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Old 05-22-2011, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Back in the Mitten. Formerly NC
1,000 posts, read 2,121,912 times
Reputation: 436
Default Plumbing question

I will preface by saying that I have a list of phone calls that I will be making in the morning. I just am hoping for some general answers to possibly help me sleep tonight.


My house is slightly downhill from the road. 2 years ago, I had to have the sewage ejector pump replaced. Well, it has stopped working again- I have raw sewage in my yard

This is NOT normal, correct? I am single, live alone, and work about 65-70 hours a week. I cannot imagine how this thing could be broken again!
Any ideas as to why this may have happened again so soon?

Also, what are the chances of this being under warranty by the manufacturer? I really don't have $1400 (or more) to spend on this. Again.

I have the bill from the company who replaced it last time, and I will be calling them in the morning.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:13 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,199 posts, read 21,873,077 times
Reputation: 14284
being so new... the plumbing (piping) aspect is probably NOT the issue.
It's far more likely to be something electrical related to the pump not running.

That could be something as simple as a tripped circuit breaker or a faulty control or adjustment...
right up through the motor itself having failed.

I've never worked on one of these so I'm reluctant to say more.
Good luck.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:48 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle, originally from SF Bay Area
14,088 posts, read 16,443,863 times
Reputation: 9508
I am familiar with sewage pumps and lift stations. I'd doubt that you are still under warranty but should not have trouble with a unit for at least 4-5 years,
most residential last 8-10. I agree it may be electrical, most likely a jam caused an overload and opened the breaker. You should be able to reset that yourself, if it's not cleared it will blow again though. Chances are your service call will involve taking apart lines and clearing debris, or perhaps replacement of a stuck backflow valve. Sleep well, but I suppose it really could be a burned out pump.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,493 posts, read 26,014,449 times
Reputation: 14018
There are a lot of possibilities as to what went wrong. I've had to deal with similar but larger pumps in theatres, and my experience has not been good. You may be limited by code in what you can do in a replacement repair. We had to put an overflow (high water) alarm on one system because it was having problems every few months.

After the experiences I had, I would not pay for any of the higher-priced pumps. They simply do not last any longer than the cheap ones. The pump that worked the best for us was one where the motor was stuck on a shaft and in the air above the pit, but you will likely be stuck with submersibles.

Hopefully your pump doesn't have to work against a pressurized sewer. That burns out motors.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:04 PM
 
Location: sowf jawja
1,913 posts, read 5,073,182 times
Reputation: 913
if you don't already have an alarm on the system, you need one.

also, if your pump plugs in to an outdoor recep, have them verify the pump is plugged in to the back of the float switch cord cap; if not, your pump could be running 24/7; i've more than once seen someone plug each end into the recep separately.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,820 posts, read 30,895,242 times
Reputation: 11756
Perfectly normal. I think that pretty much everyone has their yard full of sewage It is just how we live.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,493 posts, read 26,014,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Perfectly normal. I think that pretty much everyone has their yard full of sewage It is just how we live.
You owe me a drink. Now I have to clean up this one.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:19 AM
 
21,477 posts, read 35,383,360 times
Reputation: 10511
Sadly I agree that, while not normal for the yard to fill with sewage, more than a few homes are built in such a way that the path to the sewer is uphill. This is not easily changed AND will continue to burn out pump(s).

The manufacturers try to build pumps as cheaply as possible -- thus the warranty rarely lasts longer than a couple of years. Even if you get a rare 5+ year warranty odds are that a pump working against gravity AND towards an uphill sewer won't last...

There are engineers, both from the municipal side and the residential side, that can suggest ways to "cascade" pumps so that you are not shoving all your waste exclusively uphill, but given the financial distress of most towns I suspect that any "solution" would come with a BIG special assessment that probably is worse than just getting the "frequent buyer's card" with the plumber from your side...
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