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[Shop-talk] Ejection pump system problem

Subject: [Shop-talk] Ejection pump system problem
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 23:55:05 -0400 (EDT)
Hi...I'm visiting a friend who is housesitting a friend of hers. That
place has what appears to be a whole house sewage sump pump/ejection
system, i.e. a large sealed (sort of) cylindrical tank buried in the
basement floor with 2 large pipes coming in and two smaller pipes going
out. These outbound pipes have what appear to be check valves on them and
then a few feet up are large gate valves. This is 2" or so PVC.

This morning a red alarm light & sound were activated on the box near it,
but she saw no water. Tonight when we went there the basement was flooding
and it was clear the tank was the source. We called the owner and he said
to check the (two) breakers as they'd been tripping more & more
frequently. They were tripped, we reset them and both pumps started
pumping. After 15-30 seconds one or both would trip again. Repeat until
tank is empty and pumps shut off.

I noticed the two gate valves were not open all the way. The owner said
he'd never touched them. My thinking is stuff gradually blocked the gates
and the ensuing resistance caused the pumps to draw excess current. Being
in Colorado we can't just run the water to test so it'll be a few days
before they get home and use enough to test, but is my hypothesis viable?
I find it hard to believe that both pumps would go bad at once.


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