Submitted by zackl0220 t3_10dybed in DIY

As stated in the title. I have a basement bathroom that as far as I can tell all waste water flows to a sump in a room nearby and is thus pumped up to the main level to drain. As it will be dealing with black water will a regular sump pump work? I don't know how it would handle solid waste? Any help is appreciated, this is my first home and being an auto technician doesn't help all that much with home improvement!



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Syndicofberyl t1_j4nvmuv wrote

No. Sewage pumps have a grinder to grind....stuff.


allmystuffistrash t1_j4o073p wrote

Not all sewage pumps have grinders. The ones with grinders are nice, but a lot more expensive. My sewage pump has no grinder but will handle 2 inch solids. It’s been working great for nearly 15 years (knock on wood).

Edit: I work at a place that sells all different kinds and I’m a pump repairman. The ones with grinders are the ones that I see most in my shop. They seem to break down often.


Bean_Juice_Brew t1_j4q30n3 wrote

My 4 year old poops Campbell soup cans, he'd block that thing in a heartbeat.


Interplanet123 t1_j4o3kw2 wrote

If you can avoid having a grinder for your sewage ejector pump, you should.


dacuzzin t1_j4nz07a wrote

Yes. Must also purchase a poop knife.


colin294 t1_j4o35da wrote

Civil Engineer here. You do not need a grinder (macerating) pump unless you have a discharge pipe less than 2". If it's a 2" discharge, i would go with an ejector pump. It will pass a 2" solid and is less complex and more reliable than a grinder pump. Definitely do NOT replace it with a regular sump pump. If you dont know (and/or can't see) your discharge pipe size, i would replace it with a similar pump.


loganab13 t1_j4nwcw6 wrote

Nope. Need a sewage pump with a turd grinder.


gadget73 t1_j4nwyyo wrote

^^ exactly this. Just from experience, make sure absolutely nothing that isn't a turd or turd paper goes down the toilet. Makes for the big sad when you have to pull the pump and clean or replace it because it couldn't chop whatever went down the drain.


whosthedoginthisscen t1_j4nzzd0 wrote

I just had mine replaced a week ago, when the pump failed (it's at least 16 years old, maybe 20). The replacement cost about $1,400. It's definitely not just a sump pump.


Moosicle2040 t1_j4oejm4 wrote

  1. No a sump pump is not a replacement for a sewage (effluent) pump. 2. As you’re getting mixed answers on sewage ejector vs grinder pump - the answer is it depends, but most likely you want an ejector pump not a grinder pump. Grinder pumps do usually have more hp but it’s only necessary if you have a high lift or a long run. They also cost more. If you have a 2” waste line you don’t need to grind. Also if you have girls, I’ve seen a lot of caution videos from plumbers (I’m not a plumber) where hair likes to wrap around moving parts and burns the pump out on the cutter. You can find plenty of you tube videos detailing the difference between them and which is the best pump, blah blah blah. Everyone is a salesman or a critic. If you just have a standard basement to pump it out, get a 1/2 hp ejector pump, get one with at least 2-3 year warranty, don’t cheap out to save $100, don’t go to Home Depot or Lowe’s or Menards. Go to a plumber if you don’t know what you’re doing (I installed mine myself but it was within my skill set, can’t speak to your skills). A brand like a liberty or zoeller is fine if you don’t know where to start. Will run about $500 for the pump. Do get an alarm if you don’t have one already, that’ll run you another couple hundred plus install. Install costs more when there is already shit in the hole so like the other commenter said, expect it to run you $1300-$1500 unless you DIY then $700-$900. You don’t want to have to do this again (unless you found your forever home) and you don’t want to lay in bed wondering if you’re going to have a bad morning if someone flushed the toilet one too many times.

NinjaClownshoes t1_j4nwjz3 wrote

You need a macerator pump. That’s what you call a sump pump specifically designed to move sewage.


Free_Leonard_Peltier t1_j4o0386 wrote

When selecting your new macerating pump, please don’t purchase the cheapest one. If you’re planning on staying there for a while, remember the saying “pay me now, or pay me later”. Buy a good quality pump and forget about it, future you will be happy you did.

Side note, to get yourself out of a pinch, you could use a regular sump pump as long as you suspend it somewhat (4-8”) from the bottom and cross your fingers. Not for permanent installation as tissue paper or poo will plug it, but to prevent a mess, it could certainly save the day. Bathroom is out of order until you get the proper pump in place though.

Good luck to you! May the brown always go down!


Veritas3333 t1_j4oiltd wrote

Well, with an ejector pump, the brown is going up!


ES_Blargfeld t1_j4qtlen wrote

Literally my job, as others have said you need a solids handling pump, for residential where lift (head) and flow are not that high I recommend a vortex style impeller, very clog resistant but less electrically efficient. YMMV but I would not purchase a Liberty, your best consumer grade pumps are going to be zoeller, barnes, or goulds.


Barnes (2SEV514L)

Zoeller (282 Series)

In any case you want a manual pump (where the float is not part of the pump)

Let me know where you are and I might be able to put you in contact with a distributor


allmystuffistrash t1_j4o1kor wrote

Look for a sewage pump that has the proper amount of lift and horsepower for your basin. One that will handle up to 2” solids. You don’t need a grinder pump unless you just want to get fancy. If you do get a grinder style pump, be extra careful that there are no rocks or hard solids in your basin or going into your drains. The clearance between the grinder blade and backplate is only around .006” and will possibly grow over time to a larger gap that can pull in hard solids and create havoc to that blade and back plate. When the blade is trashed, it will no longer pump out your solids and will clog. Gould’s and Zoeller are some good brands that I can recommend.


padizzledonk t1_j4o2evz wrote


Sewage pumps have special impeller blades

They're more like a cross between a garbage disposal and a sump pump


BassWingerC-137 t1_j4oah3v wrote

So that’s how this stuff works. Always wondered, never lived in an area w basements.


Peopletowner t1_j4qpoep wrote

Many basements are still above the sewer line, so you don't need these pumps in that situation.


BassWingerC-137 t1_j4s7vo2 wrote

Fascinating. My sewer line is maybe 4 feet below the top of my slab - but we don’t have to contend with freezing temps which I am sure is the driver for all of these things.


raul_lebeau t1_j4q6ygv wrote

A shitty pump should be enough


andrewbrocklesby t1_j4o5cho wrote

No, it needs to be a macerating pump, nothing else will work.