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Old 05-26-2011, 01:21 PM   #16
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I think the water is coming from your neighbor's house. See his thread here:

http://www.diychatroom.com/f7/baseme...70/#post655456

his wall is leaking but his sump is dry..
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:22 PM   #17
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KS-Man---One reason I always harp on people to add their location to the profile is this:

You dropped the fact that you live in the Chicago area---I know a good licensed plumber in the western suburbs---

If you had your location in your profile I could have helped earlier.

Get your post count up a bit so you can receive and send PMs.(Say howdy to some new members in the introductions)

PM me if you live in the western suburbs--He's based out of Naperville.---Mike---
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
KS-Man---One reason I always harp on people to add their location to the profile is this:

You dropped the fact that you live in the Chicago area---I know a good licensed plumber in the western suburbs---

If you had your location in your profile I could have helped earlier.

Get your post count up a bit so you can receive and send PMs.(Say howdy to some new members in the introductions)

PM me if you live in the western suburbs--He's based out of Naperville.---Mike---
I live in the Northern suburbs. Naperville is unfortunately too far. I think I found a better plumbing company that is local and has great reviews on the internet. I'm going to meet with them when I get back after the Memorial Day weekend.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:25 PM   #19
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It sounds like you are doing all the right things, and certainly it is great to have a good first hand knowledge of the systems you have even if you don't do all of the work on it.

Zoeller is good in my book, I use their 120VAC pedestal pump and also have a batter backup...had two water issues way back when, none since installing the pit and pumps myself....but I can appreciate your nervousness over the whole thing.

Biggest issue is to stay on top of the battery for the backup...don't let it run low on water and don't let it become too old....like a car it's worth swapping in a new one every so often before you need it. Good luck.
Yeah, I had the backup battery replaced at my last service check (6 months ago) since they said the battery reading were very low. The good news is that I have a generator and supposedly the Aquanot II will only use the battery if there isn't power. That is unlikely since the generator will keep power running so the backup should only need to be used if the main pump fails (as happened yesterday due to the switch).
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:52 AM   #20
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It can be two things:
1 - Faulty check valve
2 - Recycling - The water is being dumped too close to the foundation and is coming back to the pit. However, you would definitely see it coming from the drain pipe if it was the case, so I would put my money on check valve.

As for your switch question.

Your main pump has a "vertical, or mechanical" float switch. That is the best type of switch because the floating device raises and lowers in its axe.

Your backup sump pump, based on what you describe, has a "tether switch". Personally I am not fond of these, because they float loosely in the pit and can get easily jammed or tangled in the system.

Here's some information that may help.

http://www.basement-repair.com/equip...sump-pump.html
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:58 PM   #21
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It can be two things:
1 - Faulty check valve
2 - Recycling - The water is being dumped too close to the foundation and is coming back to the pit. However, you would definitely see it coming from the drain pipe if it was the case, so I would put my money on check valve.

As for your switch question.

Your main pump has a "vertical, or mechanical" float switch. That is the best type of switch because the floating device raises and lowers in its axe.

Your backup sump pump, based on what you describe, has a "tether switch". Personally I am not fond of these, because they float loosely in the pit and can get easily jammed or tangled in the system.

Here's some information that may help.

http://www.basement-repair.com/equip...sump-pump.html
Thanks for the response. I actually think the switch on the backup is a diaphragm switch. It is a pumptrol switch and looks a lot like this switch except it is black instead of grey.

I think the other issue (original issue) of water continuing is either as you say a faulty check valve or perhaps the pit has a small crack or wasn't sealed well and water from the foundation is coming in from somewhere other than the drain pipe. We had a massive rain this past weekend and I was actually out of town but came home to a dry basement. I still will bring a new plumber in perhaps one day next week to go over all of my concerns and have him check out everything.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:23 PM   #22
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I know this is an old thread, but I don't have enough posts to PM the original author.

I'm curious if the original author ever found a solution to the sump pit filling slowly even when there is no visible water flowing in. I have the same issue, even now when we haven't had any rain for a few days. My sump pump runs about every 1-2 hours. It could possibly be a slow leak from the check valve, but I know at least some of the water makes it out of the house into the buried discharge line outside. I'm wondering if it could be a crack in the discharge line underground, and the water is finding its way back underground.

I believe I live in the same general area as you do, in the north suburbs of Chicago. Did you ever find a reliable plumber to check your sump pumps? If so, can you please share who it is?

Thanks for any help you or anyone else can offer.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:13 AM   #23
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Most pits leak--and pick up ground water---do you live in an area with a high water table?

Any ponds or wet lands in the neighborhood?

Have you unplugged the pump to see when the water stops rising?
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:58 AM   #24
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When you think you've got an issue with the underground piping, and you're simply recycling the same water, food coloring is your friend.......
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:42 AM   #25
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I don't know of if we have a high water table or not. The yard is clay, but the backfill right around the house seems porous. Our house was a teardown from about 10 years ago with around a 9 foot deep basement. Our immediate neighbors are the original houses, with no basements. There are no streams or swamps close by. The closest is a stream maybe a mile or so away. We do have bad flooding issues in our neighborhood as the storm sewers don't have enough capacity. The very heavy storms every year or two overwhelm the storm drains. We wind up with a flooded basement at those times as our property is very flat with no good place to drain the excess water which we also get from higher neighbors around us. That's a bit off topic, maybe I'll save that for another thread.

