Sump pump always running
I am purchasing a home which is approx 20yrs old and has a sump pump that turns on every minute or so. A lot of clear water is draining into the pit all of the time.
There is a lot of snow on the ground (in Wisconsin) and we have no idea where the pump drains to on the outside of the house.
What are the possible reasons that much water is constantly draining into it??? We don't think it is from snow melting because it is still freezing cold here and I imagine the ground is quite frozen...
Help!! Thank you!
Sounds like you have a high water table (probably seasonal) --perhaps a drainage issue ,too.
First thing is to make sure that the discharge is draining away from the house--Never 'hard pipe' the outside piping--if the pipe ever freezes the inside piping may blow apart.
Second thing to do is see if the ground water level is below the slab.
This is how to do that---open the cover so you can see the water level in the pit---
Unplug the pump---watch the water level as it rises---if the water stops rising before it reaches the top of the pit---and stays there----All you need to do is adjust the float so the pump doesn't come on until the water is above that point.
In high water table pits--I often find that a pedestal pump is far easier to 'fine tune' the float.
If you buy a pedestal pump--look at Rigid (Home Depot) or Zohler (Plumbing supply house.)
The cheap-o plastic ones have a short and noisy life.---Mike---
If the water level stops before the top of the pit but after one or more drain pipes emptying into the pit have become submerged, then it is possible that the basement could re-flood at the far corner. If the latter happens you would have to lower the turn-on float so the pipes are not left submerged. Allow the pump to resume cycling (hopefully not very short cycles). Leave it that way for a few days for the perimeter drain pipes and the soil at the far corner to re-desaturate. Then try an intermediate float level setting.
Since you don't know where the sump pump outlet goes you may want to temporarily reconnect the outlet to a hose perhaps out a window to a location further from the house. Then see if the water accumulation in the pit is lessened.
A main water pipe leaking before it enters your house could be the cause of excessive sump pump water but is hard to find and prove.
Two things happen when you allow the drain tile to flood,
1) - It leaves absolutely no time between when the pump fails and when the water starts to rise above the floor level.
2) - And more importantly, it allows the below slab grade to remain too wet, causing that musty smell, and increasing the overall humidity in the basement.
The first thing to make sure is that the water is being pumped away from the house and not right outside. We (I work for a city) often get calls about people complaining that their sump pump is constantly running, and think there is something wrong with the storm sewer system. Most of these people pump the water right outside the foundation wall, and it just cycles right back into the ground in a never ending loop of pump-drain-pump-drain. This is also in a high water table area.
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