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Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you ever wanted to know about pumps, but were afraid to ask!

PUMPS IN GENERAL

  1. DO I NEED TO DRILL THE 3/16" (5 mm) VENT HOLE?
    If a check valve is being used we recommend drilling a vent hole. This hole is located in the basin between the pump and check valve usually a few inches above the pump "on" level but below the pit cover. The vent hole will prevent air locking from occurring.
  2. HOW LONG IS YOUR WARRANTY PERIOD?
    36 months from date of manufacture (on most Zoeller pumps). Abuse or misapplication can void this warranty. We have authorized warranty and service repair stations located throughout the United States. Check with individual products for specific warranty information.
  3. WHAT IS THE ESTIMATED SERVICE LIFE OF THE PUMP?
    Under normal service conditions, we feel that the unit is designed for a 7-10 year service life. But during this period, the pump may require periodic servicing.
  4. DO I NEED A CHECK VALVE?
    In a sewage system a check valve is required to prevent the sewage from draining back to the basin. They are usually recommended for all other submersible pump systems, but not required.
  5. MY AUTOMATIC PUMP STOPS AND STARTS CONSTANTLY, HOW CAN I MAKE THE PUMP RUN LONGER?
    A pump short cycling is a function of the basin diameter and the "on/off" pumping range. Since the basin is in the ground it is unlikely that it can be enlarged. If you have an automatic unit which has a self contained float switch the "on/off" pumping range cannot be adjusted. But with a nonautomatic unit controlled with a pump switch you can have flexibility in the pumping range adjustment. Short-cycling can decrease the service life of a switch assembly. If this occurs, an automatic unit can be converted to operate with an external pump switch which will expand it's pumping range and decrease the amount of short cycling. Installing a check valve in the discharge line will help decrease short cycling.
  6. MY PUMP MAKES A LOUD NOISE EVERY TIME IT STOPS. WHAT'S WRONG?
    The noise you hear is the check valve closing. When the flow reverses in the discharge pipe after the pump stops, this slamming effect (Water Hammer) occurs.
  7. MY PUMP IS HUMMING BUT NOTHING IS BEING PUMPED. WHAT'S WRONG?
    The pump is probably air locked. If you have a check valve in the system make sure your 3/16" (5 mm) vent hole has been drilled and it is not clogged. If it has not been drilled, disconnect the pump from your power source and drill the hole (See questions #1&4). If the vent hole solution is not the problem, remove the pump from the pit after disconnecting the power and piping and make sure the impeller rotation is not being restricted.
  8. I HAVE TO SHAKE THE DISCHARGE PIPE TO GET IT TO RUN. WHAT'S WRONG?
    If you have an automatic unit with an integral float switch, the switch assembly is malfunctioning and the switch, switch arm, and case gasket should be replaced. The average switch life is 4-7 years but may be higher or lower depending on the application. If you have a nonautomatic pump with a variable level float, it may be hung up on something or needs to be replaced.
  9. MY PUMP BURNED UP AFTER ONLY 3 YEARS IN SERVICE. WHAT'S WRONG?
    First, determine whether or not your pump is burned up by checking out the motor's winding resistance. If it checks negative you may not be able to repair the unit. If the motor is OK, the pump can be repaired at a reasonable price. If your pump has burned up you will want to make sure that your pump is sized properly and the voltage powering the pump is rated the same as the pump and sufficient to handle the load. Do not use extension cords. Make sure the temperature of the liquid being pumped is within the rating of the pump. Finally, make sure that the system head is at least the minimum head that the pump is rated at. If your pump is pumping at a low or negative head you will be overloading the motor with each duty cycle and shorten the service life of the pump.

QWIK JON® SYSTEMS

  1. CAN I USE A LAVATORY, SHOWER, AND WASHING MACHINE WITH MY QWIK JON SYSTEM?
    The system can handle a single bathroom group consisting of a toilet, lavatory, and tub (or shower). A washing machine should not be used with the Qwik Jon® system. Use the Drain Pump system for washing machine applications (Refer to question #21).
  2. IS THE QWIK JON® CODE APPROVED?
    The system has national code approval as listed by IAPMO. Additionally, numerous individual state code approvals have been obtained.
  3. DOES THE QWIK JON® HAVE ANY ODORS?
    If properly installed per the detailed instructions provided with the system there will be no odors.
  4. THE PUMP COMES ON BUT IT DOES NOT PUMP ANY WASTE UNLESS I ADD MORE WATER. WHAT'S WRONG?
    The float switch has not been properly adjusted. Move the switch mounting bracket to a higher position on the discharge pipe. A properly mounted switch will turn the pump on at approximately 4" to 4.5" (102 to 114 mm) and deactivate the pump before 3" (76 mm).
  5. THE PUMP COMES ON BUT IT WILL NOT SHUT OFF. WHAT'S WRONG?
    The float switch is out of adjustment (Refer to question #4).
  6. CAN THE QWIK JON® TANK BE INSTALLED BELOW GROUND?
    This is not recommended unless you have a very low ceiling to contend with. The tank can be hidden from view by building a floor over the tank. If the concrete floor has not been laid yet, install a typical in-ground basin, which is also available from Zoeller. If the tank is installed below ground; allow for the expansion and contraction of the tank (1/4" [6.4 mm] on each side), sit the tank on a solid level concrete slab capable of supporting the weight, and do not install in such a way that you limit your access to the tank.

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED TO SIZE AND SELECT A PUMP?
    To properly size the pump you need to determine what is being pumped and the required solids handling capacity. You must know the voltage, system load (GPM/LPM), pipe size, vertical lift, horizontal run, number and type of fittings, and back pressure at the discharge point, if any. Additionally, you must determine whether a single or dual pump operation is desired, how the pump is to be controlled, and if it is an indoor or outdoor application. Check out our sizing information.
  2. DO YOU OFFER ANY TYPE OF NON-ELECTRICAL BACKUP PUMP SYSTEMS?
    We offer backup systems for sump pumps. There are three types. The first is the Basement Sentry®battery backup system using a DC pump. The second is the Aquanot® pedestal backup system. The third is Home Guard® Max water powered pump which uses municipal water pressure.
  3. WHAT TYPE OF BATTERY IS USED WITH A DC AND PEDESTAL BACKUP SYSTEM?
    A marine type deep cycle battery is used on the DC backup systems. If you purchase an Aquanot® Deep-cycle battery your warranty is extended to 36 months.
  4. HOW LONG WILL A DC PUMP RUN WITH A FULLY CHARGED BATTERY?
    Approximately 7 hours of continuous operation at a head of 8' (2 m).
  5. DO YOU RECOMMEND A HIGH WATER ALARM?
    A high water alarm system is always recommended on a submersible pumping system, especially in those applications having only one pump.
  6. I WANT TO INSTALL A SINGLE FIXTURE DISCHARGING LIQUID IN AN AREA NOT SERVICED WITH A DRAIN LINE. WHAT CAN I DO?
    The Zoeller Drain Pump system is specifically designed for this type of application. It enables you to locate a sink, drinking fountain, dehumidifier, or laundry tray tub in areas distant from the building sewer without the cost of installing an in-ground basin or extending the length of the drainage line.

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