Hi all! I did some searching, but I didn't see exactly what I have a question about, so here goes. Sorry if this becomes a bit long.. Feel free to skip my interesting story and go to my questions below.
We bought our home almost 7 years ago and the previous owner told me about the pump under the house that pumps out to sewer pipe under the road. He said the old pump lasted 7 years as they typically do, but said the old one was in a plastic bag under the house still that could be rebuilt..
In the past year I have learned WAY more about that system than I ever would want to, but I now have a good grasp on it. Starting with the alarm going off one day as the pump was not running, so I unbolted the cover and started my experience with this. I pulled the pump out and found plastic that was jammed in the (impeller?, rotor?) and once I freed that it worked fine again. Then I started noticing the pump running and echoing through the sink drains, so back down I went and rearranged the float switch so it had full movement and cleaned the grease residue off while I was at it. Everything was fine for a couple months until the alarm went off again and while it was free of any obstructions, I noticed that by hitting the pump case with my crowbar it would start back up. <- this made no sense to me.
After several times having to go back under there and fighting with that problem, I decided to get the old pump and check it out. I saw a clump of hair jamming it and with my torch and some PB Blaster I was able to free it up. I tested in in a pan of water and it worked great. Replaced the other one with this old one that supposedly didn't work and it's been working fine since. Until.....
Apparently the pump float switch has finally gone bad because while I had just cleaned and arranged everything again, once the float comes up and kicks on the pump, it fails to shut it off when after evacuation. I was going down there and pulling the pipe/pump up which caused the switch to kick off. Now it won't kick off at all.
Is the float switch the best option for my application? I'm heading to a hardware store after work to look at what's available, but I'd like some opinions on what I should look for or stay away from.
Also, how long should I expect from one of these pumps? I wish I had the model and all with me, but generally, how long should they last with a family of 3? The day before yesterday I came home and the pump had been running dry ALL DAY and when I got it shut off and pulled the cover up it was steaming like crazy. I know that's not good, but I'm glad it didn't burn up! Should I expect a premature retirement for it because of that?
I'd like to get to a point that I can seal and bolt the cover back on and forget it for a long time! Luckily I can almost stand upright under the house and getting in and out isn't that difficult. Plus there's a light switch that lights it all up under there, but still! I'm tired of going down there!
Thanks for any info/advice!!