float valve is not working. It is not stuck on anything. When I lift the float manually it does kick on the pump and drain the pit. So it does work. I adjusted the float to have the leas amount of "slack" hoping that it would trigger the pump but no dice. Here are some pictures of it:







Any thoughts?

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Old 03-10-2010, 01:43 AM   #2
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FYI - this should be posted in the plumbing section.

I'm a bit confused on your explanation. You're saying if you reach in and lift the float up with your hand then the pump kicks on, but when the water rises up above the float and makes it rise up it doesn't kick on? I don't see how it would make a difference whether you lifted it with your hand or if it was lifted by the rising water level. The pit will never be totally dry.

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Old 03-10-2010, 01:45 AM   #3
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Is that a float or a pressure switch? Mine has a pressure bladder switch which sits at ground level, but doesn't actuate until a foot or so of water is ontop of it. Try placing it at the bottom of the pit.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:52 AM   #4
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But, the well isn't supoposed to be bone-dry at the bottom...is that your issue?

Seems to me that if you lift the float by hand and it turns the pump on, then it's working. It'll never get the bottom half-inch or so, nor do I think it is meant to. Have a sneaky suspicion there's meant to be water down there, or else the pump will dry out. Not sure 'bout this tho'.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:54 AM   #5
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Disconnect the float from the pump by removing the screw/bolt that holds it. Check the ball for holes. It may be filling with water instead of raising up.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:12 AM   #6
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Wouldn't it be shorting out if it was filling up with water?

It looks like you've made the tether on that float way too short now. Looks to me like it's not going to have enough movement to get into the vertical position the way it is.

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Old 03-10-2010, 10:16 AM   #7
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Sorry for all of the confusion. Let me clarify. The pit is filling to the top with water and the float is not turning the pump on. The pictures I took were after I did an override of the float switch. I wanted everyone to be able to see the pump and float.

So my issue is the pump is not coming on when the water fills up. Only when I disconnect the float chord and plug the pump in directly to the wall. So I know the pump works. I also can lift the float by hand and the pump comes on so I know the float works. The problem is that the float does not seem to float.

I will look at Mark's suggestion and see if there are holes in the float. The pump is only a few years old and I would think it would still be in good condition but who knows. I also think I would have felt water in the float when I lifted it by hand but I will still verify this tonight.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:22 AM   #8
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While you are at it you might check the float linkage to see if it is too stiff or is misaligned so the float goes off to the side instead of straight up and down.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:53 AM   #9
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While I agree that the float "could" short out if water was entering the ball, I have seen too many floats fail even while filled with water. I also agree that it looks like the float is tethered really tight/close to the pump. Lifting it may accomplish what rising water doesn't, making the on connection.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Wouldn't it be shorting out if it was filling up with water?

It looks like you've made the tether on that float way too short now. Looks to me like it's not going to have enough movement to get into the vertical position the way it is.

Upon further review it looks like the issue was the float was tethered too tight. I tested it by filling up the pit and it kicked on. The water has to be pretty high but it will kick on.

Thanks to all that responded. It appears my issue is resolved.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:29 PM   #11
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There's nothing wrong with the water getting 'high'.

what it shouldn't do is fill the inlet. The pump should kick on at least an inch or two below the inlet to the pit.

If it isn't, the only way to correct this is to secure the tether point down a little lower in the pit. Usually zip tying it to the discharge pipe works well, unless that will cause hang-up issues.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Willie5566 View Post
Upon further review it looks like the issue was the float was tethered too tight. I tested it by filling up the pit and it kicked on. The water has to be pretty high but it will kick on.

Thanks to all that responded. It appears my issue is resolved.
If you read the instructions, it says to never adjust the float tether.

Your float was never getting perfectly vertical to trigger the pump.

If you want to trigger the pump sooner, I suggest you switch to a sump pump with a vertical float.

It initiates earlier by about 6" compared to a tethered float design (8" vs. 14").
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handy man88 View Post
If you read the instructions, it says to never adjust the float tether.
Why would it say that?

Doesn't the tether length depend on the size of the pit and the pit size determined by the length and size of discharge piping?
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Why would it say that?

Doesn't the tether length depend on the size of the pit and the pit size determined by the length and size of discharge piping?
I don't know.

The manufacturer says not to adjust it, so I would follow those instructions.

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