In my septic system, I have a sump pump that pumps the liquid into the drainage field. We have a tank alarm in this tank with the pump, but someone (not sure if it was me or someone else) forgot to turn back on the alarm one time. So now that 1000 gallon tank is over flowing. The pump circuit has been blowing for me at the fuse box. It seems to blow the circuit based on getting a bunch of rain. I'll do a separate question for that.

My question is this. I can hear the pump run for a bit (I haven't kept track of the time) then stop. After a while it will start again. Is there a safety or something that would cause the pump to not run until there is no water left? This happens no matter if the float is hooked up or I am just plugged in straight. Or could it be the drainage field is full of water and needs to seep out so there is room for more?

I know the tank isn't empty cause shortly after the pump stops, water starts seeping out of the lid again. (and the alarm light is still on).

  • 1
    thermal cycling?
    – mike
    Jul 3, 2013 at 22:44
  • It may have a limit to avoid flooding the field, either based on a timer or a float in a distribution box.
    – TomG
    Jul 4, 2013 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


When you hear the motor running, do you get a discharge? If not, it's the pump. If so, it's the motor.

  • It's really hard to tell. I just decided to call up a septic tank company to take a look. They can pump out the water so they can get a better look at the problem.
    – Mike Wills
    Jun 4, 2013 at 1:05

I'm sorry, I forgot to update this. I called a septic company and they said it sounded like the pump was bad. They replaced it for me and I haven't had any problems since.

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