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Old 03-16-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


Yesterday morning, I noticed that my sump pump was making a strange "sloshing" or pulsing noise and it wasn't turning off, but I didn't have time to deal with it before work so I just went down in my crawl space and unplugged it. I went back down there today and plugged the pump back in and it quickly cleared most of the water in the top of the pit, but then went back to running constantly again with the "sloshing" noise. There is a very slow stream of water getting pumped through the hose on the outside of my house, but there is also water being sprayed out both sides the pump and back into the pit. Since it is Saturday and I can't call a plumber, does anyone know what would cause this type of problem? Is it something I might be able to fix easily myself and, if not, could I be causing further damage to my pump by running it this way?

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Old 03-16-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


If the pump discharge is not blocked your impeller on the pump may be bad. You should replace the pump and add a check valve on your discharge line.

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Old 03-16-2013, 01:33 PM   #3
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


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If the pump discharge is not blocked your impeller on the pump may be bad. You should replace the pump and add a check valve on your discharge line.
Thank you for the response. I know next to nothing about plumbing and sump pumps, so what you said is already mostly above my head, but would my pump have been able to pump out the entire top level of the pit as quickly as it did if the impeller was bad? When I plugged the pump back in, it wasn't until the water level got back down to the bottom of the pump that the problem appeared again. My completely uneducated thought was maybe it was something pressure-related since when there was a large volume of water to pump it didn't seem to have a problem, but now that it is trying to pump smaller amounts at the bottom it seems to be struggling with it.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:37 PM   #4
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


Sounds like your missing a check valve on your discharge line. What is happening is your pump is pumping until it shuts off. Then your water in the discharge line is flowing back into the pump hole turning the pump back on.

A check valve is a one way valve that only allows the water to go out and not come back in.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


http://www.hometips.com/diy-how-to/s...l-replace.html
Check out the above
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:49 PM   #6
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


Thank you and that helps. I do not see a check valve installed, so that could likely be the problem, or at least part of the problem. It still would seem there may be something else involved too, since the pump has been running fine up until now (with the exception of annoyingly-short cycles).

Why would a licensed plumber not have included a check valve in a new installation?
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:53 PM   #7
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Thank you and that helps. I do not see a check valve installed, so that could likely be the problem, or at least part of the problem. It still would seem there may be something else involved too, since the pump has been running fine up until now (with the exception of annoyingly-short cycles).

Why would a licensed plumber not have included a check valve in a new installation?
Because not all plumbers know the craft. I'm a master plumber and a county plumbing inspector in Ohio.

Check the link it is accurate as to what you should have had done.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:05 PM   #8
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


I read the link you sent and, after further investigation, I think there is another issue. The pump is running even though the float is all the way at the bottom. I played with the float and moved it up and down, but the pump is running regardless of float position. Does this lead me in a different direction?
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:12 PM   #9
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


Then your float switch is bad and you either replace it or the pump. Still add the check valve in the discharge line.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:38 PM   #10
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


It is not that hard. You have three things. The pump, the check valve, the piping. If it is not drawing water, either the check valve is bad, piping is frozen or clogged. The check valve sits above the pump about two to three feet, and should be attached to the pvc with fernco adapters. Go to your local Ace Hardware or farm & home store and get the check valve, after you find out it is what is bad. You can check the pump, by pulling the check valve, pull the pump and then pull the float to see if water flows up the pipe. If not, next thing to check is the pump.

Usually the check valve will go bad before the pump, so always handy to have an extra on hand all the time.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:55 PM   #11
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


Again, and I think this will be the last time I mention it. I know JoeC says it about 50 times a day. YOU HAVE TO TELL US WHERE YOU LIVE. In some cases, a check valve could work against you by keeping water in a line where it could freeze.

We are sitting here guessing if you have a slug of ice in your discharge pipe, but maybe you are in Florida. Guessing without the facts is an exercise in futility.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


Sorry, I am in Illinois.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:19 PM   #13
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


The discharge of the pump should be pitched towards the point of disposal once you exit the house. This will prevent any freezing issues. In other words completely self draining once it leaves the house.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:18 PM   #14
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


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Originally Posted by CubsWin View Post
I read the link you sent and, after further investigation, I think there is another issue. The pump is running even though the float is all the way at the bottom. I played with the float and moved it up and down, but the pump is running regardless of float position. Does this lead me in a different direction?
Ayuh,... Yer Float Switch, Ain't switchin'....

Either replace the Float Switch, or the Whole pump, 'n switch...
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:46 PM   #15
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Sump Pump running constantly and spraying water back into pit


Reporting back with my results...

I had a plumber come out today and he confirmed a bad switch and replaced it. As suggested in this thread, he also said I needed a check valve because the previous plumber had not installed one. The new plumber said my switch probably burned out prematurely because of the pump kicking on so frequently due to the lack of a check valve. That makes sense, so hopefully now I have a working pump that won't run quite as often!

Thanks everyone for your responses.

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