sump pump issue

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
nannid
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 7:44 am

sump pump issue

Post by nannid » Sat May 06, 2017 6:00 pm

The house I recently moved into has a 12 year old sump pump ( 2005 ). It is made by Zoeller ..no idea what model.
I hear it running and I have not noticed any water rising in the pit.

That being said, the check valve has developed a slow leak. I posted this on a DIY forum as well and received a number of helpful tips on removing and cleaning the valve.
However, having done that and sealing it with some tape sealant - it still has a slow leak.

Now, I can buy a new valve and try it ..but I was thinking if I should just replace the whole thing . I have no idea how long these pumps last but am reading that average is around 10 years or so.
I guess I am worried if it suddenly breaks one day since it is old .

WWYD? I plan to live in this house for around 7-8 years.

Carl53
Posts: 1857
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: sump pump issue

Post by Carl53 » Sat May 06, 2017 6:26 pm

We've got a zoeller stand type sump pump that is about 33 years old. I suspect it has at least one year of run time on it, maybe two. I replaced the rod twice and the check valve once in the 27 plus years we've been here. Replace the check valve.

User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 9372
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: sump pump issue

Post by ResearchMed » Sat May 06, 2017 6:26 pm

nannid wrote:The house I recently moved into has a 12 year old sump pump ( 2005 ). It is made by Zoeller ..no idea what model.
I hear it running and I have not noticed any water rising in the pit.

That being said, the check valve has developed a slow leak. I posted this on a DIY forum as well and received a number of helpful tips on removing and cleaning the valve.
However, having done that and sealing it with some tape sealant - it still has a slow leak.

Now, I can buy a new valve and try it ..but I was thinking if I should just replace the whole thing . I have no idea how long these pumps last but am reading that average is around 10 years or so.
I guess I am worried if it suddenly breaks one day since it is old .

WWYD? I plan to live in this house for around 7-8 years.
We've replaced the old sump pump with a new model with a backup pump if the first fails. Or if it can't handle a fast load (massive hurricane?), then both would pump.

We have an almost fully finished walk-out basement, and we have no coverage for the "contents", just for replacing the walls/carpets/flooring, cabinets, etc.
We are supposedly expected to sling the sofas and heavy elliptical and DR table and bed frame, etc., over our shoulders and... because most won't fit up the turn at the bottom of the stairs, I guess we are to take them out the back door, around the side to the front of the house (slightly uphill), and then up the stairs to the front door, and then... stash it all in the main level LR.

Not gonna happen.

That sump pump proved to be very*expensive, because...
...we also installed a natural gas auto-start generator, in great part because of the sump pump, but also for the controls for gas heat, so pipes don't freeze if there is a huge ice storm that takes out the power for several days or such. Also so we don't freeze.
But we now also use it for a selection of lights, especially at all stairs, and the main fridge and a microwave, etc. And hot water heater...
We've already used the generator a few times, so it's nice to know it works even when not in "test mode" :happy

What does that sump pump "protect"?

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

Topic Author
nannid
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 7:44 am

Re: sump pump issue

Post by nannid » Sat May 06, 2017 7:01 pm

Thanks all.
33 years - wow . I never expected that.

I have nothing of great value in the basement . No furniture or appliances . It is mostly storage for empty boxes ,extra bed spreads, paper towels + TP ( thanks Costco ) etc . It is just mostly finished with carpet and walls and has a bathroom.
Things of value < $200 .

Of course , the furnace and water heater are there in the small unfinished area..not sure what the impact is if that gets flooded.

Getting paranoid, I did buy one of those $11 water sensor thingies and put a 5 gallon bucket under the leak as soon as I noticed it .

Being a new , naive homeowner I just have a hard time deciding what to do in cases like this - ie wait for it to break or be proactive
:?

I think I am going to try the check valve replacement tomorrow though - I did not realize this but they seem inexpensive and within the scope of my very limited DIY skills.

User avatar
rob
Posts: 3053
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

Re: sump pump issue

Post by rob » Sat May 06, 2017 7:10 pm

A Zoller is a great brand... Keep in mind that a sump pump is not running that much in a lot of cases. I would replace the check valve and buy another pump and leave in the box in the basement - I would suggest one that has a battery back-up so it works for a while with no electricity. I would also pick up those cheap water alarms, so you know once it fails.

EDIT: Also grab a shut-off valve and put it above the eject pipe... It help when swapping stuff so a lot of water does not come back down the pipe.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

jharkin
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 am
Location: Boston suburbs

Re: sump pump issue

Post by jharkin » Sun May 07, 2017 7:09 am

Rob gave good advice. Zoeller makes a really good pump. Assuming this is one of their cast iron submersibles it probably has a lot of life left.

