If the home you are about to move into uses a grinder pump, it will be beneficial for you to have at least a little knowledge of the way one works so that you can keep it well maintained.
Let’s look at how a grinder pump works and discuss a few of the dos and don’ts of using one.
A grinder pump is a device designed for managing household waste. It works by grinding up this waste into a slurry and then flushing it through into the sewer system. Grinder pumps are usually required if the homes drainage system is below or even at the same level as a public sewer line or septic tank which would prevent sewage from flowing quickly enough through the system by itself.
Although we know there are many items that should never be flushed down any toilet or sink, it's important to be aware of items that you should avoid disposing of this way when you have a grinder pump. Among the things that should not be placed in a toilet or drain are grease which builds up in the tank, caustic or toxic chemicals, cat litter, aquarium gravel, plastic, feminine hygiene products, and diapers.
Keep in mind that grinder pumps require electricity to operate, this means that, should you experience a power outage for any reason, the pump will not work so you will want to limit the amount of water you use during this time otherwise the tank cause become too full.
If you are going away for a few days you will want to prepare the grinder pump by running water long enough so that the pump activates and leaves only clean water in the tank. If you do not do this, you could experience some unpleasant odors.
Be aware also that you should never connect a grinder pump to the sump pump. This will not only use much more electricity but will overwork the pump, potentially costing you a lot of money.
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL