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Septic Pump Maintenance

by Sep 22, 2017

Septic Pump maintenance should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Proper maintenance of your system could save you hundreds of dollars in the future.


1. Check the pump chamber,pump,and floats every year and replace or repair worn or broken parts. Electrical parts and conduits should be checked for corrosion. If the alarm panel has a “push-to-test” button, it should be checked regularly.

2. Install a septic tank filter if your system does not have one. Filter wastewater from the tank to help keep solids from clogging the pump and drainfield pipes. Inspect filters and clean as needed to prevent costly damage from solids entering the system.

3. In case of prolonged power outage or pump failure:Protect the drainfield from overloading. Wastewater will continue to collect in the pump chamber until the pump starts operation. With additional wastewater in the chamber, the pump may dose an amount more than the drainfield can handle. If all of the reserve storage in the chamber is used, the plumbing in your home can backup. When the pump is controlled by float controls and is off for more than 6 hours, the following measures can help protect the drainfield (timer controls will automatically correct this problem):

• Reduce your water use to a minimum.

• Turn off the pump at the control panel.

• After power is restored or pump service is completed, switch the pump on and let it run for 5 minutes maximum, and turn it off again. Repeat this manual switching every 6 hours until the effluent drops to the “OFF” float level and the pump turns off automatically. If there is little water used during the outage, the pump may automatically turn off during the first manual switching.

Unlike conventional gravity systems which use gravity to transport wastewater to the drainfield, pressure pump systems, use a pump to convey wastewater to a secondary tank that drains to the drainfield.


An alarm float will trigger an alarm light to come on and a buzzer to sound if the water level inside the pump chamber gets too high. This could be caused by: a faulty pump, float, or circuit, excessive water use, or other reasons. Use as little water as possible by avoiding baths, showers, and clothes washing. The reserve storage in the pump chamber should allow you enough time to get the problem corrected.

To silence the alarm, push the reset light on the alarm panel. Before calling for service or repair, check to see if the problem could be:

1. A tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. The pump should have a separate circuit with its own breaker or fuse. If it’s on a circuit with other equipment, that equipment can cause the breaker to trip.

2. An unplugged power cord to the pump or float switch. If electrical connections are plug-in, be sure switch and pump plugs are making good contact in the outlet.

3. Control floats that are tangled by other parts in the chamber such as the electric power cord, lifting rope,or pump screen. Be sure floats operate freely in the chamber.

4. Debris on floats or support cable that is causing the pump to switch off. Lift the floats out of the chamber and clean. Do not enter the pump chamber. Gases inside pump chambers are poisonous and the lack of air can be fatal. If the problem cannot be located with the above steps, call your pump service person or septic professional for service or repair.


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