Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Plumbing question....

Old 06-29-06, 09:55 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
bunkaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago West Suburbs
Posts: 15,452
Plumbing question....

OK, I'm a new home owner, so I've never had to deal with this stuff before. We've been in our house for a little over a year.

We have what is referred to as an ejector pit, and when it runs you here a hum for a little while, then a loud GA-GUNK. I assume this is the pump kicking out the discharge into the overhead plumbing from the basement.

Lately, I occasionally hear multiple GA-GUNK's instead of the usual one. I heard 5 in a row recently. So it was like hummmmmmmm GA-GUNK GA-GUNK GA-GUNK GA-GUNK GA-GUNK (sorry for the low-tech description).

This doesn't seem normal. I'm about to call a plumber, but I just wanted to get some feedback here in advance.

Ahh the joys of homeownership.
bunkaroo is offline  
Old 06-29-06, 10:52 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Pleasantville - in black & white ;P
Posts: 5,970
by ejector pit do you mean sump pump?
mosquitobite is offline  
Old 06-29-06, 11:08 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
I assume this is actually a "poop chute" for a below grade bathroom. Sounds like the back flow might not be working and poo is going up, coming down, triggering the pump again, etc. etc. until it actually works. Call the plumber.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 06-29-06, 12:00 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: milwaukee, wi, usa
Posts: 685
I concure with kvrdave's assesment of the poo situation inside your ejector tank. Either your pump isn't producing enough force to do the job, or something has clogged the backflow preventer valve.
milwaukee_mike is offline  
Old 06-29-06, 12:02 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Heat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 16,701
Assuming this is near a below grade toilet, what you have is a sump pit with a grinder pump inside of it. It literally grinds up what you flush down the toilet and pumps it up so that it can enter the sewer system.

When a pump pumps, the pipe is full. When it stops pumping, whatever fluid that is inside the pipe that isn't past whatever point it goes back downhill goes back into the sump. This isn't efficient, so there's a valve to keep a large volume of the fluid from going back into the sump. As mentioned above, it sounds like this valve is stuck for some reason.

It'll look something like this:



And don't call a plumber on this one, do it yourself. You'll save $$$ and this is just plumbing, it's not you're being asked to re-wire your house or something.

What you need to find is a small plumbing supply store where you live. Not Lowe's, Home Depot, etc, but a small shop. This type of store will look like it's been there forever (it probably has). Buy your stuff there and ask questions, they'll be more than happy to tell you how to do it, sell you exactly what you need, etc.

Last edited by Heat; 06-29-06 at 02:17 PM.
Heat is offline  
Old 06-29-06, 01:36 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
bunkaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago West Suburbs
Posts: 15,452
When you guys say "below grade" do you mean below ground level?

The only bathrooms we have are on our first floor and second floor. Now, other stuff like the washing machines, tubs, sinks all seem to lead into this system since whenever one of those things is running for a bit, it seems to trigger this pump.

And before anyone asks, no, my fiancee is not stupid enough to flush a tampon.

Heat,

Thanks for the pic. I'll look and see if I have something like that in the basement. Hopefully it's not below the lid of the pit, which looks like it hasn't been disturbed in a little while.
bunkaroo is offline  
Old 06-29-06, 01:39 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Pleasantville - in black & white ;P
Posts: 5,970
Yes they mean below ground level.

Basically water flows down. Anything that needs water to flow up needs a pressure force to expel it upwards.

That's what a sump pump does with ground water.
mosquitobite is offline  
Old 06-29-06, 01:58 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
bunkaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago West Suburbs
Posts: 15,452
Originally Posted by mosquitobite
Yes they mean below ground level.

Basically water flows down. Anything that needs water to flow up needs a pressure force to expel it upwards.

That's what a sump pump does with ground water.

Understood. Our sump pump is separate from this system. It seems all the wasterwater from the house travels to the basement, and then back up and out through this system. Not sure if that makes sense or not.
bunkaroo is offline  
Old 06-29-06, 02:15 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Heat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 16,701
Below grade = below ground surface (like your basement).

Take a look at this picture:

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/images...teminstall.jpg

Itís the check valve that we are talking about.

But before you try to replace the check valve, what exactly is it doing again? If you hear only one relatively minor backwash after it operates, that would be normal. If you keep hearing multiple backwashes, thereís a problem.

First thing I would do if I were you would be to take the lid off of the pit and take a look to see if thereís any debris clogging, or stuck, near the bottom of the pump. If the lid to the sump itself looks heavily corroded, just plan on replacing it Ė a new plastic lid is relatively cheap Ė pick up new bolts while youíre at it.

If you donít see anything obviously clogging the pump (by the way, make sure itís unplugged while feeling around it), plug it back in and start your sinks to put water into the sump, make sure it kicks on when the water rises (youíll see a little float Ė thatíll operate the pump). If it turns on and pumps the water out, then it looks like most of the water returns to the sump, then you know that your check valve is bad, just replace it.

And while you're at it, try to figure out whether or not you really have a sewage pump in this pit and not a sump pump (again, the sewage pump grinds then pumps, the sump pump just pumps).

Again, go to a small plumbing supply store, not the big hardware stores. At these small plumbing supply places the person behind the counter will be able to tell you exactly what you need. Take pictures of the setup and take them in with you.
Heat is offline  
Old 06-29-06, 02:25 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,171
Originally Posted by bunkaroo
Understood. Our sump pump is separate from this system. It seems all the wasterwater from the house travels to the basement, and then back up and out through this system. Not sure if that makes sense or not.

If is like that then thats dumb. The upstairs stuff should just go right in the drain. Not to the basement. How old is this house? How long have you been there?
ANDREMIKE is offline  
Old 06-30-06, 12:28 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
bunkaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago West Suburbs
Posts: 15,452
I could be wrong about my assessment. It's a 22 year old house and I've been here a little over a year.

Heat,

If it's a sump pump, it's kicking with a hell of a lot more force than my other sump pump which is doing ground water. I suppose the humming I'm hearing could be the grinding. We're going to keeping monitoring it and see what happens. It just seems weird I would notice something like this all of a sudden.

Part of the reason I haven't opened it yet to just take a look is because there's a makeshift corkboard wall mounted above it. But I'm going to pull that out shortly.

Thanks for all the help!
bunkaroo is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.