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sump pump

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SlamDunk
SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,592
I recently had to replace a sump pump and was wondering what folks on The Wall recommend regarding GFCI protection.    From what I have read, code requires gfci’s in basements.   And it makes sense to do so- if you need to wade into a basement flooded due to a malfuntioning pump, you could be electrocuted, but do you risk the nuisance trips?   I think this new pump pulls 9 amps.   Are some gfci’s better than others for this application?

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  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
    edited April 2023
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    A properly working pump should never trip a GFCI.

    However, an improperly working pump could still keep the basement dry yet have some leakage to ground.

    That's a tough one my friend.
    I'd probably keep mine off of a GFCI.

    If you absolutely must follow code, two pumps, two GFCI protected circuits.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    SlamDunk
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,747
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    It depends on the gfci. I think new models have sorted it out but there definitely are some older gfci designs that can be tripped when a load with enough reactance is switched in or out.
    SlamDunk
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,747
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    I would add an alarm powered off of a low energy circuit, possibly both a secondary higher float and a water sensor.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,592
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    I have a battery powered back up pump. I will order a 20A inline GFCI from Supply House. Thanks for responding!

    I waded in wearing my Totes, then promptly reached my bare hand into sump well to jiggle the float and thought, that was a very dumb thing to do.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,891
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    If your local code requires I find the breakers are better with less issues. 

    X-2 with an alarm system 
    mattmia2SlamDunk
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,159
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    Having a sump pump placed in a 5 gallon bucket with small drilled holes in it prevents a great deal of trouble for the home owner and keeps the float much cleaner.

    You start by drilling 1/4 inch holes at the base of the bucket wall every inch around the circumference and drill them 1 inch apart all the way up to the top and make sure have the sump pump sitting on standard bricks or concrete bricks to prevent any silt from clogging it.

    If you have a sump pump in a black poly basin already you should have the sump pump sitting on a cinder block.


  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    leonz said:

    Having a sump pump placed in a 5 gallon bucket with small drilled holes in it prevents a great deal of trouble for the home owner and keeps the float much cleaner.

    You start by drilling 1/4 inch holes at the base of the bucket wall every inch around the circumference and drill them 1 inch apart all the way up to the top and make sure have the sump pump sitting on standard bricks or concrete bricks to prevent any silt from clogging it.

    If you have a sump pump in a black poly basin already you should have the sump pump sitting on a cinder block.



    There should be crushed stone at the bottom of the pit and several bricks for the pump to sit on.

    Any proper sump should be surrounded by crushed stone to keep debris and dirt out making the 5 gallon bucket thing moot.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,592
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    I dont have crushed stone in mine; the pump sits on a couple bricks. The well is surrounded by crushed stone like you said.

    The original pump is a Zoeller 57, which will be repaired; I guess the number of cycles caught up with the switch. The new pump is also a Zoeller- can't be repaired. They have cast iron bases with flutes. I guess if solids can get thru the flute, it can be pumped out safely.

    It worked well for close to 15 years with out GFCI or crushed stone and believe me, every single thing I ever dropped on the floor in the past 15 years is still on the bottom of the pit. If I find the GFCI tripped, I will remove it. A GFCI sounds like the right thing to use with a water pump but also sounds like something that would cause problems at the same time.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    SlamDunk said:

    I dont have crushed stone in mine; the pump sits on a couple bricks. The well is surrounded by crushed stone like you said.

    The original pump is a Zoeller 57, which will be repaired; I guess the number of cycles caught up with the switch. The new pump is also a Zoeller- can't be repaired. They have cast iron bases with flutes. I guess if solids can get thru the flute, it can be pumped out safely.

    It worked well for close to 15 years with out GFCI or crushed stone and believe me, every single thing I ever dropped on the floor in the past 15 years is still on the bottom of the pit. If I find the GFCI tripped, I will remove it. A GFCI sounds like the right thing to use with a water pump but also sounds like something that would cause problems at the same time.



    I'm confused......
    There's crushed stone surrounding the pit, but absolutely none at the bottom? Just mud?
    Seems a bit odd...
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    mattmia2
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,592
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    It is essentially a perforated plastic bucket with a bottom. A french drain was installed around perimeter to this bucket. I guess it holds at least 35 gallons. I can barely reach the bottom.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,592
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    There is always time to read the manual after I screwed up.... is something I have said more than once....

    The manual that came with the pump clearly calls for a GFCI outlet.
  • Illinoisfarmer
    Illinoisfarmer Member Posts: 52
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    Years ago, when I was a volunteer fireman, our local Methodist Parsonage had some sort of sump pump failure. The Pastor came to the fire station asking for help. He had about a foot of water in the basement, and no way to cut power. Being young and dumb(er), I put on a pair of rubber waders, sloshed across the basement and stuck a broom handle down the sump pit to jiggle the float. The pump took off. As I started up the stairs, the Pastor - who was a kindly older man - put his hand on my shoulder and said "I was praying for your safety, son. The last thing we need is an electrocuted Catholic boy in this basement"

    To the post, I prefer a GFCI in the breaker box for sump pumps and sewage ejectors. I know this isn't always possible, but a separate circuit with GFCI at the panel has saved me from a few problems. Also, at the pump, I like a single (not duplex) receptacle. Keeps the dehumidifier, deep freeze, radio, or whatever from getting plugged in there.

    SlamDunkCLamb
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    SlamDunk said:
    It is essentially a perforated plastic bucket with a bottom. A french drain was installed around perimeter to this bucket. I guess it holds at least 35 gallons. I can barely reach the bottom.
    Ah

    I think that's similar to the one I installed.  At least as far as the way it's constructed.

    I don't think I did much gravel under it either due to the bottom being enclosed.  I also have the pump sitting right on the bottom of the pit.

    I was picturing the classic sump where the bottom is wide open.

    I do not have either of mine on GFCIs and have no plan to change that at this time.  If you feel you would prefer yours to be protected by a GFCI I cannot say which is more robust between receptical and circuit breaker.  

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    SlamDunk
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,592
    edited April 2023
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    I'm going with an inline GFCI, like on electric pressure washers. The sump pump isn't on a dedicated circuit. I also have a co/methane detector and the battery charger for the back up pump's battery on same 20 amp circuit. Both devices are low current draws and pump draws only 6.8amps on start. If the GFCI trips, it only effects the sump pump. I have yet to trip my pressure washer's GFCI, and it is a water pump that cycles on and off, so I am comfortable with the idea. Having a battery back up pump makes this more palatable. It can cycle and pump for three days on battery.
  • heathead
    heathead Member Posts: 234
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    They make a GFCI outlet that when it trips it emits a buzzing sound. That way when the kids ask to stop the noise In the basement you know the sump pump GFCI has tripped.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,006
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    All the advice above sounds great. But do this~~~~~~~~Put the pump on a dedicated circuit single outlet plug with GFCI breaker at the panel. Few, if no regrets from there. Hope you don't or seldom have to use it. Stay dry my friend.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,592
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    heathead said:

    They make a GFCI outlet that when it trips it emits a buzzing sound. That way when the kids ask to stop the noise In the basement you know the sump pump GFCI has tripped.

    I have a water watchdog down there. I'll know if it tripped. It will likely wake me up at 3am🙄

    Looking at the instructions to replace the float switch on the old pump, I have to pressurized the switch housing 3psi and do a bubble check. Makes sense to use gfci protection. Gaskets fail with age.