In a house where the plumbing system is below or even at the same level as a septic tank or public sewer line (as in the case of a basement bathroom for example), a grinder pump may be needed. If you are about to move to a home that uses one you may wonder what is a grinder pump and how does it work? This is a good thing to know so that you can become familiar with how to maintain it.
A grinder pump is installed when waste cannot flow through a system quickly enough on its own. The pump grinds up the waste matter, forming it into a slurry, it then pumps it through the sewer system.
When the home has a grinder pump you need to be very careful to avoid flushing certain items down the toilet and sink. Some of these items include grease, which will cause a build-up in the tank, cat litter, aquarium gravel, toxic chemicals, plastics, diapers, and feminine hygiene products.
There are some other things you need to be aware of with grinder pumps. For example, they will not work if the power goes out. If you do experience a power outage, try to use as little water as possible to prevent overfilling the tank.
You will also want to prepare the tank if you will be away from home for any length of time. You can do this by running water long enough so that it activates the pump. This will flush the tank with clean water and prevent unpleasant odors.
Lastly, do not connect a grinder pump to a sump pump as this will overwork the pump, not to mention the use of unnecessary amounts of electricity.