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Thread: Sewage Ejector vs Gravity for my basement

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member tearendt's Avatar
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    Default Sewage Ejector vs Gravity for my basement

    We have an 88 year old home with 2 - 4" cast iron verticle stacks going into the basement floor. The basement floor has 3 existing floor drains going to the horizontal cast iron pipe under the slab. There already is a bathroom in the basement with toilet sink and shower using this gravity drain toward the rear of the house. The existing horizontal drain is about 50' in length and exits very deep into a septic system in the back yard.
    We would like to install a shower - sink - toilet in the front of the basement. I would need to chop through about 30' of basement floor to access the horizontal gravity run. Which is more practical.... chop and access the existing 88 year old underground cast iron.... or install an ejector sewage pit and pump close to the new bathroom and pipe the same 30' to one of the verticle stacks?? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Tim

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Gravity doesn't stop working if the power goes off or need repair. Ever had to replace the motor or clear a clog on an sewage ejector? The biggest hassle I can see is that with the new 30', when you slope the pipe properly, will raise the end nearly 8", which may not leave you enough to install the p-trap for the shower. You'd want to check the actual depth of the existing line to confirm before cutting a new trench! Professional concrete cutting companies would make short work of creating a neat, clean, hole in the existing slab. Cracking that much on your own is doable, but LOTS of hard work.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I would ALWAYS go gravity if the sewer is accessible.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  4. #4
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    The only time a pumped system might be advantageous is in an area where sewer backups into basements are common.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member tearendt's Avatar
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    Thanks..... My biggest concern is the probable condition of 88 year old cast underground and if it is deep enough to give me a 1/4" slope. I have a gas concrete saw and an electric Bosch jack hammer.... but if the cast is most likely very fragile I'd rather not open a can of worms. I guess I need to make an exploratory cut to investigat first before starting the long cut.
    Tim

  6. #6
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Check with the city codes. Call the plumbing inspector and ask what is it they require for adding a bathroom group in a basement. Many of the suburbs in Cook County want an ejector pit installed verses you tying into the gravity system.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; I have a gas concrete saw

    Probably NOT the best tool to use in a basement.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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