Tag Archives: sump pump


For many years we’ve had a serious drainage problem in our back yard …. every time it rained, we would get a big puddle in the back yard that would stick around for at least a week.  The picture to the left is the back yard 3 or 4 days after a heavy rain.

At one point, Ginny was thinking about having a rain garden put in the back corner, but I wasn’t a big fan of that idea.  We ended up dropping the idea because it would have taken a fair amount of maintenance.

In addition, our sump pump outlet was really close to the house and was not at all protected from freezing.  More than once the sump pump pipe would freeze in the winter, after we had a thaw, and the pump would get close to burning out because it couldn’t pump water.  Luckily I’ve always been home when this has happened … so I was able to remove the frozen section of PVC pipe and have it just dump out on to the lawn.

(If you haven’t noticed, we’ve had our fair share of water related house problems)

For years I kept saying I was going to get these two problems resolved.  Well, I finally got off my butt and had it taken care of.

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Frozen Sump Pump

As I mentioned a few days ago in twitter, the outflow pipe of our sump pump froze.

I had gone down stairs to get something from the utility room and found that the sump pump was running … and didn’t stop.   The pump sounded OK, but no water was draining from the pit.   I turned the power to the pump off and triggered the backup pump … which ran but didn’t remove any water.     This meant that the pumps themselves weren’t the problem.   I went outside and discovered that the outflow pipe was frozen solid.   Clearly not a good situation.

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Testing the sump pump

Considering the weather today, it seems to be a fine time to test the Aquanot backup sump pump.

It’s taking quite a while for the water level to go high enough in the pit. I’m a bit worried that the float on the pump is too high.

Problem here is that once the water goes over the input from the drain tiles, the flow slows down.

Of course, I suspect the fact that the ejector pit is taking on ground water isn’t helping this test. Yet another item to be added to the repair list. This one, however, is pretty pricy … As the utility room floor will have to be broken up in order to put a new pit liner in.

<time passes>

Well, the sump pump never did turn on. Rather frustrating. I did a bit more research and figured out that the float was not set right. It needs to have some play so it will turn the pump on and settle a bit before turning the pump off. Unfortunately, the primary pump interferes with the floats range of motion.

I’ll gave to call Permaseal about getting it reconfigured so it works properly.   Having a emergency backup sump pump doesn’t help if it doesn’t turn on in an emergency.