Is your septic system working inefficiently? Or worse, is your septic alarm indicating a major problem with your system? Every septic system features at least one pump, and if they’re not all working properly, your system won’t work as well as it should. Here’s a brief guide to septic pump replacement to get your system back online safely and effectively.
Determine which pump is problematic
Each septic system has a grinder pump, which is used to grind all waste that comes out of your home into smaller pieces that bacteria break down in the tank. Most septic systems also have a riser pump, especially systems that are built into a hill or those which feature a drain field at a higher elevation than the tank itself. Failure of either of these pumps requires a quick response to prevent overflow or drainage problems.
How do you determine which pump is no longer working? Look for clogs in drain field pipes—this indicates a problem with the grinder pump and that waste pieces aren’t being broken down. The usual result is sewage backup in the basement of a home, or backed-up toilets. If the problem lies with the riser pump, waste won’t move from the septic tank to the drain field, causing backups.
Remove the broken pump
If you’ve determined that the grinder pump is the problem, head to your basement and disconnect the attached electrical wiring. Take out the broken pump and install the new grinder pump alarm system that indicates problems with wastewater levels in the septic tank.
Make sure the alarm is installed on a separate breaker system from the pump, and run new wires to the electrical panel if necessary. In some cases, local building codes require an inspector to take a look at the installation of the new wires.
When purchasing a new pump, be sure not to confuse the sump pump with the grinder or riser pump. If replacing a grinder pump, look for an internal wheel—it grinds the waste that passes through. If replacing a riser pump, look for a vertical concrete or plastic pipe that runs from openings or access ports at the top of the septic tank.
Install the new pump
Septic pump replacement always requires a separate electrical system. Connect the new pump to the electrical system where the failed pump wiring was removed and install waterproofing around the new pump if desired. Following these simple steps to correctly install the new pump:
- Lower the pump into the septic tank using a lift rope
- Attach union on the pump assembly
- Plug in the pump and engage the breaker on the electrical panel
- Flip the switch on the pump tank into the “on” position
- Watch the level of the water drop to make sure the pump is engaged
Septic pump replacement really isn’t a do-it-yourself job. If you’re noticing problems with your septic pump, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services. We know what it takes to restore your entire system to perfect function, taking care of the dirty work so you don’t have to.