Re: ejector pump for bathroom basement
Posted by Dean Smith on September 20, 19100 at 12:13:54:
In response to Re: ejector pump for bathroom basement
: We currently have a bathroom in the basement with a McPherson upflush toliet that we are wanting to replace with a regular toliet. We have had a plumber over for an estimate and he suggests a toliet with an ejector pump. Are these reliable? Will I have to worry about sewage backing up into it? Are they real noisy? I am really nervous about breaking the cement floor and possible seepage problems. To date we have never had any problems with water down here. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks

You have good qusetions! I bought a house (2 years ago) that has an ejector system installed about 5 years ago, and although it's acting up a bit, I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Sewage will NOT back up-in fact an overhead system in which the ejector pumps up to the ceiling, then over to the sewer inlet where it goes back down PREVENTS sewage backflow (because the level would have to rise to the level of the overhead ejector pipe-some fluid/physics thing!). You can also have several inlets installed to the ejector pit, allowing you to add in floor drains and laundry drainage into the same pit as your toilet (check your locla codes, some areas require SEPERATE pits!). In my case, however, I believe having a bunch of drains may be contributing to a problem I'm having. In order to install a drain or toilet, you need to dig a trench into your foundation for installation of the waste/water outflow pipes feeding into the pit, which are then recapped with cement. I have shower, toilet and utility (sink/laundry)outlets that probably totaled 25' of trenching, and I recently noticed that my ejector pump cycles on it's own, WITHOUT any water going into it from the toilet, shower or other source. Something must have cracked under the foundation and is allowing GROUND WATER to enter the pit, so it's acting like a sump-pump. Now, water will never overflow the pit or anything, as I have a sump pump that relieves the groundwater pressure (And I live in a VERY wet area, most people don't and wouldn't have this problem!), but it does make the pipe cycle more than it should, and mine is beginning to act up (probably the switch rather than the pump, but that's not your concern!)

Bottom line, I think a professionally installed ejector system protects your house from sewage backflow and enables you to use your basement in many new ways. It also probably adds to the value of your home (many homes are now getting them "designed" in). They can be noisy (make SURE the pipes are well secured and look into copper or Black pipe for the overhead to eliminate noise. If you ever have to open the thing up, it's gonna stink, so buy the best pump you can. Good ones START at about $300. Good brands include Zoeller, Grundfos, Hydromatic & Goulds. After much research, I thought the Goulds 3886 was the best for me. It's commercial quality (it's rated for CONTINUIOUS use-24 hrs. a day!) everything is metal, it has the best seals in the industry, the company is a world leader in super heavy duty pumping equpt. and it weighs 67 lbs., so it won't "walk" or vibrate around in the pit. I tracked down a Goulds distributor in the commercial yellow pages (they're not sold in most plumbing supply stores), and got it with a switch for $400. Switches are just as important as the pump, as I'm learning the hard way! For ejector pumps, a good float switch (sometimes it's built into the pump, but many are seperate units so you can change the switch without changing the pump) is better than a pressure switch or a float/rod switch (many Zoellers have these). Whatever pump you choose, have your pump "sized" correctly (how far & how high the outflow goes affects your needs-ask your plumber OR your pump supplier to help you), as the biggest & most powerful is NOT always the best, and DON'T choose a plumber that makes you get "his" pump from him. A good plumber will offer advise and then HELP you buy the pump you choose (contractors get better pricing than you would!!). If everything is done right the first time, you should have a quiet, incredibly versitile addition to your home. Good luck!



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