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Old 04-07-2015, 12:09 PM   #1
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PVC "Y" fittings and water flow..


i have a sump with a 1 1/2 inch discharge pipe. There never was a check valve on it over the years.. the Little Giant would pump the water out up about 4 feet to discharge away from house, and after the pump shuts off about a gallon would trickle back into the pit as the gravity pulled back the water in pipe.

i added a check valve about 3 feet up to stop this. Last year, being the ever paranoid homeowner that I am. I bought a second pump, a backup pump, and i "Teed" into the existing PVC about 2 feet above the first pump with a "Y" type of fitting (picture upside down Y two pumps on bottom of the Y shooting up to drain outside) . I have the 2nd pump 8 inches higher off the bottom of the pit than the original one. The idea here is that i have two pumps in the pit, if my original 20 year old pump dies, and the water level rises the 2nd pump will kick in. (please this is not about power failures this is about PUMP failure).

So one of the things i never considered was that my Y fitting addition is BELOW the check valve. Is it possible that if the second pump kicks on that the water will flow into the Y tee and most of the water will continue to shoot up the pipe and out the house, but could in fact wanting to find the path of least resistance it actually turns DOWN the Y fitting and back out the bottom of the original sump pump? So what i want to know does anybody have experience with FLOW of water entering a Y tee and then "going backwards" down the other leg of the Y? remember that pump is FORCING the water into that Y.

i know the correct thing to do is "so move the check valves below the Y tee-in and you'll be safe". but i'm sort of out of wiggle room to insert the check valve not much room to spare.

Oh and i cant test it on my own.. cannot get enough water in the pit to trigger the 2nd pump on my own.. gonna have to wait for an act of god to raise the water table again.. its been like 4 years..
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:39 PM   #2
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Ayuh,.... With the check valve above the Y, all the water pumped by the 2nd pump is gonna go right back into the sump pit,....

I'd be surprised if the 1st pump ain't doin' the same thing,....
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:37 PM   #3
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agreed, 2 pumps, 2 checks, preferably as close to the pump as possible, garden hose would be a easy way to fill and test your system. easier to test now than when the water is coming with out your help!
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:10 PM   #4
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agreed, 2 pumps, 2 checks, preferably as close to the pump as possible, garden hose would be a easy way to fill and test your system. easier to test now than when the water is coming with out your help!
i've tried that.. garden hose for like 5 hours.. the pit will not fill up..the ground needs to be SATURATED there's just too much seepage into the surrounding dirt when its dry. My pump only comes on under flooding conditions and the nearby water table rises..

so good thing i thought of this hey fellas? could you imagine i almost negated my sump pump functionality by trying to add a backup!?!
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:14 PM   #5
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Ayuh,.... With the check valve above the Y, all the water pumped by the 2nd pump is gonna go right back into the sump pit,....

I'd be surprised if the 1st pump ain't doin' the same thing,....

No you're missing the point.. the 1st orignal old pump functionality is flawles.. it will pump out like 50 gallons in 30 seconds until the pump is dry, then when it shuts off only like 1 gallon seeps back down the pipe because of no checkvalve (originally).

so last year i added the check valve.. but only recenlty did i add the backup pump but i wanted to know if because i put in a "T" in that water will go back DOWN the "Y" tee while the pump is running now that is has the option. (but like a Y fitting the fluid is a lot more DIRECTED than a T fitting)

so of course when the pump is OFF any water BELOW the check valve will flow down either pipe.. but that was insignificant. I care about water flowing "back down" the Y fitting while either pump is blasting water up into the Y tee..

Last edited by windowguy; 04-08-2015 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:48 PM   #6
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:25 PM   #7
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but only recenlty did i add the backup pump but i wanted to know if because i put in a "T" in that water will go back DOWN the "Y" tee while the pump is running now that is has the option. (but like a Y fitting the fluid is a lot more DIRECTED than a T fitting)

tee..
the water flows up due to head pressure from the pump and containment, not inertia. once the containment is broken via the other unchecked pump line the water will return as fast as gravity will allow
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:36 PM   #8
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2 pumps 2 independant vertical discharge pipes 2 checks... connection needs to be horizontal as soon as it turns to gravity discharge.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:31 AM   #9
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No you're missing the point.. the 1st orignal old pump functionality is flawles.. it will pump out like 50 gallons in 30 seconds until the pump is dry, then when it shuts off only like 1 gallon seeps back down the pipe because of no checkvalve (originally).

so last year i added the check valve.. but only recenlty did i add the backup pump but i wanted to know if because i put in a "T" in that water will go back DOWN the "Y" tee while the pump is running now that is has the option. (but like a Y fitting the fluid is a lot more DIRECTED than a T fitting)

so of course when the pump is OFF any water BELOW the check valve will flow down either pipe.. but that was insignificant. I care about water flowing "back down" the Y fitting while either pump is blasting water up into the Y tee..
Nope,.... I didn't miss the point, but you are,.....

With the check valve, yer original pump is gonna pump up to the Y, 'n right back down through yer new pump,...
round, 'n round, 'n round,....
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Nope,.... I didn't miss the point, but you are,.....

With the check valve, yer original pump is gonna pump up to the Y, 'n right back down through yer new pump,...
round, 'n round, 'n round,....

yes, when you worded it that way you totally understand what i was getting at..
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