Buying a new one and keeping it as a spare is a good idea if the pump tends to run heavily in hard rains and you would risk a flood if it failed in te middle of the night some day and you had to wait 24 hours to replace it. In such cases having a secondary backup pump run on battery is a good idea. Basement Watchdog is a common brand that makes those.

I have a Zoeller 1/3hp submerged primary and a basement watchdog battery backup FYI. replaced an old no name pedestal pump, works much better and quieter.


Also when you replace the check get one of these. I replaced my old home center check with this and its awesome. Along with the submersible pump everything is so quiet you cant hear its running unless you are down in the basement right next to the pit.
https://www.sumppumpsdirect.com/Zoeller ... DQodz5wCwQ


Doing all this work is a pretty easy DIY if you are even moderately handy. The PVC waste pipe and fittings are available in any corner hardware store and you make joints by cutting the pipe with a saw and gluing - no fancy tools or extensive plumbing knowledge is required. You can find youtube videos to learn the technique, its quite simple.

likegarden
Posts: 2913
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: sump pump issue

Post by likegarden » Sun May 07, 2017 7:59 am

30 years ago we had a 16 hrs power failure and kept emptying the main sump every 20 minutes via buckets all night. Since then we have a battery operated backup sump pump with a standby backup battery which is supposedly good for 16 hrs. Since then we have also gutters on all sides of roofs and let that water drain in underground pipes to a dry creek 50 ft away which is at basement floor elevation. The sump pumps now rarely run. We just had 3 inches of rain, and sump pumps did not run.

User avatar
SpringMan
Posts: 5411
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:32 am
Location: Michigan

Re: sump pump issue

Post by SpringMan » Sun May 07, 2017 8:14 am

Just wanted to recommend to those with city water that a water driven backup pump may be a better solution than a battery backup. No battery to go dead.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

fishboat
Posts: 498
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:15 pm

Re: sump pump issue

Post by fishboat » Sun May 07, 2017 8:27 am

My submersible runs every 20-40 minutes 24/7 year round. The first pump made it 15 years..I'm 7-8 years into the replacement...seems to be running fine.

Replace your check valve..it's cheap and easy to swap out. Then buy a replacement pump and pipe it up to match your current one (all piping below the check valve rubber cuff). If/when the old pump fails you can swap a the new one in about 5-10 minutes.

Topic Author
nannid
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 7:44 am

Re: sump pump issue

Post by nannid » Sun May 07, 2017 6:47 pm

Thanks to all ! I feel much better now seeing as to how many years the pumps can last .

New check valve is on order since I am unable to find that clear, quiet type of valve locally and will look into buying a spare pump to keep in case it fails.

Levett
Posts: 4177
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: upper Midwest

Re: sump pump issue

Post by Levett » Sun May 07, 2017 7:00 pm

SpringMan wrote:

"a water driven backup pump may be a better solution than a battery backup."

Couldn't agree more.

Lev

User avatar
just frank
Posts: 1455
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:13 pm
Location: Philly Metro

Re: sump pump issue

Post by just frank » Sun May 07, 2017 7:56 pm

Check valves are cheap and take 5 minutes to install. Its unclear what you mean by 'leak''...as in water leaks backwards into the pit (preventing the sump from working) or that is leaks outside the pit because of a poor connection. From your 'tape' comment I gather it is the connection. A new check valve might fix that, or might not...maybe the rubber on the fitting is cracking, or maybe there is a scratch in the pipe underneath.

I'd replace the check valve....if the rubber is breaking down it could fail when needed (with the pump spraying water into the basement). No rush, but better to take it apart and replace it with the sun shining than when there is a hurricane.

My battery backup sump is expensive, but no regrets....its nice to notice the power go out during a thunderstorm in the middle of the night....and just go back to sleep.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 4368
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: sump pump issue

Post by lthenderson » Mon May 08, 2017 9:42 am

Sump pumps are cheap. In the past in a similar situation, I bought and installed a new sump pump and kept the old sump pump, which I repaired, as a backup. That way I didn't spend my vacations and times away from home worrying if the old one was going to fail at an inopportune time and I always had a backup.

akd00d
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:56 pm

Re: sump pump issue

Post by akd00d » Tue May 09, 2017 12:01 pm

Not a bad idea to have a spare float switch on hand. I have had 2 float switches fail in 8 years, but the same cast iron sump pump is still working fine. I became aware that the switch had failed when the backup sump pump was triggered and its alarm sounded. :happy

Post Reply