Homeowners face a lot of choices and problems when making decisions about the maintenance of their properties. One might think that choosing the right septic pump would be relatively easy. There are, in fact, several different septic pump options. This short article is intended to assist homeowners who are not sure which pump would be right for their needs.
First, it is important to understand the term “head pressure”. This is a numerical calculation. The head pressure (HP) is determined by considering the size of the pipes carrying the water, the length of the pipes, and the amount of water flowing through the pump. The final figure is called “total dynamic head” (TDH). Trained technicians can calculate the TDH number for each homeowner’s individual situation and make recommendations based on these results. The higher the number, the more power the new pump will need to have.
Septic Pumps are available in a few different power levels.
- Some lower-power pumps are designed only for completely clear wastewater or wastewater that has already been treated in a septic aeration-equipped wastewater disposal system. They are called high head effluent submersible pumps, deep water well pumps, turbine pumps or high-pressure submersible pumps. They are equipped to drain only ten to twenty gallons of water per minute.
- Other entry level pumps have 1/3 to 2 horsepower (HP) and are capable of handling fairly normal volumes of wastewater containing minimal solids, with the solids being up to three-quarters of an inch in size. They are designed for discharging water from basements, drainage fields and secondary treatment systems. Higher head pressure numbers ( hp 80 aerator, hp 120 aerator) mean that a unit with a higher horsepower rating should be selected.
- Properties having lower head pressure numbers, but still needing a pump that can handle some larger solids may select a sewage ejector pump. This type of unit is rated from 4/10 to 2 horsepower. It has a larger egress opening and can handle solids up to two inches in diameter. They are designed to handle most kinds of raw sewage generated by a typical residential property or smaller business.
- Sewage grinder pumps are the most powerful non-commercial units available. There are two varieties of sewage grinder units. The first is designed to take waste from a single residence to a shared sewer egress. The second is designed for properties that have to offload wastewater over very large distances, or up fairly steep inclines. Minimally, they are rated at 2.0 horsepower and are designed for scenarios with a minimum head pressure calculation of 30. Using them in scenarios with a lower head pressure rating will cause the motor to burn itself up. These types of pumps are also able to handle some solids exceeding two inches in diameter because, as the name suggests, they have a built-in grinder to chop up the solids before ejecting them to the drainage area or other sewage egress.
A qualified plumbing or drainage technician can help homeowners in deciding which type of pump is right for their needs whether they have septic tank aerators or not. When calculations show a situation that is closely “on the line” between two options, it is generally advisable to go with a higher horsepower rating like a hiblow pump.