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Old 08-09-2009, 12:01 PM   #1
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SUMP PUMP Question


I have always had water issues in my basement. My sump pump would run constantly. I had to run 2 pumps earlier this week because it rained hard for 2 hours. The main pump wold not keep up. 1/3 horse Hydromatic. I just replaced it with a 3/4 horse Flotec. I also replaced the PVC pipe as the old pipe had a big build up of lime or some mineral that was like Cholesterol. This could have been an issue also. The new pump has a vertical switch. It evacuated the sump hole which was full in seconds. I let it fill up to see how quickly it would discharge. That is the good news but the vertical switch kicks in when there is only 6 inches of water. The hole fills in quickly so when it reaches the 6 inches it kicks on....I am afraid if it runs too often that i will burn out..... My question - Is there a way to attach a float ball switch that will allow the hole to fill longer before the pump kicks on. Thank you.

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Old 08-09-2009, 01:22 PM   #2
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The float switch is generally designed to be adjustable in the vertical direction. Depending on the switch, it may be attached to the electrical cord using a screw on clamp, which can be moved, or the float switch may be on a hanging cord whose length can be adjusted to vary the on off position of the pump.

Generally speaking, the pump should turn off when there is about 6 inches of water in the sump, and turn on when the water reaches about three or four inches below the top of the sump. You would like to have at least eight inches of difference between the on and off position, more is always better, since it minimizes the cycling of the pump, which reduces the life of the pump.

A 1/3 HP pump is relatively small, and is almost certainly not commercial grade. I use a 1/2 HP industrial Barnes sump pump, has worked very well for ten years. Then again, it does not run more than half a dozen days a year. Cost about $300, but for that money you get a cast iron housing, bronze impeller, and high quality waterproofing. Less expensive pumps are going to cut corners somewhere.

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Old 08-09-2009, 03:41 PM   #3
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Let me start by saying I'm no expert on sump pumps. In fact, I don't have one. But..since I'm in the process of adding one I've been researching them and have some limited knowledge.

Is the float that your currently using integrated into the pump (part of the pump)? Seems like most pumps have their own float kind of "built in", but you can get a non-automatic pump, and buy the switch seperately. If you take that route you plug the switch directly into an outlet. The switch plug has a receptacle so you can plug the pump into it. This is referred to as a "piggy back" switch.

There are several types of these piggy back switches, and most seem to be adjustable to some degree (i.e. 1-9 inches). Some are actually on sort of a tether, whereas others are vertical and attach to the pipe.

If your new pump is automatic (built in switch) you might still be able to use it with a piggy back switch, but youd probably have to zip tie the built in switch into the on position, or rig it some how so it would stay on, then plug it into the piggy back switch.

In my research, SJE Rhombus was recomended, particularly their verticalmaster model.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:16 PM   #4
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I've always found that when it comes to sump pumps, it's better to get a professional to look at the unit rather than trying to modify it yourself. You might find some success but a more likely scenario is that you accidentally mess up the pump and cause greater damages then next time a heavy rain hits. You should be able to find a basement waterproofing company that will give you a free estimate on repairs or replacement without charging for a trip, just look in the phone book or on the Internet.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:34 PM   #5
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Check all the piping to the discharge side, all the way out of the house. You could still have more build up in the piping. Then if the float on the pump is not removeable get another float and add it higher on the pipe so it kick on later then earlier.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:43 PM   #6
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I always install a check valve in the discharge right off the pump so that when the pump shus off the water in the discharge can not return to the pit.

This is just info

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