Month: October 2016

How To Avoid a Frozen Sump Pump in Winter https://t.co/7VFuVg7bAD

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October 26, 2016 at 10:48PM
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How To Avoid a Frozen Sump Pump in Winter

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Folks living in the colder climes often find that carrying out the sump pump testing procedure produces some movement in the sump water but no discharge from the pipe. While it is possible that there may be debris inside the pump that is causing the blockage or the sump pump itself has frozen, most such cases occur because the water in the discharge pipe has frozen and thus blocked the exit. While minor blockages can be mildly annoying, complete blockages are dangerous. Firstly, such blockages force the pump to run continuously without removing any water and can thus cause pump burnout. Further, as water collects in the sump, the pump may overflow and flood the basement. To ensure your basement and pump don’t fall prey to frozen pipes and the pump itself doesn’t freeze, we’ve provided a short guide for learning how to avoid a frozen sump pump.

Make Use of the Gradient

Freezing occurs mostly in the section of the pipe that sits outside the house and is thus exposed to the elements. While such exposure is inevitable, its effects on the water inside the discharge pipe are magnified if the water is not allowed to exit the pipe easily. This happens when the pipe’s angle does not match that of the slope of the ground.

If you are learning how to use a sump pump, you can simply attach the pipe in a manner that obeys the gradient of the ground around your house. If you have already installed the pipe, you may need to disconnect the pipe and then choose one that is capable of following the slope correctly.

Use a wide/large pipe

When you disconnect the old pipe, you may consider using a large/wide pipe ie one with greater internal diameter, as the replacement. Ideally, this enhanced diameter should be much higher than that needed to remove even the highest amount of water during the monsoon. If you’re wondering how a large pipe is linked to learning how to avoid a frozen pipe, let us add that a large pipe is never likely to be full of water. As such, even if the water is not drained out at any point of time and freezes due to the cold weather, it would not create a complete blockage. Further, because water tends to flow out of any possible opening, the very fact that the pipe never completely fills up with water at any point acts as a means of ensuring that any water that is left over flows out of the pipe over time instead of freezing inside the pipe itself.

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Keep Workload Low

While it may not be possible to reduce the sump pump’s workload in emergency situations, it is possible to take precautions beforehand that ensure that in cases of freezing inside the discharge pipe, the pump does not have to work itself to exhaustion. This is all the more important because when the pipe is partially blocked, pumping out the same amount of water requires greater effort and this can put undue pressure on the pipe even when the water in the sump appears to be well within operating limits.

Some of the means of reducing pump workload are:

Carry out regular sump pump maintenance to ensure collection of debris does not reduce the efficiency of the motor.

Consider using a backup sump pump in addition to the primary one.

Keep the maximum head (height to which water is raised) low so that the pump can remove water faster and with less effort.

Heat the Sump Water

In case of freezing in the pipe or in the sump itself, it is advisable to use a heating rod to heat the sump water to a lukewarm temperature.

To do so:

Disconnect the sump pump power supply.

Remove the sump cover and note whether the sump water’s surface has completely frozen over. In case it has, use an ice pick to break the ice.

Ensure that the sump pump has proper electrical insulation and grounding. If either is absent, follow the alternative steps outlined after this set of steps.

Lower the heating coil/rod into the water. Ensure that it doesn’t rest against either the sump boundary or any sump pump component. Ideally you should hold the coil in place.

Connect the coil’s power supply and start it. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water in the sump.

When the water temperature has risen by about 20-30 degrees Celsius, stop the coil and remove it

Reconnect the sump pump power supply and wait for a while. The hot water would melt the ice in the sump and the pipe and this in turn would make water flow normal, at least for the time being. If your pump is not properly insulated, DO NOT lower the coil into the water.

Instead: Heat water in a bucket using the coil.

While the water heats, break any ice that may be lying on the top of the water in the sump.

Once heating is complete, unplug and remove the coil.

Pour the hot water from the bucket gently into the pump until about 1/4th of the sump remains above the water level.

Start the sump pump and wait for the hot water to melt the ice.

Once the sump pump has removed some of the water, pour out some more hot water. You may reheat the water still in the bucket if it has become cold.

Important notes:

Avoid pouring water too fast. If too much hot water interacts with cold water, excess steam may be produced. While not harmful, such steam may reduce visibility and force you to stop the process.

There is no need to empty the bucket into the sump. Once you feel the pump is able to remove water at a normal pace, it is time to stop the process.

Sump pumps are not designed for working with extremely hot water. Heating water too much might ruin the internal components of the sump pump.

