Sewer pumps, also known as sewage pumps or septic pumps, move liquid wastewater, and sometimes solid waste, toward a septic tank system. There are several common types of sewer pumps, including effluent pumps, solids handling pumps, grinder pumps, and more. Occasionally, these surprisingly complex devices can develop problems like clogging or malfunctioning float switches, which usually need professional repair service. For fast, reliable sewer pump repair in New Jersey, call us at A1 Sewer & Drain.
Types of Sewer Pumps
The term “sewer pump” is used to encompass several different devices. A “pump,” by definition, moves fluid from one location to another. The purpose of sewer pumps is to divert sewer water to prevent leaks, flooding, sewage backups, and other potential problems. Water, like everything, acts according to gravity, so sewer pumps are often located in the lowest part of a building. Some of the commonly used types of sewer pumps include:
- Effluent pumps. Effluent pumps are commonly used for smaller, onsite applications, such as inside of a home. The material they’re designed to work with is called “effluent:” this is the relatively clear but unclean liquid present after solids have settled in a septic tank. Although they don’t handle solids, they’re quite efficient. Though they superficially resemble a sump pump, they’re more corrosion-resistant and can handle some solids.
- Solids handling pumps. Also called “sewage ejector pumps,” these sewer pumps are designed to pump solid-filled raw sewage without clogging the pipe. They can be installed in tanks outside of a building to move raw sewage to a septic tank and leaching system. This is often used in sensitive areas, such as lakefront or riverfront property, where the handling of sewage is important for environmental reasons, and solids must be moved a considerable distance away.
- Grinder pump. Like a sewage ejector pump, a grinder pump can move solid waste. It uses rotating blades to reduce the size of solid material before pumping it away.
- Sump pumps. The common sump pump removes water that can accumulate around a building’s foundation, preventing flooding and water damage. They’re often used in flood-prone basements, sometimes accompanied by a backup sump pump in case of emergency.
Some sewer pumps are “submersible,” meaning they can be located at the bottom of a septic tank.
Like most sewer and plumbing devices and equipment, sewer pumps can develop various problems that generally require professional repairs. Because of the messy nature of sewer pumps, it’s recommended that you seek professional sewer pump repairs as soon as possible, to prevent property damage and health hazards. Here are some of the most common sewer pump problems:
Clogged Grinder Pumps or Sewage Ejector Pumps
Both grinder pumps and sewage ejector pumps can occasionally become clogged up with excess solid material. This often happens when unwanted or abnormal objects enter the sewage system, lodging themselves in the sewer pump. This can include items such as:
- Paper towels
- Baby wipes
- Cigarette butts
- Cooking oil
- Cotton balls
- Children’s toys
- Feminine products
- Cooking grease
- Hair clippings
Generally, these items should not be flushed down your toilet, or washed down your drains. Unlike toilet paper and normal waste, they don’t break down easily in water.
Sewage Ejector Pumps that Won’t Stop Running
If your ejector pump won’t shut off, even when nothing is going into it, it could be a problem with the float switches. A float switch detects the water level inside of a sewer pump or sump pump, signalling when wastewater needs to be released. In some cases, the float switches can get caught against debris, throwing off their measurements.
Frozen Grinder Pump
In climates like New Jersey, which experience cold temperatures and frost during the winter, a grinder pump needs to be further underground than in warmer climates. Otherwise, the slurry of water and solid waste inside can become partially frozen, jamming the pump and potentially damaging the sewer lines.
Sewer Pump Repair Service in NJ
If you’re having sewer pump problems in New Jersey, call us today at A1 Sewer & Drain. We service all types of sewer pumps, providing emergency repair, 24 hour service, and more. For fast, reliable sump pump repairs, call us any time at 201-645-0888.
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