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Saniflow system motor pump sometimes not work

The motor only goes round if i give it a little push with pipe when the water is at fill level

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The pump is either bound up with lots of friction. ( Check with the motor off if the pump is easy to turn by hand, not with a lever. If you can turn it at all by hand it is not bound up.

The the problem is electrical. If this is a 220V pump, check to see that both circuit braeakers are ok. If so, call a service man familiar with the pump to further check the starter if equipped and the motor.

Good luck

Posted on Mar 19, 2009

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Utilitech 1 hp lawn pump runs for awhile, then shuts down. After a few minutes, the process repeats. It's pumping water from a lake, but must be overheating. Is it fixable? How do I fix it?

when pumping from a lake you will be pumping uphill
centrifugal pumps are susceptible to over loading because operators do not realize that water has mass and weighs a lot and the pump has to things to contend with
first lifting the water from the lake ( lift height)
the volume of water in the suction pipe will load the motor
now that it successfully lifts that water mas up it now has to push it up hill to a receiving tank of some sort
now distance to that tank ( friction in the pipe ) and height up to the tank inlet ( head pressure and it is measured as the height the discharge pipe is above the pump level --not ground level) have to be considered
unless you are a hydraulic engineer or have the equipment installed by irrigation experts all of this information will be foreign to you and that will result in too small a pump and yes it will overheat and in cases the water in the pump will boil as energy from the impeller of the pump has to go somewhere if the water is not moving
what I am suggesting here is to get pump experts involved to design a proper system with sufficient hp motor and pump volume to do the job

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The saniflow is trickling and filling up bowl then flushes itself

You need to adjust the float. Or, you can buy the complete inexpensive float valve assembly at Lowes or Home Depot and can install it in less than 5 minutes. Turn off the water supply, drain the tank, sop up the remaining water in the tank or put a pan under the tank opening for the next step, remove the valve assembly and float and install the new valve assembly with the float included. Turn on the water supply and set the water level adjustment valve to about 1/4 inch below the stand pipe overflow drain. This is done by the float assembly. Turn on the water supply. This completes the change-out.

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Will not prime

My pump didn't pump until I filled the 'suction side' pipe with water before I attached the pipe to the pump. The suction pipe needs a foot valve if you have a long lift from the water to the pump. Then pour water into the pump on the outflow side. Should pump fine . It'll purge the air out after a little bit if you filled the pump with enough water. I almost bought a relacement pump but then realized that the foot valve wasn't sealing and the suction pipe wasn't holding water. We have about a 8 foot vertical draw to the pump . Good luck.

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Hi there! How do I know water circulator is running? Body of motor is hot about 133F, motor sounds running but inlet and outlet of pipes is not hot ( need to wait about 3 - 4 minutes to get hot water in...

Hi Denny

You are about to have fun, now you say that the pipes on both sides of the motor are cold, is one pipe hotter than the other in anyway? If not check to see if someone closed a valve up or down stream from the pump. from the temp of the motor it sounds like it under a bit of a load.

Is this pump in a room with the water heater? can you see where the pipe work goes back to the heater? look for a check valve. That might be stuck and water is not flowing. This may take a couple more notes back and forth due to so many other systems working as one


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Pump does not pump anything. motor is running and getting hot, no water being pumped. i have to prime this stupid thing?

If you are trying to draw water from a lower place, you may have lost prime. It is also possible there is a reason for this loss of prime, maybe a leak on the suction piping. Remove some fitting on or near the discharge of the pump, fill the body completely with water. If it goes in, fill the entire suction piping with water, too. Open a faucet nearby, turn on the pump and wait up to 5 minutes. It should spit and sputter, sound will change, some water will discharge, but eventually, you should get steady flow.
If you lose prime again, look for leaks in the suction piping from the inlet of the pump to where the piping goes into the ground.

Your FixYa Texpert,

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Our Saniflow motor unit has started to continue to run some times after the pump has operated. This has to be stopped either by switching off power for a while or sometimes leaving the tap on to cause the...

Sounds like the level switch has debris stuck under it preventing it from switching off - disconnect the power and remove the lid. The level switch is the oval shped object next to the motor, there is a diaphragm on its underside which rises under the influence of rising water level, tripping a microswitch to start the pump. Check for free space under the diaphragm or stiffnes of the diaphragm reducing its moveability - this stiffnes or hardening of the diaphragm is often caused by abnormal liquids being poured down the drain such as paint thinners etc.

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I have the FPOF 360 AC model - 1/12 HP 350 gal/hr. The motor is working, but it is not suctioning any water. Thanks. Karen

I would take a drill and drill an eighth inch hole in the discharge pipe of the pump. I always do this
when installing a new pump, because sometimes the pump will get air in it, the little hole will vent
out the air. There will be water squirting out the little hole, but that doesn't hurt anything.

Hope this helps.

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1 Answer

Saniflow plus works allright for w.c but will not work for shower

Thanks for the clarification - This rules out power supply to the unit, motors/pump and points more towards why the water would be pumped from the WC flush and not the basins ...

1. The Saniflo range of macerators have a pressure switch that engages when the water pressure inside the unit activates a microswitch that is encased in a waterproof container. It is possible that the water pressure from the shower and basins is not great enough to activate the internal switch.

So, I would propose two checks

a) If the unit previously worked for the shower and basins something has changed and it is most likely to be gunk inside the unit causing the switch to be less sensitive and only activate on the high pressure that the WC would provide. The fix would be to open up the unit and clean it - please let me know if you need info on how to do this

b) If this is a new install and the shower and basins never worked, you should check the fall in the pipework into the Saniflo is sufficient (should be 1 in 70 from memory - full install instructions are available from the Saniflo website)

c) It could be that if the unit has been in for a long time with a large number of operations that the microswitch is starting to fail and is not as sensitive as it once was (quite unlikely) - but always a possibility!

Replacement microswitches are freely available online and you should also be able to get the exact match spares from Saniflo

If this helps please leave feedback - if not please let me know and I'll try and help some more!

Good Luck :)

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1 Answer

Why does my saniflow continuously come on even

could be a part blockage alowing water to filter back never put paper or towles in it

Sep 28, 2009 | Plumbing

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