Do not touch the water with your hand while the coil is in the sump. In fact, you should wear rubber gloves while lowering the thermometer or use a non-conducting stick to check the temperature. If you don’t adhere to these requirements, you may get a nasty electrical shock!

Freezing of Internal Sump Pump Components

Freezing of the sump pump itself is extremely rare since the oil inside the motor chamber is insulated from changes in outside temperature and freezing in the discharge or impeller can be removed using the above method. If you do suspect freezing of the core components of the pump or wish to learn how to avoid a frozen sump pump, you can:

Remove the pump from the sump after disconnecting the power supply.

Check for frozen water inside the impeller or discharge. Use an ice pick or similar instrument to remove such ice or frozen debris. If nothing is frozen, you can check for blockages that might freeze over during the winter.

Move the float gently to ensure that there is no jamming due to freezing. If it does not move easily, remove ice or debris from the shaft and/or the float itself till movement becomes normal.

Note whether the insulation of the motor compartment has been damaged anywhere. Such damage may have led or in the future may lead to the motor lubricant oil or coating oil freezing over.

Leave the sump pump in a warm area for some time. You can also leave it near a heat source that does not involve flames. Even if there is no actual freezing, this step would help melt any blockages within the pump that might freeze later .Replace the pump in the sump and check whether the pump is working normally.

Note: Never try to heat the pump or any of its components directly as this may lead to the motor exploding or the lubricating oil catching fire.

Conclusion:

Freezing is not included among the most common sump pump issues and solutions because it affects only those in particular climatic situations and that too, not very often. However, if you do find your sump pump or any of its components frozen, it is advisable carry out the above procedures and so ensure that as and when the rains come, your pump is ready to handle them. On the other hand, if you believe the pump can freeze sometime in the future and would like to learn how to avoid a frozen sump pump, you should assess the possible threats to your pump and discharge pipe during the autumn or early winter so as to give yourself adequate time to carry out the necessary procedures.

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Zoeller 57-0001 M57 Basement High Capacity Sump Pump Reviews

When the company is Zoeller, buying a sump pump can be extremely hard, primarily because of the unbeatable quality and value for money that Zoeller ensures is characteristic of each and every one of its products. The Zoeller M57 Basement High Capacity Sump Pump is no exception to this, offering an excellent mix of features and quality build at an unbeatable price. However, it is also true that each of Zoeller’s products is unique in its own way, and a mere glance through the specifications does not fully bring out the specialties. Therefore, it will be necessary to study the unique features of this product with the help of a detailed review.

Specifications:-

Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8 x 10.3 inches

Product Weight: 27.1 pounds

Type: Submersible Sump

Pump Discharge: 1 ½ inches

NPT Motor: 0.3 HP, 115 volts

Power: 2580 GPH at 5′, 2040 GPH at 10′, 1140 GPH at 15′ head

Maximum Speed: 3450 RPM

Warranty: 1 year

Get more information about the Zoeller 57-0001 M57 Sump Pump here

Design and Build Quality:-

Like the Zoeller Mighty Mate M53 Submersible, this product belongs to the highly popular Mighty Mate Series 50, and hence, is made of high quality cast iron that is both corrosion resistant as well as capable of resisting high pressures. Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate Submersible Sump Pump ReviewsIn case you are wondering whether “cast iron construction” refers merely to the external housing, let us add that Zoeller has made virtually all the parts (with some minor exceptions, as we shall see below) with the same cast iron that the housing boasts of. This imparts greater cohesion to the body of the sump pump, and in the process, ensures that there is never any chance of water seeping inside through linkages between parts made of different materials. It also ensures that sheet iron, which is notorious for being leaky and prone to corrosion, is virtually absent from this high-quality machine. Complementing the quality construction materials is the great design. Zoeller has stuck to the somewhat unattractive but highly efficient submersible sump pump structure with the cylindrical motor assembly, the float and switch assembly, the impeller and the discharge being the most distinctive features. Those parts (notably the motor housing and the discharge) which are exposed to the water for the greater part of their lifetime, have been provided with an epoxy coating, which buttresses the cast iron’s natural corrosion resistance to a point where the product does not rust even when it remains under water for months on end.

