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Sump Pump, Effluent Pump, or Sewage Pump: Which Pump is Right for You?

Basements are wonderful assets to any home because they provide additional space under the main part of the home for entertainment, hobbies, and play areas. However, basements need an extra level of protection from flooding and excess moisture to keep your household items and structural components safe.

Here is some information about sump pumps, effluent pumps, and sewage pumps to help you make the best pump choice for your basement.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are installed in basements and crawlspaces to keep a home dry and free of flooding. They are installed in sump pits, where water flows into and then through drains or soil. Underground moisture is a big problem for homeowners because of the mold and mildew that results and poses health hazards.

Useful features of sump pumps include clog-free designs, airtight covers, durable construction, emergency backups, and built-in alarms. Cast iron core sump pumps are generally more effective than plastic ones, and submersible pumps are recommended over pedestal pumps if you have enough space to accommodate them. Meanwhile, mechanical switches are recommended over pressure switches so that the pump doesn’t become waterlogged and burn out.

Some homeowners invest in an additional backup sump pump powered by water or batteries in case the main sump pump fails due to extreme flooding or a power outage. You can buy a combination package that includes a main pump and a backup pump, or just choose a main pump with an alarm to notify you instantly about any pump-related issues.

Sewage Pumps

A sewage pump is useful for pumping solid sewage waste from your home’s toilets into the septic line or sewer. Homeowners often need these types of pumps if their toilets are lower than the septic line or sewer nearby, such as when a home is built into a hill with a lower home level partially underground.

These pumps can generally handle waste that is up to two inches in diameter, but you should still not put feminine hygiene products, hair, or anything else down the toilet for the pump to process. You can find some models of toilets that have an attached sewage pump, which is referred to as a macerating system. Use this type of system if you don’t want to cut into your concrete flooring and are committed to not putting anything down your toilet besides waste and toilet paper.

Basement bathrooms often require sewage pumps, but having a septic system is also a reason to buy a sewage pump if you don’t have access to public sewers. In this way, a sewage pump breaks down and pumps out waste into your septic tank until the septic service arrives to come empty it out.

Effluent Pumps

An effluent pump is designed to pump waste solids that are about ¾ inch or less in diameter. As opposed to sewage pumps, effluent pumps are typically considered to be "gray water" pumps to handle the water that goes down the drains of your sink and from your laundry washing machine. These pumps are also used for dishwater discharge in a home.

Effluent pumps typically transfer dirty water from your septic tank to a leech field. It’s important to choose the right horsepower for an effluent pump so that it isn’t too strong or too weak for the intended purpose. These types of pumps are made from different materials, including stainless steel, cast iron, thermoplastic, and brass. While plastic-based pumps are more affordable and easier to install, they are best for less-demanding operations. Save your heavy-duty jobs for cast iron effluent pumps, which are designed for tough pumping jobs and built to last for a long time. It’s also important to pay attention to the ventilation in basements and crawlspaces to prevent excess moisture from becoming a major problem.

Basement Protection Systems

However, full and reliable basement protection requires more than just a good pump. In addition to your main pump, you may need to get a battery back-up pump, a smart home system for connectivity and alert notifications, and other relevant accessories. In general, ways to prevent basement flooding are to clean your rain gutters in the spring and fall, extend downspouts away from the home so that water doesn’t pool up near the foundation, and inspect your home regularly for water accumulation and damage.

At Central Plumbing Specialties, we carry a full line of pumps from highly recommended brands that include Armstrong Pump, Blue Angel Pumps, Goulds Pumps, Grundfos, Liberty Pumps, Little Giant, and Zoeller. We are your one-stop source for all of your plumbing and heating needs, including the various types of sump pumps, effluent pumps, and sewage pumps.

Contact us to learn more about our pump offerings or simply stop by one of our convenient New York locations.

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