DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Plumbing Forum > Problems with Sump Pump Ejector - But Can't Find Any Clogs!




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Old 02-04-2013, 09:35 AM  
AngelaSteele5
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Default Problems with Sump Pump Ejector - But Can't Find Any Clogs!

Help - this is a follow up post from my original post back in October. For several months now, whenever we wash clothes, our toilet has been loudly gurgling and some water drains out of the bowl with each gurgle - almost to the point that it's completely empty. Sometimes, but not every time, water will also simultaneously back up into our tub. We have a "sump pump ejector" hooked up to our washing machine in the basement, for the sole purpose of taking the water that drains from the washing machine and getting it out of the house. It is not there because our basement gets water during heavy rains or anything of the sort. Anyway, we have snaked everything possible, including the vent pipe that is vented to the roof. We have gone out in the front yard and removed the cap on the water line and watched the water flow during a full cycle of the washing machine, and everything seemed to be exiting properly. We have even tried flushing Roebic root killer down the toilet several times in the past 2-3 months. Nothing is helping. Everyone we've talked to and everything I can find on this subject indicates a clogges vent pipe -- but we have snaked it three times, each time with no resistance or indication of any clogs -- and still this issue persists. Thoughts, opinions??? All are welcome!!! We have called a few different plumbers to see if someone will come out and take a look, and each time we describe the situation over the phone, they act like they have no idea what we're talking about and they decline to even come over and look. Also -- anyone ever heard of a "check valve" needing to be installed on one of these things? Someone had suggested it but they didn't go into much detail and we're not real sure about it. Thanks for taking the time to read this.



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Old 02-04-2013, 09:53 AM  
Wuzzat?
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Making an analogy between a plumbing system and an electrical system (pressure in PSI is volts and flow in GPM is amps), find a few "normally draining things" in your house, fill them with a known quantity of water and time them till they empties.
For this test, I remove the stopper
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=%22sink+stopper%22&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=8f0PUb6tNKPf0gHG74GADw&biw=1020&bih=764&sei=9P0PUfzVA6TK0AH66oHYCA#imgrc=OXOCLrDIsXq77M%3A%3BzruFkaLZNODcEM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.naturalhandyman.com%252Fiip%252Finfplumb%252Fi%252Finfpop1.gif%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.naturalhandyman.com%252Fiip%252Finfplumb%252Finfpopup.html%3B436%3B498(if present) at time = 0 because I don't know how much these sink stoppers reduce the draining GPM (which is about 4 GPM).

I used to use the presence of a small whirlpool to decide if a sink is draining properly, but now I use the time to drain and the whirlpool.

You are looking for high resistance (low GPM) in your electrical/plumbing circuit.

Now. . .to complicate things:
Let's say you have a 2" ID drain and there is a clog 20' distant. It'll take about 3 gals into the pipe before you notice any trouble, then you'll see a reduced or zero flow rate.
There is no analogy for this in electrical circuits because the wires are always full of electrons. Voltage just causes them to move and the movement is the current.

For checking (vent) pipes from the roof or toilet drainage you'll need a GPM meter - it's about $30 IIRC.
You can get about 6 GPM max from a garden hose on city water and there needs to be an air space between the pipe inlet and hose/meter output.
Once the pipe is full you want to measure the GPM that the pipe can drain without overflowing, and you'll need known good vents/pipes for comparison.



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Old 02-04-2013, 11:31 AM  
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Wuzzat...Sometimes you may need to remember all folks are not you. I don't even get your idea, I understand it, just don't get it.. It's to convaluted in my opinion. Keep it simple. And of course everyone, this is just my opinion. The OP may feel differently.

If this is in the basement? or a slab?...who even says there is a vent to that part of the system, or if this is even your problem.

Call a plumber with a camera, and figure out what is happening, soon. A few months ago you could have had a serious septic issue, and it just costs more money to fix, the longer you have the problem. You may not even have a septic system, but your street could back up with no backflow preventer and fill your home with sewage. This is not a self diognostic problem in my opinion,Not everything can be fixed over the internet.

My experience tells me there is a problem with the way this is put together,with a sump pump ejector. you won't find that without a camera.

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Old 02-04-2013, 11:37 AM  
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Hopefully someone will benefit from my post. If lurkers have questions they can always join.

Yes, a camera should work. Then the tradeoff is paying someone by the hour for an undetermined $ amount plus a fee for just showing up, or DIYing.

I'd gamble $30 or less on a flowmeter.

Or the OP may be able to rent a drain camera; just don't get it stuck in the line.
http://www.atlas-inspection.com/rentals/pipe-inspection-rentals/?source=Google&gclid=CMvJhuSmnbUCFQyZ4AodSWUA-g

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Old 02-04-2013, 11:44 AM  
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Thank you both - I appreciate your feedback. Yes of course not everything can be fixed over the internet, but since we haven't yet been able to find a local plumber who knows what we're talking about or who will even come and look, I thought I'd see if I could find someone, somewhere, who might have had the same situation and what they ended up finding out. Surely we're not the only people in the universe that have ever had this problem.

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Old 02-04-2013, 11:50 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelaSteele5 View Post
Thank you both - I appreciate your feedback. Yes of course not everything can be fixed over the internet, but since we haven't yet been able to find a local plumber who knows what we're talking about or who will even come and look, I thought I'd see if I could find someone, somewhere, who might have had the same situation and what they ended up finding out. Surely we're not the only people in the universe that have ever had this problem.
Along with Mr. D's idea, post what you believe to be the layout of your system, with pipe diameters and distances, elbows, valves, pumps, the whole bit. There might be a design defect or code violation that causes this intermittent or enduring problem.

There is one other person on a distant planet with this problem, IIRC.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:09 PM  
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Ok, I will do. Would pictures help? It will be tomorrow before I can do the post w/ measurements and get the pics on here, but I will. Thanks again.

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Old 02-08-2013, 07:48 AM  
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The pump chamber should have a seperate vent , not connected to the main vent for the rest of the house.

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Old 02-08-2013, 07:43 PM  
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Just for clarification, how long has this system been in place and how long have you had this problem? In other words, has this always been a problem for this system or has this situation developed after the system was used successfully for a period of time? Have there been any recent modifications to the system? Hopefully the pictures will help.



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