Major External Parts (Handle, Power Cord, and Discharge):-

We noted that there are a few minor exceptions to the complete cast iron construction of the sump pump. One of the exceptions is the handle, which is made of stainless steel which has not been coated with epoxy paint. While this does make the handle more vulnerable to rust, we may surmise that Zoeller chose steel because of its comparatively light weight, since a heavy cast iron handle would be bulky and difficult to lift. Furthermore, being made of high-quality stainless steel, the handle is never at risk of being broken or dislocated during the installation of the sump pump. The discharge is the standard 1-1/2” NPT unit found in the best of Zoeller’s offerings. Being in constant contact with water, the discharge is well insulated from the internal components of the sump pump. Furthermore, it is capable of passing spherical or near-spherical solids of ½” diameter or less, which may be present in the sump water. This impressive capability ensures that the sump is never choked with small pebbles and other dirt particles, but neither are the discharge pipes of the Zoeller M57 Basement High Capacity Sump Pump blocked and pierced by large and irregularly shaped solid bodies. Finally, the different discharge size ensures that there is never any need for the use of screens, which are utilized in some sump pumps to block out unwanted particles, but which tend to get clogged easily, thereby retarding the functioning of the pump.
Finally, the power cord is of sufficient length and can operate under dry and wet conditions alike, thus ensuring that the sump pump never demands costly electrical rewiring of the basement.

Motor and Sealing:-

Zoeller has given the Zoeller 57-0001 M57 Basement High Capacity Sump Pump a 1/3HP motor, which is quite standard for this price range. What is exceptional, however, is this motor’s capability to pump water at a rate of 2850 gallons per hour at 5’ head. Coupled with its ability to pump a good 1140 gallons per hour at a maximum 15’ head, this makes the product one of the best sump pumps as far as the sheer pumping power is concerned. Some users complained that the maximum head of 15’ was a bit on the lower side, but they added that what matters is the gallons pumped at the maximum head rather than the maximum head itself since most basements do not require a pump with more than 15’ head. Finally, the motor can function efficiently at temperatures 130 degrees F (or 54 degrees C), which is again one of the highest in the industry.

This powerful motor is hermetically sealed using a neoprene square ring, thereby ensuring that the oil from the motor does not spill out into the housing, nor does the water from the exterior find its way into the motor.

See more product description of Zoeller 57-0001 M57 Sump Pump Here

Impeller, Switch Assembly, and Switch Protection:-

The Zoeller M57 comes with a specially engineered cast iron impeller that can work efficiently even under high water pressure. Being of cast iron, the impeller is not liable to suffer damage from large pieces of rubble that may come in with the sump water. Indeed, this feature sets it apart from some cheaper products that use vulnerable plastic impellers. The switch assembly consists of a two pole automatic switch, triggered by a shaft that connects the high-quality polypropylene float to the body of the sump pump. When the level of water rises, the float rises and triggers the switch, thereby starting the pumping procedure. This assembly is defended by a switch guard, which ensures that boulders and other floating effluents do not damage the precision switch. Interestingly, Zoeller has used AISI 1215 cold roll stainless steel for the switch shaft and guard. While this steel is one of the best variants available in the market today and the necessity of making the shaft light enough to move accurately would justify the use of steel, the guard could have been made of cast iron. That said, though, none of the customers who bought the Zoeller M57 Sump Pump complained about the quality of the switch guard.

Warranty:-

The Zoeller 57-0001 Basement High Capacity Sump Pump comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor which requires the user to take the product (or ship it via courier) to the nearest service center for removal of defects.

Pros:-

Almost entire pump made of high quality cast iron, no sheet iron used
Epoxy coating ensures excellent product resistance against corrosion
Perfectly sized discharge capable of passing small spherical solids
Long power cord usable in dry and wet conditions
Powerful 1/3HP motor with good pumping capacity
Thermal switch protects pump against overheating
Neoprene square ring for hermetical sealing of motor
Efficient two poles float-operated switch.

Cons:-

Switch guard could have been made of cast iron
Average maximum head

Customer Reviews:-

Users of Zoeller 57-0001 M57 Basement High Capacity Sump Pump noted the solid build quality of the product, which gave it the ability to survive years of heavy usage. The switch assembly was praised for being highly sensitive, while the motor was commended of handling massive storm flooding without problems. However, a minority of users believed that the motor could have had a better maximum head, while a still lesser number complained about the switch guard being made of steel.

Conclusion:-

The Zoeller 57-0001 Sump Pump is similar to other Zoeller products in some areas (epoxy coating for instance), but it has some unique points as well, including the almost total use of cast iron, the square neoprene sealing of the motor and the well-designed cast iron impeller. Having been developed by Zoeller’s experienced engineers, these features coordinate well to pump water out with an efficiency we’ve come to expect of Zoeller. Considering all these points, it would not be wrong to say that this product is one of the best sump pumps for any house or commercial establishment that has a moderate to high flooding threat and does not want to burn a hole in the pocket purchasing a very expensive commercial pump.

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