Confused on septic set up

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  #1  
Old 03-30-16, 11:44 AM
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Confused on septic set up

OK, moved to a new place, still haunted by septic issues.
Here's what I have. Atop of a mound there is a chamber with pump in it.
Below the mound there are 3 large lids, one of them has another pump. I am presuming, ones at the bottom are actual septic tank.
Control box has 2 switches in it, one for PUMP and one for SAND FILTER.

Here's my confusion:

1. Why do I have 2 pumps?
2. I was mowing that mound, grass was tall, and I discovered that lid. As in - literally discovered, was completely covered by grass around. Of course me being me, I got close to it to investigate. Regular flat septic lid with a dome in the center and some holes in it for air to go through. Ventilation. But what surprised me is a non stop noise of what sounded like a pump slurping water/air mix.
I removed the lid to my surprise to see a pump that was basically constantly running, in almost dry tank.
Came back in an hour - still running. NOW I got concerned. Pulled switches stick out - it had a float, alarm one and a switsh with a float in it - goes up, turns pump on, goes down, turns it of.
Shook that switch, moved float up down a few times - turned power back on, and could easily turn pump on/off by hand from that float switch. OK, found it. It's called vertical mechanical Pump Switch
Anyhow, figured that mechanical switch got stuck in ON position. Reistalled everything, checked on pump few times - it's not running and fluid level is about half pump height. Just like it's supposed to be.

Is it time to replace mechanical switch? To avoid surprises? Did I mess up anything? I doubt that pump is supposed to run all the time.
 
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Old 03-30-16, 12:03 PM
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This is rough schematic of what I have. I have no idea what is inside the mound, hence question marks. But something is sand filter.

 
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Old 03-30-16, 02:58 PM
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I would say, replace the switch, unless you have found out why it got stuck in the on position and you fixed things so it would not get stuck again.

No, the pump should not run continuously with no water.
 
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Old 03-30-16, 03:02 PM
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I would say, replace the switch, unless you have found out what caused it to got stuck in the on position and you fixed things so it would not get stuck again.

Just taking the switch out, working it back and forth, and putting it back and now it seems to work okay is not a fix.

No, the pump should not run continuously with no water.
 
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Old 03-31-16, 09:13 AM
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Yeah, I know. Previous owner never opened a lid in 10 years. THAT type.
Question stays though - why do I have 2 pumps?
 
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Old 03-31-16, 10:31 AM
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Just guessing, since I can't see your system If your system is higher than the lowest sewage line, one pump could be a lift pump. The second "pump" could be an aerator for an aerobic system.

If the system has not been cleaned out in ten years, you need to contact a septic company.
They can explain the various components and insure it is in good working order.
 
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Old 03-31-16, 02:49 PM
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First off have the main tanks all pumped out if they have not been in the past 3 years.

Get all the sludge out and what you can..

Even the tanks with the pumps.. Have them pump the sludge off the bottom of them..

Do this every 3 years..

See here on basic mound systems...

http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/pdf/ww/publi...ne/pl_su99.pdf

Also you have two pumps probably because its a pressure dousing system and the first pump would have to be large to overcome the head pressure through the mound. Hence two smaller pumps are used.
 
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Old 04-01-16, 10:13 AM
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Guys, I said previous OWNER didn't open lid in ten years. Septic was pumped before we bought the place. HE is not I, I go everywhere.
OK< so the bottom pump is a "lift" pump to bring it up to the mound and then one in the mound is leach field pump. Or, sand field pump.
OK, makes sense.
Yes, there is quite a bit of elevation between the two.
I had switch ordered yesterday. Will keep checking on it while it's shipped.
 
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Old 04-01-16, 10:34 AM
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At least one, if not both, of those Pumps must be activated, and de-activated, by a Float. Without asking, I assume that you've been able to check that the Float(s) has free movement (just like required by a Sump Pump), and isn't stuck at a high position, so that it never shuts the Pump off after it's done it's job ?

I guess you'll know soon enough.
 
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Old 04-02-16, 07:04 AM
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Lower pump has 3 floats. I had same set up at the old place, it's overcomplicated and redundant, but that's how they do it here. More $$.
Upper pump has alarm float and that mechanical switch, which is equivalent of two floats - high and low level. Switch has range between On and Off, 6 inches I believe.
Floats work fine, I had floats stick out and moved floats up down, resulting in according alarm or pump action.
I've had serious crash course on septics from my old place.
 
 

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