We bought a house. It's up on a hill. There is a "path" through the backyard that stays green all year long at the bottom of the hill. The elevation of this "path" is about 3 feet +/- lower than the walk out basement. When we get a lot of rain a small creek forms in this "path" and it is gone within a day (usually).

Now. When we bought the house, the previous owner says she never runs the sump pump because it runs constantly. She built the house in 2007. It was unplugged when we took ownership. We got a huge rain storm the following week. I was worried the basement would flood. I went home and it was fine. The water was about half way up the pit and no new water was coming in. Also, note, there were not any signs in this fully finished basement of water damaged or standing water.

So I leave it plugged in. When it is very wet out, rain or melting snow, it runs every 30-60 seconds, you can hear the water just pouring in. I know that if I unplugged it, it would not go over 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Should I run it? Should I raise the float? Should I not worry about it? Part of me thinks I should run it because it's there. But like I said, if I unplug it, the water will rise to a point then stop coming in.

Any ideas or explanations would be welcomed.


Get the HC6000 dual float switch (non-mechanical). Set the low and the high activation with the high activation above the top of the inlet. I wouldn't bother messing with the mechanical floats they are hard to adjust, can get caught up on things and don't have the granularity of the non mechanical.

If you end up with more water flowing in than can naturally flow out and your basement is in flood danger with the level getting higher than what you know will not flood your basement have the sump set to activate. You already have all the infrastructure be silly not to at least have the insurance in case something usual happens. If your hot water tank or house flood while you are away at least the water ends up being pumped out. If you have snowfall and ice that block the natural water movement and the water accumulates and threatens your basement you have some insurance.

The only thing I'd check is how close the water in the sump gets to from the top of the slab. Slabs are typically 4" thick and you don't really want your slab wicking the ground water up as water vapor into your basement.

  • Thanks or the tip. That looks like an awesome solution. I unplugged the pump to see the height in which it stops flowing. Its at least 12 inches below the top of the slab. About half way up the two inlets. Jan 2 '20 at 19:16

Gosh, it just sounds like it's misadjusted. The previous owner had no aptitude whatsoever in the handy arts, and just said "whatever".

I see no reason for the pump to run until it's near the top of a sensible range. If your normal water table action is such that it never fills, so be it. That's not surprising if you're on a hill, and if it wasn't that way, a French drain could make it so it was (or a Buckeye drain if you're in Ohio, but then, you're on a hill.)

  • Right, when the water is around the height of the inlet, it stops coming in, regardless of how much rain. It just doesn't come any higher. And this fall was very dry, it didn't run at all, of course. I am thinking of raising the float a bit. Dec 30 '19 at 20:34

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