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sump pump....quit on me already?

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by terptide, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. terptide

    terptide New Member

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    OK, I typically do these things myself. But when I went to check on the foul smelling sump pump I noticed it was not working, now I am thinking perhaps I need to call plumber. I would be interested to know what is a decent model to reccommend, the Zoeller M53 seems to be popular.
    Anyone else out there have to replace their pump already, my house was built 7/2000!
  2. TigerFan

    TigerFan Member

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    How'd you know it quit, I've never noticed if mine works or not in the 3 years we've been here. If I don't have water in my basement do I assume it works?
  3. terptide

    terptide New Member

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    well- after not being in my basement for a while - I noticed a "stale" smell coming from the basement, I figured it had to be from the sump. I am in a Van Metre home, my sump pump basin is in our utility closet along with the heating unit. The basin is essentially a 8 gallon basin dug into the concrete floor, a few things empties into it including AC condensation. There should be a water level sensor which turns on the pump once the water level rises to a certain point. I have heard mine run before. It is possible that it got stuck on and burned out the pump motor.

    If yours "ain't broke and it don't stink" I would not worry about it.
  4. Dwarflord

    Dwarflord New Member

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    My first one burned out on me because there were coke cans, bottles and all kinds of trash in it that would keep the float up, thus the pump never cut out.
    The builder replaced it with one that would turn on, but did not have the power to pump the water past the "reverse-flow" valve and wanted to re-route the plumbing to put less of a load on the pump. I said no, you get a pump adequate to handle the load. They swapped it out with a different one and it worked.
    Since then, I have had this pump for 3 years w/no problems.
    NV Homes was the builder.
    When you swap it out make sure you get all the trash and stuff out of the basin if you have any. That stuff tends to float....[:I]
    G/L

    DwArFlOrD
  5. terptide

    terptide New Member

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    thats interesting, Thanks. Do you, by chance, know the model#/ type of the sump? I am not sure if I will have alot of luck with trying to get VanMetre to swap it with one with higher horsepower.
    My past history in dealing with VanMetre with issues like this is not as favorable as yours. Oh well.
  6. Dwarflord

    Dwarflord New Member

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    I dont recall the model number. It wasn't easy to get them to do it either. I think most builders today are PiTA's when it comes to "nit-picky" stuff like that. Of course, its not nit-picky to us.....
    G/L

    DwArFlOrD
  7. terptide

    terptide New Member

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    Thanks again for the insightand I agree with you 100%. I ended up doing this myself and I am glad I did! You should have seen some of the items in the basin of the sump pump- it was unreal. Coke cans - nail cartridges to nail guns pieces of siding alum studs, I could not believe it. No wonder the pump kicked!
  8. hberg

    hberg give me some of your tots

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    Where do you check your sump pump for all the debris? Where is the basin found?
  9. GCyr

    GCyr New Member

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    You can always test your sump pump by removing the plastic lid that covers the sump pump well and pull up on the plunger ball (like you have in the toilet bowl--the older ones anyway) until it reaches the level where it is set to start pumping water, or you could fill the well with water until the same thing happens.

    However, the easiest way to check it is to unplug the double-plug used by the sump pump from the AC socket. Remove the top plug (the one plugged into the top of the bottom plug) and plug this top plug directly into the AC socket (without plugging the bottom plug). This by-passes the plunger circuit trip switch (in the bottom plug), so the sump pump will start up right away and drain the well. Make sure you plug this top plug back into bottom plug the way it was and plug the piggie-backed plugs back into your AC socket.

    My sump pump next to never comes on (the same as my previous home) but it works fine because I tested it before last week's storm.
  10. LaRo

    LaRo New Member

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    :)I test our pump every six months when I drain sediment from the hot water tank and test the hot water tank relief valve: The valve for draining the sediment is too close to the floor for a gallon container to fit under so I use a short piece of garden hose w/ the female fitting on end (also an old washing machine connection hose works great)(I keep the hose hanging on the hot water heater near the drain schedule as the hose has a chance of disappearing). Connect the hose to the drain valve and put the end of the hose in a gallon or larger container and open the drain - CAREFUL as the water is hot and metal fittings on the hose can also get hot!! Close the valve when you have about a gallon of water. Then check the hot water tank relief valve - just lift up on the small lever on the valve on top of the tank water should come out the end of the tube near your foot!! Close the valve by pushing the lever down - if in doubt read the instructions for the tank the Van Mter gave you when you bought the house (Ha!!). After the water in the container has cooled to about room temp I take it over and pour it thrugh the hole in the cover for the sump - you should hear the pump start; if not, get another container of water from another tap and dump it in; if the pump doesn't kick in: 1) get the good woman to listen for it as most men are deaf so she tells me 2) if she doesn't hear it, call plumber god. While the pump is running go outside and look for water discharge, or evidence thereof, at the end of the sump drain pipe to make sure some vole or other foreign object hasn't plugged the pipe. I allow the water to cool some before I dump it in the sump - not that I think it would harm a GOOD sump pump but guess who will tell you that's what ruined the pump and to whose expense - VM!!
  11. hberg

    hberg give me some of your tots

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    We never got a manual for our water heater - were we suppose to? Were we also suppose to get one for the heat/ac units too? We have that big warranty book, is it in there or are you talking about a separate manual?



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