On a macerator pump, the trash has to be ground into tiny pieces before it is pumped out of the septic tank. That’s what we’ll find out in this article. But first, why would you need one? If your indoor plumbing doesn’t include a conical pipe (commonly known as a P-Trap), any liquid that goes down the discharge pipe may flow directly into your septic system or cesspool without being pre-screened for large objects like rags and disposable diapers.
A clogged septic system isn’t just inconvenient, if untreated, it can result in raw human waste overflowing back into your home and property via a primary toilet or the drain line. For this reason, it’s suggested that a macerator pump be installed on all new homes and commercial properties with a septic tank system.
But even if your house is equipped with P-traps, you still probably want to install a macerator pump, because they’re more convenient than traditional pumps. For instance, most kitchen sinks have built-in overflow protection systems that may activate the instant the sink starts filling up. If nothing is done, these overflows can quickly result in flooded basements and ruined carpets, not to mention terrible reeking odours.
What is Macerator Pump?
Macerator pumps solve this problem by grinding and pumping the contents into a fine slurry before it has a chance to overflow from the drain line, when activated, they send everything down your macerating pump works and out of your septic macerating system. With a macerator pump, you’ll never have to worry about overflowing sinks or toilets again.
Macerator pumps install on the discharge side of your existing drain-pump unit and grind up any solids that would otherwise fill up the septic tank and result in an overflow. To protect against crushing hazardous objects such as needles and razors, they’re equipped with safety screens that keep large non-biodegradable objects from entering your drainage system.
Maintenance of Macerator Pumps
Macerator pumps require little maintenance, they don’t even need an electrical supply like traditional pump units do (they operate with 12V DC). Like all submersible pump systems though, it’s a good idea to check the inlet and outlet hoses for leaks.
The most common problem is when debris like rags, food particles, grease (with septic systems) or hair clogs the pump impeller. If this happens, you can call a local company that rents out construction equipment to either clear out the impeller housing or replace it altogether.
It’s also worth mentioning that many people (especially those with septic tanks) use their macerator pumps as garbage disposals too. Just keep in mind that they’re mainly designed to break down soft organic matter only (like fruit peels). Hard objects like glass may cause damage to your unit so don’t put them down the drain.
Macerating Toilets with a Septic Tank
If you’re also looking into installing a macerating toilet, even though they use a grinding or blending mechanism, note that these pumps are typically designed to pump out relatively small amounts of water. They may not be powerful enough for high-volume runs like flushing large amounts of toilet paper, or more solid waste. It’s for this reason that most people who install a macerator pump on their toilets also install a separate P-Trap to catch any larger solids before they enter the pump.
I hope you’ve learnt something from this article and may consider installing a pump in your home if it doesn’t have an existing P-Trap system yet. In addition to the risk of raw sewage overflows, having slow draining drains can create terrible smells throughout your home that just get worse when left untreated.
It’s normal for homes with macerator pumps to use water and wastewater at a slightly higher rate than those without them installed, because the septic tank has to process more liquid volume. If you’re experiencing frequent backups though (and your system isn’t overloaded), then adding a second macerator pump might help reduce them (best practice is to have one on each level of your home).
Macerating Toilets Troubleshooting
If you suspect that your septic system is backed up, remember, the first step should always be calling a licensed plumber who may come and clear out or repair any damages before they get worse or start causing other issues.
If service technicians can’t find anything wrong with the system, it could be because you have a macerator pump installed. Despite their convenience, they do tend to cause more clogs than other types of septic pumps. To combat this, you can also install a P-Trap on your toilets to help catch the larger solids, instead of having a macerating unit.
Where does the wWste from a Macerator Go?
The main drawback of having a macerating pump is that you have to have a separate holding tank where the waste may be stored until waste water is pumped out. These tanks need regular maintenance and cleaning in order to stay in good condition, although most modern models come with a scraper tool that makes things easier.
If these tanks aren’t emptied out regularly enough, they can fill up fast and cause all sorts of issues. Not just from overloading your system but also from potential odours emanating from the dirty water tank itself.
It is important that if you choose to add a macerating unit for your toilet or laundry, that you understand how it works and what needs to be done on an ongoing basis in order for everything to work to maximum efficiency. The best way to ensure your macerator pump is running at peak performance is to have it serviced regularly by a local company that may do all the necessary maintenance in order to reduce any future issues that could arise in the short or long term.
Normal Toilet vs Macerating Toilet
When it comes to choosing between a normal toilet and macerating models, there are pros and cons for both. If you already have a septic tank, then adding a pump may increase the cost of your system without much-added benefit because they’re designed to work with lower volumes of water over time, at a lower water pressure. However, if you have no P-Trap enclosure in place yet, having one installed may stop larger solids from entering the mainline where they can cause clogs that could lead to backups or overflows.
Macerating toilets are also available as either standard gravity models or pressure-assisted models. It’s important to understand which type works best with your existing piping system so you avoid having any problems when everything is hooked up. Macers are designed to work with lower water volumes, so you could have problems with clogs or backups if your line isn’t pumped out regularly enough. If you live in a rural area where local authorities don’t have the budget to keep up with regular pumping schedules, it’s best not to have one installed unless there are other benefits that outweigh any potential drawbacks.
There are different types of macerating units available depending on whether or not they’re gravity-fed or pressure-assisted. It’s important to understand which type may work best for your property and septic system before making the purchase. Macerator pumps aren’t advisable for homes located in rural areas because they require regular maintenance by professionals to prevent any serious issues from arising. If you’re thinking about getting one installed in your home, has this post given you enough information to make an informed decision?
Is it Time for a New Septic Tank?
Over time, the septic tank of your property may get clogged up with more and or less solid waste. As such, it’s important that you give it the necessary attention by having a professional company pump out any built-up sludge. However, if there is very little coming from your unit and it takes more than 24 hours for liquids and solids to separate, then it could be time for a new septic tank.
Another important tip before you think about having a septic tank installed is to speak with your county’s Department of Wastewater Management, as they’ll most likely know the most about how septic systems work in your area. With that said, if there are any problems with local water quality or undissolved solid build-ups, then it might be wise not to invest in one at all because this could lead to major issues further down the line.
If you do choose to purchase a new system, make sure it may match up with the existing plumbing and power supply before making the investment. If you live outside an urban area where public utilities aren’t readily available, you may need to make some changes before having something like this installed on your property. It’s vital that you avoid rushing into anything without knowing all the facts beforehand.