If you have a sewage pump and pit in your basement you may know just how difficult it is to know if it's working properly or to even know how to maintain this unique system. Call on Cardinal Plumbing if you have questions to learn the do’s and don'ts of a sewage pit so you don't get caught with a back up the next time you have company over.
What is the difference between a sump pump and a sewage pump?
Both a sump pump and a sewage pump are similar in a few ways. First, they are designed to collect and discharge water from a receiving container, either a sump pit or sewage pit. They are also very similar in their construction in that they have a float attached to tell the pump that the water level has risen high enough that it's time to turn on. They also have a check valve located above them on their discharge to prevent water from coming back into the pit.
The difference between them is that a sump pump is designed to discharge groundwater which is relatively clean and requires no additional grinding or considerations. The sewage pump by contrast needs to be able to grind through the waste that is flushed from your bathroom. This grinder works by turning your waste into a slurry that can then be discharged through the piping and into a building's drainage system. The sewage pit is also designed to contain sewage and can be unpleasant to deal with. Due to the sewage sitting in the pit it requires an airtight seal to prevent sewage gas from wafting back into the home as well as venting to allow the pit to air out while being used.
Does a sewage pump require maintenance?
Like any other machine or appliance in a building, sewage pumps must be checked and maintained regularly for longer use and operation. If a building experiences a significant amount of bathroom usage due to a large occupancy, the additional strain will shorten the pump's effectiveness and lifespan.
Can I still flush toilet paper with a sewage pump?
The good news is that your sewage pump is designed to handle all the normal use of a typical bathroom system. The pump is designed with a macerator that is able to breakdown organic waste to be able to effectively discharge it to your main drain, septic or holding tank. This does not mean that it is able to handle flushable wipes, feminine hygiene products or anything else listed as “flushable” that isn't toilet paper. Flushing products that aren’t toilet paper or organic waste may void your warranty and significantly reduce the lifespan if the pump.
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