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How Does a Sewage Pump Work?

What is a Sewage Pump?

A sewage pump is used to transfer sewage liquids and solids from one place to another. Usually, in residential applications, sewage includes soft solids up to 2″ in diameter is pumped from a sewage basin to a sewer system or a septic tank. A sewage pump is installed at the lowest point of the sewage basin.

Since the pump is submerged most of the time, it is also referred to as a submersible sewage pump. Sewage pump can be automatic, manual or dual mode. A dual mode pump contains a piggyback plug, which allows the pump to be used as either manual, wherein the pump bypasses the switch and is plugged in directly into the socket or as automatic, wherein the pump is plugged in through the floating switch and works only when the switch is activated.

Due to a possibility of sewage overflow, it is generally not advised to use a manual sewage pump inside of a sewage basin.

Sewage pumps are centrifugal pumps, with special design enabling solids to pass without clogging the pump. When the pump is turned on, the motor starts to rotate the impeller, creating the pressure that pushes water into the impeller and goes into the discharge pipe.

The sewage pump is powered through a 10-25 ft. electric cord. Depending on the model, the voltage can be 115, 230, 460, or 575 volts. The pump housing, which contains a motor and an impeller, is made with cast iron and is built for long term use.

Types of Sewage Pumps

Effluent Pumps – effluent pumps are the pumps most often uses in small on-site system. They are designed to pump effluent, the effluent flowing out of a septic tank. This effluent is relatively clear liquid because the solids have developed out in the septic tank. Effluent pump can pump higher levels and more efficient than the other types of sewage pumps because these pumps don’t have to handle sewage solids.

Solid Handling Pumps – these pumps is also called sewage ejector pumps made to pump raw sewage. Raw sewage contains too many solids for most pumps, so only solids-handling pumps should be used where raw sewage has to be pumped.

Grinder Pumps – a grinder pump is much like a solid-handling pump. It can pump raw sewage. The difference is that the grinder pump has rotating blades, like garbage grinders that cut and grind the solids into small particles before the sewage is pumped.

Benefits of Sewage Pumps

Sewage pump is designed to remove water build-up from basements and crawlspaces and safely deposit it through the waste water system of a house. The operation of a sump pump is relatively simple, although their installation is more complicated.

Here the major benefits of having a sewage pump:

• Prevent flooding damage – When heavy rains trigger a flood of water into your basement, you can quickly have 15 inches of flood water covering the floor and damaging almost everything inside, which can be especially devastating if you store valuable items in the basement. With a working sump pump, this disaster can be averted easily.

• Reduce the threat of mold and mildew – Continual dampness inside a basement from water in stagnant pools will contribute to the growth of mold and mildew. Not only are these both damaging to building material, but they are health problems as well.

• Reduce the risk of fire – The water will short-circuit the appliances in the basement, such as laundry machines, water heaters, and heating systems. So, aside from ruining these valuable appliances, water can also create a fire danger. A sump pump will keep the water from threatening equipment that could trigger household fires.

Maintenance and repairs of this device

• If a ground fault circuit interrupter is installed at the outlet or in the electric panel, make sure it is working. Use the test button on the unit to confirm proper ground-fault protection.

• Remove the cover. There are 3 common types of lids, each with slightly different removal methods.

• Inspect the pit for a silt or debris that might obstruct the float or clog the pump impeller or discharge tube.

• Make sure that it is positioned so that the float that turns it on and of moves freely and is not obstructed by the walls of the sump, discharge piping or other objects.

• Check the drain line from the pump until it meets the air gap for any signs of corrosion, holes, damages or leaks.

• Check for a small 3/16 to 3/8 inch weep hole in the discharge pipe directly above it.

• Visually inspect all alarm mechanisms (if applicable), exposed metal parts and connections for corrosion. You may apply a silicone water repellant spray to deter corrosion. Refer to manufacturer usage instructions to apply silicone spray.

• Verify that there is a check valve in place on the drain line just above the pump cover. Contact a licensed plumber to add a check valve if one is not present.

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