I will leave the pump unplugged for a bit to get an idea if it keeps filling much higher than the pumps high level. I havent done that recently.

The food coloring seems like a great idea. Do you have any suggestions on the best way to do this? I can add food coloring to the sump pit, but it never fully drains, so there may be some coloring left for a few cycles.

Here are my thoughts, but suggestions on those who have done this are appreciated:

1. Let the sump pit fill higher than usual and then add food coloring, I assume color doesn't matter. Should I do just one pit full or a few? If the water is recycling, I don't know how long it takes to work its way back, or how much water is being recycled.

2. Pump as much as I can out with the sump pump.

3. This is what I'm not sure how best to do, but I'll have to try to bail out any extra water with food coloring from the bottom of the pit. Any left behind water with food coloring will make it look like the new water has some coloring. Maybe try to soak up with towels anything that I can't scoop out. This is important because if I see even slight coloring after a few days I'm going to wonder if it was left behind color or from the water coming in.

4. Wait and see if after some period of time if I'm seeing colored water in the pit.

Thanks for the ideas.

Last edited by rick97; 12-31-2014 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:19 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by rick97 View Post
I don't know of if we have a high water table or not. The yard is clay, but the backfill right around the house seems porous. Our house was a teardown from about 10 years ago with around a 9 foot deep basement. Our immediate neighbors are the original houses, with no basements. There are no streams or swamps close by. The closest is a stream maybe a mile or so away. We do have bad flooding issues in our neighborhood as the storm sewers don't have enough capacity. The very heavy storms every year or two overwhelm the storm drains. We wind up with a flooded basement at those times as our property is very flat with no good place to drain the excess water which we also get from higher neighbors around us. That's a bit off topic, maybe I'll save that for another thread.
Having lived in Minnesota for nearly 20 years (before wising up and moving south), this all sounds very familiar to me.

First, are you in a flood plain? It sounds to me like you might be?
Second, there's probably a reason your neighbors don't have basements - even those whose houses sit higher than yours.
Third, unless you have gutters and downspouts all the way around your house, that get all the rainwater WAY away from the house, it's going to settle into the lowest area - which is your basement.
Fourth, you could very well be on a "spring" and not know it.

Honestly, what you're describing does not sound at all "out of line" to me. I have friends in Minnesota whose sump pumps run all year long - constantly - and they have 2 running during the spring. Your pump running every hour or two does not sound at all excessive to me.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:49 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by DrHicks View Post
Having lived in Minnesota for nearly 20 years (before wising up and moving south), this all sounds very familiar to me.

First, are you in a flood plain? It sounds to me like you might be?
Second, there's probably a reason your neighbors don't have basements - even those whose houses sit higher than yours.
Third, unless you have gutters and downspouts all the way around your house, that get all the rainwater WAY away from the house, it's going to settle into the lowest area - which is your basement.
Fourth, you could very well be on a "spring" and not know it.

Honestly, what you're describing does not sound at all "out of line" to me. I have friends in Minnesota whose sump pumps run all year long - constantly - and they have 2 running during the spring. Your pump running every hour or two does not sound at all excessive to me.
Ayuh,.... I Agree,... I wish mine ran that little, nearly year-round,...

'n it really don't matter whether the water comes in the pipin', or the sump bucket,...
It's water, it's There,... Pump out it,....
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:07 PM   #28
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I wouldn't put the food coloring in the crock itself, but in the pipe past the check valve. Can you pour some coloring outside in the pipe? Or even loosen the check valve and put it upstream somehow?

Odds are though, you simply dealing with an elevated artificial water table, which comes from all the stone and draintile around the basement.........
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:28 PM   #29
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I don't want to mess with the check valve. I see myself getting soaked with the water above the check valve, assuming my check valve is working.

I do have an air gap outside where the sump drainage pipe enters the ground. I think that is my best bet for where to add food coloring. Great suggestion. If there are any significant leaks in the buried pipe from there out to the city storm sewers, I should notice the coloring make its way into the pit.

When you say artifical elevated water table, I assume you mean just residual water from previous storms that works its way out of spaces in the gravel, porous soil, etc?

Overall I'm not that bothered that the pump runs every few hours, but I want to make sure that I'm not recycling water as that would put more stress on my pump during a heavy storm and my pumps couldn't keep up with the inflow on a few occasions over the past few years.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:47 PM   #30
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If your check valve is working correctly and the discharge water is being pumped far enough away from the house you could have a high water table. I installed a new sump pump for someone and it kept going off every 1/2 hour even after there was no rain for several days . The pit would not overflow but would only fill to a certain height and stop .The pump was set on a 1 1/2" concrete block on the bottom of the pit . I added another 1 1/2" concrete block to raise the height of the pump . This was a couple months ago and it has not gone off once since then except maybe during a big storm, so try to raise the height of the pump a little and see what happens.

Last edited by daveblt; 12-31-2014 at 03:50 PM.
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