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  • Sump Pumps

    A friend's daughter has a house with a sump pump; said pump needs to run quite a bit when things are wet. She's been in the house only a couple of years, but goes through pumps like they're free.

    So far, my friend has installed a couple different brands of submersible pumps, neither of which has lasted much more than 6 months. Naturally, these pumps are mostly plastic and cheaply built.

    Years ago, I lived in a house with a REALLY wet basement, the sump pump cycled a bunch. BUT, it was an old-fashioned pedestal-type unit, and the only trouble it had was the switch went out once. My wife replaced that with a strap-on outfit from Sears, and the pump went several more years.

    What is a quality pump? Money isn't really an object, a reliable pump IS.

  • #2
    Wayne makes good pump. Buy one without a switch, and add an electronic sensor that senses water level with a wire. If you have a municipal water supply independent of electrical service, add a water powered backup pump. My electronic switch has worked flawlessly for fifteen yrs. Most sump pump problems are related to the switches. Buy the best pump you can afford, the switch will set you back about $65, Bob F.

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    • #3
      Bob, where did you get the electronic sensor switch? The tethered float switch on my pump is starting to want to stick slightly, which is not encouraging.
      ----------
      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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      • #4
        I would get away from vane or rotor style pumps and get a diaphragm pump instead. Something like this...

        http://www.solar-electric.com/2088-594-154.html

        These pumps are rebuildable for little cash, and its easy to do. Take off a few screws, pull the face off, replace the valve and diaphragm and put the face back on, takes 5 minutes tops. They are pretty tough and quiet as well.

        That pump will lift a bit so put it up out of the water a foot or two and rig it up with a GOOD float switch and have at it. For extra peace of mind install TWO pumps rigged to separate float switches at different depths.

        You didn't mention any flow rates so this is a start, get bigger pumps if required. Keep rebuild parts on hand, they are cheap.
        James Kilroy

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        • #5
          Alternate?

          Had a house that suffered frequent power outages- especially when it rained.
          As a backup to my sump pump I had one that used water pressure: no electrical at all. Don't recall any details (30+ years past)

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          • #6
            I had a non-submersible pump for 25 years or so and it worked fine for most of that time. Late in it's life it started to overheat when it rained a lot and the pump needed to run a lot. I solved that problem with a small fan in the rainy season.

            Finally, I decided to upgrade to a submersible pump. How could it overheat then? Well, it ran fine for better than six months. We went to Arizona for the winter and when we returned, we had knee deep water in the basement. What a mess. The sump pump was burned out. The switch was shot too. Never did figure out what the problem was. But a year later someone told me that you are not suppose to run softener water into a pit that uses a submersible pump.

            I installed a new stand up pump and it has been fine for 2 years now. You might want to check to see if they are running their softener into the sump pump pit.

            Brian
            OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

            THINK HARDER

            BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

            MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dunc
              Had a house that suffered frequent power outages- especially when it rained.
              As a backup to my sump pump I had one that used water pressure: no electrical at all. Don't recall any details (30+ years past)
              Here's one manufacturer: http://www.basepump.com/Basepump.htm

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              • #8
                If there are any truly reliable submersible sump pumps out there, I haven't found them. I've bought at least five different brands in the last 15 years, costing up to $200 each, but the motors burn up within a year. For a while, I was buying a pump with a " lifetime guarantee", but the pump lifetime was too short, and getting the stores to exchange it was a giant hassle usually involving heated arguments with the store manager. Now, I buy $80 3/4 horsepower Simer pumps from Surplus Center, and they last longer than the $200 dollar ones ( but still only about a year to a year and a half. ) Nearly all of the pumps are now made in China, and they just don't build good motors.

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                • #9
                  Id look at different pump types and at better filtering for the pump.

                  Magnetic drive pumps eliminate the shaft seal, but need clean water as magnetic debris can be trapped
                  A larger sump for water storage will reduce excessive sump cycling that will wear out switches and motors alike. The inrush current/torque and arcing on turn off is not good for anything. If you have significant flow you should have a larger sump to reduce starts per hour.
                  An oversized sump pump will run less duty cycle (less time per sump volume pumped out) and hence less hours per year.
                  A larger, deeper sump with good screening will allow more settlement and reduce debris intake by the pump as well as allow the pump to be further off the bottom.
                  Multiple sump pumps can be fit into a larger sump for redundancy. Ideally with some kind of alarm connected to the 2nd pumps float switch to alert you to the firsts failure.
                  Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                  • #10
                    Maybe one of the problems is that the word 'sump' is used together with pump. Whatever that gets you in the store is obviously cheap junk. What about using a water pump? They used to last decades, maybe some still will. Cobble it up to do the job.

                    You might be able to hack the pressure switch so it will work with a float, but otherwise an electronic switch sounds like a good idea.
                    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                    • #11
                      Buy a pump rated for poop tank service.
                      They are usually made really well,
                      bacause no one wants to pull and
                      repair a broken poop tank pump.

                      --Doozer
                      DZER

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bill736
                        If there are any truly reliable submersible sump pumps out there, I haven't found them. I've bought at least five different brands in the last 15 years, costing up to $200 each, but the motors burn up within a year. For a while, I was buying a pump with a " lifetime guarantee", but the pump lifetime was too short, and getting the stores to exchange it was a giant hassle usually involving heated arguments with the store manager. Now, I buy $80 3/4 horsepower Simer pumps from Surplus Center, and they last longer than the $200 dollar ones ( but still only about a year to a year and a half. ) Nearly all of the pumps are now made in China, and they just don't build good motors.
                        Bill,

                        Do you have a water softener draining into the sump pit?

                        Brian
                        OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                        THINK HARDER

                        BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                        MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Pump

                          Doozer
                          I have a house with a 22 year old "poop" tank pump and think I should replace it before it fails.
                          Do you (or anyone else) know of a very high quality sewage lift pump?
                          Bill
                          I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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                          • #14
                            We replaced our seldom used but vitally important sewage lift pump a few years ago with an industrial quality Votex pump. The are supposed to be very robust and last a long time. Got it for about the same price as an Orange Giant special.
                            The liquid that is moved do not pass through the impeller thus it does not wear or clog.

                            Unfortunatly since its a sewage pump it's sealed and was not any use last week for the 1.5" of water in our basement. .

                            Dave

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                            • #15
                              I've never even had to look at my pump as long as I have lived in this house. Every springs during the thaw I know it runs at least 20 times a day. I don't know what it is but it has worked flawlessly for 20+years here.
                              Andy

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