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  1. #1

    Hyperactive Condensate Pump - Pls Help


    Hi. I can hear my condensate pump coming on and off all the time. When I first noticed, I took a look at the deep sink where it empties, and it was (and is) about 1/4 full. The deep sink does drain slowly, but this pump seems to be out of control. Now it's been going on for 3 days. On for about 4 seconds, off for a little bit more than that, and on again.

    There is no water on the basement floor, the deep sink didn't overflow, and the furnace seems to be operating normally when it's on.

    Any ideas what's going on here? Is it time to call a plumber?
    Many thanks for any input.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Afton, VA / Khorat, Thailand
    Posts
    2,469
    I assume you have a condensating furnace, if not, then something's definitely up. On for 4 sec. and off again, if it was full it would pump out for more than 4 sec. Can't be filling up that fast. Is it pumping out water, or just pumping air? Sounds like a bad pump.
    Last edited by tunnel_rat; 03-10-2008 at 07:26 PM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    276

    Check Valve

    Check valve not working on the cond. pump, it pumps out and then it goes back in the pump and starts the process over again.

  4. #4
    That was fast, thank you both. It was definitely pumping water when this started. I could see the hose moving around violently in the sink, so even though the tip was underwater, it was obviously water coming out.

    Today, I'm not sure. I'll have to check again, but since the sink is not empty, there's got to be *some*water coming out.

    I really don't know the first thing about this stuff except that yes, it can't be filling up that fast. Or shouldn't be.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,567
    try pulling the hose out of the water in the sink, or cut it off higher up. when the pump shuts off it probably is siphoning water back out of the sink into the pump (due to a failed check valve).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,037
    I agree with what Craig said. If you cut the hose in the sink short you might want to consider tying it off to something...... especially if it does what you said and moves around when the pump runs. Otherwise you might go down and find it pumping water all over the place.

    If that doesn't stop the problem the other thing that might be dumping a lot of water into the pump could be a humidifier if you have one that has a drain that goes to the pump.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  7. #7
    I didn't see Craig's post- b/c I was in the basement doing exactly that! (Great minds think alike?). Hartell pump was warm to the touch. I had read something about water potentially being sucked back, and I figured that this must be where the water was coming from.

    Lifted the hose to the soap tray (water still shooting out), but then it stopped, and did not start again. The deep sink was not really draining, and then it occurred to me that my wife said our old washing machine did not drain last week. She had to run it a second time. I took a plunger to the deep sink, and it drained.

    Did I just fix it?

    More importantly, if my pump has been running for a week straight, do you think I should have it replaced or are these things built for occasional punishment. Sorry if I'm asking stupid questions - I'm a complete beginner here. All I do is change the furnace filters.

    To answer firecontrol's question: I do have a humidifier emptying into the deep sink too. And (see above), the clothes washer.
    Last edited by hvacuous2008; 03-10-2008 at 08:29 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dallas & Longview, TX
    Posts
    629
    The only thing else I'd do is to run a snake either through the cleanout that services the sink or remove the p trap and snake that. The sink probably has a 1 1/2" drain and most washing machines call for a 2" drain. What you have will work since an old washer doesn't put out the flow volume of the newer ones but just plunging it won't get rid of the junk that accumulates in a washing machine drain. It's probably got a clog of lint mixed with soap scum.

    Pumps in general are not going to last forever but the guys on this forum can probably tell you if when the pump fails then will there be an auto shut off of the furnace.

  9. #9
    Ok, thanks. i guess I should avoid putting drano or other stuff down the drain to clean it? I'd hate for that to get siphoned back up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    N.E. Ok.
    Posts
    1,376
    I would check to see if the pump has a safety switch. Wired so it cuts your condensing furnace off if the pump fails.

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