What is a Grinder Pump?

grinder pump

A grinder pump is a nasty but necessary piece of many home's plumbing systems.  It is a pump located at a low point in your house or yard where the wastewater drains from the house.  It grinds up the wastewater and pumps it to the nearest gravity sewer in the public street.  This is an essential piece of equipment that helps maintain a properly flowing sewage system.

What Should I Do if My Grinder Pump Alarm Goes Off?

If there is too much flow going into your grinder pump unit, the high sewage level will automatically trigger an alarm to alert you of the problem.  In many instances, the problem could be an excessive amount of flow to the grinder pump.  If this happens, you should take a few simple and immediate steps:

  • Stop using water in your home
  • Turn off the alarm by pressing the button on the front of the alarm box
  • Wait fifteen minutes to see if the high water level self-corrects
  • If the alarm light is still on after fifteen minutes, give us a call
  • Never attempt to open the tank cover or the electrical panel box: electrical shock or damage to the system may occur

What if There is a Power Outage?

In the event of a power outage, if you don't have a backup home generator your grinder pump is going to cease functioning.  Without electricity it cannot run which means your sewage cannot be ground up and pushed out as it is supposed to be.  Trying to use your sewage system when your grinder pump isn't working will result in it backing up into your home.  Stop using it immediately until your power outage is corrected.

Why Do I Need a Grinder Pump?

Wastewater normally flows downhill by gravity through the sewer system.  However, gravity service is not available to your property.  Your residence may be at a lower elevation than the sewer main, requiring the use of a pump to force the wastewater up tot he gravity sewer main.

What Can I Do to Protect My Grinder Pump?

A properly maintained grinder pump should be able to handle wastewater from the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, etc. However, some chemicals and substances can adversely impact a grinder pump and may cause safety hazards. Please check the labels on all chemicals before using or disposing. Never connect a sump pump to the grinder pump.

CAUTION: never put any of the following materials into sinks, toilets or drains as they
can clog your home system and create unsafe conditions in your lines and tank:

  • Cooking fat, lard, oil or grease
  • Degreasing Solvents
  • Cigarette butts
  • Dental Floss
  • Sanitary napkins, tampons or diapers
  • Q-Tips
  • Sanitary wipes such as baby wipes or disposable floor wipes
  • Hair clippings
  • Cat litter
  • Strong chemical, toxic, caustic, or poisonous substance
  • Explosive or flammable materials
  • Glass, metal, wood, eggshells, seafood shells, coffee beans, aquarium rocks or gravel
  • Plastic Objects
  • Rubber gloves or other disposable gloves
  • Fireplace ashes