Sewage ejector pumps (also called sewage grinder pumps) work fairly simply. They usually consist of a basin that collects waste over time. In the basin is a flotation device that's connected to a switch, which controls the machine. As the basin fills, the float rises. When it reaches a certain height, the switch triggers the pump. While this is happening, the system also uses a grinder to break apart any solidified or dried waste. Once any solid material is broken up, the basin can empty entirely.
Often, sewage ejector systems also have a water level alarm. Should any liquid within the basin reach a dangerous level, the alarm will go off. Usually, this indicates there's something blocking the sewage so it can't flow out freely, or there's an issue with the pumping mechanism itself. All Long Island homeowners who either have a sewage ejector system or are thinking to install one should be familiar with:
Where the machine is
What the alarm sounds like
When you hire a qualified plumber—such as our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Central Long Island—to install your sewage ejector system, they'll offer to let you know what the alarm sounds like.
What is the Difference Between Sump Pumps and Sewage Ejector Pumps?
Sewage ejectors should not be confused with sump pumps, although the two machines share similarities. Both prevent flooding in your home by using a vertical float switch to signal when fluid levels are too high and the pumps need to engage. But the key difference between them is that sump pumps eject water, and sewage ejectors remove waste.
Sump pumps work similarly to ejector systems. They are placed in a sump basin, which is a pit dug below your basement. This device monitors the water level beneath your home. If you live in a flood zone, or if your house is built on a water table, it's integral you have a reliable sump pump. It will protect your basement from flooding during heavy rains or periods of substantial snow melt. The machine moves excess water to a safe distance from your house through designated drain lines.
Alternatively, sewage ejectors explicitly deal with waste—including both liquid and solid materials. They move waste away from your home through a discharge pipe connected to either the municipal sewer lines or a septic tank/septic field.
How Do I Know if I Need a Sewage Ejector System?
There are two primary reasons why your Long Island home will need a sewage ejector pump. Generally, most homes use gravity to safely dispose of waste. Sewage flows down your home's plumbing system and into your main sewer line. Typically, main drain lines are uphill of municipal sewer systems and septic tanks, so the wastewater can freely run down, away from your home. But, if you live downhill from your sewer drain, the system can't naturally expel waste uphill. Thus, it sits and accumulates in the drain. If left unattended, the level of wastewater will get too high and cause sewage to flood your home. You'll require a sewage ejector system to safely move the waste away from your house.
That said, sometimes the main level of your home will be uphill from your sewer line, but has plumbing fixtures that are below it. For instance, basement bathrooms and laundry rooms might be constructed below the level of the main sewer or septic line. In this case, you'll also need an ejector system to propel waste away from your home.
Signs You Need to Replace or Repair your Sewer Pump
If you already have a sewage ejector system and you're wondering if there's a sign it's not working as it should be, the short answer is yes. The long answer is there are actually multiple indications that you need to hire a service professional to take a look at your sewage grinder pump:
You've noticed dirty wastewater running through your systems
It won't start properly, or struggles to turn on
You hear strange sounds while it's running
The machine is constantly cycling on and off
What are the Installation Requirements?
If you are interested in ejector pump installation services, there are a few things you should know before hiring a plumber. First, check with your local building department to see if you need a permit. Different communities have distinct plumbing and building codes. Usually, work involving septic tanks or sewer lines requires a permit because improper installation can result in serious headaches.
On that note, installing this machine is a complex project best left to the professionals. Not only will an expert, like those at Mr. Rooter, be able to correctly install the system, but we'll also ensure the basin is sealed so you can't smell any waste.
We can also advise you on what kind of ejector system is right for your house. It's important to invest in quality equipment that's suitable for your home's needs, so you can have a long-lasting pump that will serve you well for years to come.
Choose Mr. Rooter for Your Installation Needs!
When it comes to installing, repairing or replacing sewer ejector systems, it's important you hire a professional plumber with an outstanding quality of service. By reaching out to the experts at Mr. Handyman of Central Long Island, you can have peace of mind knowing your plumbing system is in the best hands.
Not only can we assist with residential installation of sewage pump systems, but we also offer maintenance services that will ensure you avoid ejector pump failure—and other plumbing headaches. For instance, annual drain cleaning can greatly benefit your entire system.
Our company is dedicated to providing excellent customer service to clients throughout Long Island. Our team of expert plumbers and friendly office staff work together to ensure our customers have a positive experience with our company from start to finish.