When Should a Grinder Pump Be Replaced?
This article will start with the basics for those unfamiliar with the grinder pump system. In some areas, residential plumbing systems are below the level of the municipal sewer system, and the pipes need some assistance in getting the sewage into the main drainage system. That is the primary function of the grinder pump, also called a sump pump or a sewage expulsion pump. It grinds up any materials in the wastewater and pumps it into the main sewer system. These pumps are vital for keeping drains flowing properly, and a malfunction can mean nasty collateral damage. That is why a failing grinder pump should be dealt with as soon as the homeowner notices it.
A Failing Grinder Pump May Produce Low Water Pressure
If the water is draining at a very slow pace, this may be due to a malfunction of the grinder pump. A tripped breaker may be preventing it from working, or there may be a problem with the electrical connections. A few other reasons include:
- Recent rain draining from the basin/tank
- A mechanical burnout
- Flushing grease or cloth down the toilet or drain
Homeowners should avoid using the toilet and kitchen drain as a trashcan. Inorganic things like plastic and not water soluble things, like grease, can cause problems for the drainage pipes and any system connected to them. A poor choice in flushing something may mean the household has to replace its whole grind pump.
A Failing Grinder Pump May Leak
As with any structure, wear, and tear can eventually bring a ground pump to a stop. It can only grind up so much until worn down and malfunctioning properly. Leaks from the pumps itself can happen due to buildup and corrosion. Some signs of a grind pump leak are included in the list below.
- Foul Smells: An icky smell coming from the kitchen sink drain or from an area near the pump shows a problem and may indicate a leak.
- Noisy Pump: If the grinder pump is louder than it should be, it could mean a leak in the basin or tank, and the low water level is causing the motor to work too hard.
- Sewage Backup: This is a serious plumbing emergency and should be dealt with before serious water damage is done to the home. This can result from leaks in the grinder pump.
The Age of a Sewage Grinder Pump May Indicate That It is Unreliable
Perhaps in a particular home, everything is going along swimmingly with the grinder pump. It occasionally makes noise, but it stops. The water sometimes drains slowly, but not constantly. There is an occasional sewage smell, but it goes away. How long has the pump been there? When a homeowner begins pondering this question, they may face the symptoms listed that they have just ignored because the pump has been there a while. Grinder pumps typically last around a decade. Any more time and a homeowner is just waiting on a ticking time bomb.
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