General Question

metadog's avatar

Is my sump pump running too long?

Asked by metadog (325 points ) June 7th, 2013

Hi! I have a Simer 3988–01, ¾ HP Submersible Sump Pump. Approximately 2 years old. It is acting kinda strange. It takes around 5 seconds to clear the tank, but continues to run another 20 seconds before it shuts off, even though it has clearly done it’s job. I took the unit out, it seems clear of debris and the floater seems to be operating correctly. I’m no plumber or sump pump expert… any thoughts? I don’t think it is supposed to keep running like that. Am I wrong? Will it burn out? Here is a short video:

http://youtu.be/jAEBvLf2WkU

Thoughts?

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5 Answers

bossob's avatar

Normal current surge at start-up is what creates the most wear and tear on a motor. The motor is air cooled, and it is not running long enough to overheat.

Has it always performed this way? Or have you just noticed a change? The sumps that I’ve owned have had adjustments for the float. At this point, if it were mine, I would let it be.

metadog's avatar

Yes, normally it would have shut down after the 5 to 6 second ejection. It seems to be running over long.

CWOTUS's avatar

It seems to me that the float is not acting correctly. When the level is down to a level where the pump can’t effectively clear any more water (which was where it got to in short order, as it should), then the unsupported float flips the switch to turn off the motor.

For some reason that’s not happening in a timely manner here. In fact, it’s not clear to me what is turning off the motor, since the float switch hasn’t performed that action when it should have been expected to.

Recheck the float switch. It’s’ turning the pump “on” fine; it needs to turn it off, too.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. I agree with @CWOTUS. That does not look right to me. Mine is adjusted to turn off just before the impeller starts to suck air. That way it is quiet all the time.
I would check the float valve lever. I’ll bet there is a piece of crud in there . Use a toothbrush, tooth pick, or squirt bottle to clean it out. Actuate it a bunch of times by hand to make sure it works freely.
Like the Apollo program, “Failure is not an option.”

Paradox25's avatar

I’m an electrician and I looked up the model you have described. It has a vertical float switch which opens the circuit when the lower water level allows the plunger to drop down again. I would make sure there is no damage to the lever mechanism parts, nor any crud/dirt/obstruction to hinder the plunger’s movement. It is also possible that the electrical components within the switching mechanism itself have excessive residue on them due to arcing, or are just bad. I would go with what CWOTUS and LuckyGuy says above first, since in my own opinion as an electrician they’re likely right.

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