Retrofit a basement bathroom with a sewage Ejector
A sewage ejector, in its entirety, is a system that disposes of sewage upwards. It consists of a special pump, a holding tank and special plumbing. It has a minimum 2” outlet and it usually goes to a 4” waste line. You would need one if you wish to install a drain line underneath your main sanitary outlet. Most of the time we use sewage ejectors when the sanitary lines goes out the wall – or when it doesn’t go into the floor. This is typical of people who have leech fields -- Olmstead Falls and Ashtabula for instance.
The first part of the sewage ejector, the holding tank, is a solid PVC canister, usually 30-45 gallon. It is installed underneath the basement floor, casted directly into the cement. The lid is bolted down and we provide 2”, 3”, 4” seal rings to accommodate any drain line. Also, the bigger the holding tank, the less the pump runs. The less it runs, the better. If you have a newer toilet, you can flush your toilet 35 times before the grinder pump kicks on. If it kicks on you are now not only using water, but also electricity – just know that there are other variables to consider. We only install the maximum sized holding tank available for your home. Also, the lid is bolted with a half inch foam seal. Only 6 pounds of pressure should be applied to this lid. Like insulation, if it is pressed too hard it will fail.
The main workhorse is the grinder pump. It works the same as a pressure or sump pump. It has a ball valve and it pumps out liquid -- but it also has a grinder propeller which grinds the waste. It then pumps the waste out the discharge line, up into sanitary line. This is the most important part of your system. If it fails, you will have raw sewage back up into your house. Let me explain why we have a 100% success rate and why we offer the lifetime warranty.
It is easy for us to offer a lifetime warranty, because we never receive call-backs. In thirty years, not one! However, we have been hired to fix other installations. 9 out of 10 failures we see are failed pumps.
We use the model 725 -- 1 horepower. Most sewage ejectors that we have seen have failed just after its 1 year warranty. At Home Depot, there are 10 different pumps and most contractors will buy the cheapest. Even the best pumps at Home Depot offer 5 year warranties. To us, this is unacceptable. Average homeowners don’t have the ability to unbolt the lid and even if they did – no one wants to unscrew the bolts on the lid of a sewage ejector and reach into a nasty container to replace the pump. That is why we warranty the pump for life – and also our service.
Why do grinder pumps fail? What should I look for when purchasing a grinder pump? There are 4 important aspects to a grinder pump. First the housing. Look for a strong housing – not plastic. We use Cast Iron. Next are the fittings. Brass fittings are in all of our pumps. Do NOT settle for plastic. Those will fail! Thirdly, the grinder propeller. You are going to want something that will take a beating when something is accidentally flushed down the toilet, like say, a pedometer. We had a job in Solon where a lady dropped her pedometer into the toilet and flushed it. When the waterproofer came out to fix it, he simply snaked it to the grinder pump. The toilet flushed better after that, but something as simple as a plastic pedometer completely destroyed the plastic propeller. Since the pump is liquid cooled and the solid waste (not getting ground up) was blocking the outlet, the pump overheated. If the pump is going 100mph and not enough liquid was going through it, the pump will fry. When we arrived, she had an inch of sewage in her bathroom which the original waterproofing company refused to warranty. Finally, you are going to consider the on-switch. Cheaply made, you will find magnetic on-switches. However, over time magnets weaken and the pump eventually won’t turn on. Typically when pumps go bad, it’s the magnetic contacts. People think the pumps go bad but in reality if they removed the side casing and replaced the magnets, it would work again. Our pumps use magnesium, like the old style thermostats. These never wear out. These four items are the most important things to look for when picking out a grinder pump.
On more than one occasion we have seen customers with 5 or more brand new pumps waiting for their pump to go bad. The health of your home rests on these pumps. They should never go bad. Trust us, the last pump you want to replace is a grinder pump.
There is another added bonus of a grinder pump. Leech fields typically are not big enough to accommodate waste because people do add bathrooms. They are only built for the square footage of the home and the number of bathrooms. When people add bathrooms, the leech fields become over-utilized. That’s where grinder pumps come into play. Grinder pumps grind the sewage to a fine liquid. When it’s in the leech field it, the waste can dispense itself throughout. The solids end up in a junction box where they would need to be pumped out. Grinder pump bypasses all of that – usually the liquid will simply fertilize your lawn. We see this a lot in Canfield and Newtown Falls (Rural areas).
Finally, when you have a sewage ejector installed, you are going to want a professional plumber to tap into your main sanitary line. Since all of your houses waste follows through this line, you are going to want to ensure this is done properly. Ultra-Dry only hires the top master plumbers in the area.
For clarification, or any other information relating to sewage ejectors, please call or email us. We would be glad to help you with your next basement project!