How to fix an ailing sump pump?
March 26, 2007 7:35 AM   Subscribe

SumpPumpFilter: Is my sump pump incorrectly installed? The pump runs periodically when it's wet in the basement, and the water seems to run back in the sump pump bucket immediately after the pump runs.

I have a dehumidifier in my basement which drains into my sump pump. When it's wet, the sump pump bucket fills up, the pump turns on, and evacuates water into a tube which flows into an outdoor drainage system.

The tube goes up about eight feet, and the problem seems to be that the water doesn't ever get out of the tube into the outdoor system. So, the water just falls back into the pump and after a minute the process repeats.

I've tried to reposition the pump on the theory that it's a little too high or low in the bucket, but this didn't help. Other thoughts are that the diameter of the outlet pipe is too large or that the outdoor system is clogged. Any ideas, hive mind?
posted by Xazeru to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Run a length of rigid PVC between the basement wall and the pumps current location, splicing in a check valve with a compatible diameter. Be sure to verify the valve is oriented in the correct direction before glue up!
posted by prostyle at 7:52 AM on March 26, 2007

For reference I was assuming you simply had a length of flex tube between your pump and the outlet, which may or may not be the case. Either way, rigid is recommended and necessary when used in conjunction with a check valve. You can see an illustration of the setup here, in step three!
posted by prostyle at 8:07 AM on March 26, 2007

A check valve is a good idea in any case but if water isn't making it to the outdoors you have a different problem. Is the pipe clear all the way through? What happens to the pipe after the 8 foot rise? A sump pump in good condition should have no problem with 8 feet. Kinks or additional rise could cause this behavior, but it would be difficult to exceed 12 feet or so with a normal basement, at least to ground level.
posted by tommasz at 3:14 PM on March 26, 2007

Response by poster: The check valve did the trick. Thanks for the helpful answers!
posted by Xazeru at 10:05 AM on April 1, 2007

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