How Do Sewage Pumps Work?

Cleaned sewage pump

August 19, 2021

Whilst they might not be the most pleasant thing to think about on a day to day basis, the fact of the matter is that many different properties across the U.K rely upon a sewage pump to ensure a healthy sewage system and flow is maintained.

The question is though, are you familiar with how your sewage pump works? – and would you be able to spot the signs of a sewage pump that is about to fail?

This article will hopefully give you a better insight into not only how your sewage pump works, but the kind of signs to look out for when a potential failure is looming on the horizon.

How Does a Sewage Pump Work?

Whilst the principle that governs all sewage pumps is pretty standard, the simple fact is that no two sewage pumps are going to be the same. You could see pumps with one motor, or two – and many different sewage pumps have power sources.

Some work from an alternating current, whilst some work from a direct current from a battery source. Some sewage pumps even use a combination of both power sources to ensure that even in the event of a power cut, the pump is capable of working just as you need it to without any interruption.

The point stands though: Most sewage pumps are going to work in a similar fashion regardless of their design. To start with, the pump will be installed within your property at the lowest point of the sewage basin.

This might mean that the pump itself is dug into the ground – this is pretty normal when it comes to sewage pumps. In fact, it’s the very reason they are often referred to as a submersible sewage pump.

This is similar to how sump pumps can be referred to as submersible sump pumps – so if you are ever talking to a technician about your submersible pump, be sure to be specific.

When the sewage pump is installed within your sewage system, that’s when the pump will start to work. This can happen in one of two ways.

Automatic Pump

The first is if the pump is automatic. In this situation, the power to the pump is controlled through a float switch, and the tank of the sewage pump is only emptied and pumped away once the float switch engages. The float switch itself is connected to the power coming into the pump, and the motor is therefore only engaged once the float switch has reached the level assigned for pumping.

Manual Mode Pump

The other option is a manual mode pump. In this instance, the pump is connected directly to the power itself, bypassing the pump switch, meaning that the pump will only engage once the power has been turned on.

This presents a number of problems to the property owner (or whoever is in charge of the pump), as if the pump isn’t engaged at the points in which it should be, your property could be at risk of a sewage overflow.

Dual Mode Pump

There are also dual-mode pumps. These pumps are fitted with a switch that can turn them from being automatic to manual, which presents a number of benefits if you find yourself in a situation where consistent and longer pumping serves your property well rather than automatic flushing.

It’s important to remember that whilst a sewage pump might look and be installed in the same manner that a sump pump is, that they are not the same thing, and you cannot rely on a sump pump to do sewage pumps work, and vice versa.

You can read more on the differences between sump pumps and sewage pumps here – but now you know what a sewage pump is used for, it’s time to learn about how the pump operates.

That comprises the crux of how sewage pumps work. A device sat within the sewage system of your property designed to pump sewage to its proper waste site once the tank that the pump operates with has filled. What are the potential problems if a sewage pump fails though?

What Are the Signs and Consequences of a Failed Sewage Pump?

Sewage pumps are, at their core, working machinery with a very crucial role to play when it comes to the welfare of your property. Having sewage pump maintenance carried out is important then is vital to the ongoing wellbeing of your property.

Broken Float Switch

One sign of trouble that owners of sewage pumps should look out for is a broken float switch. There are a number of different signs to look out for concerning broken float switches – but the overall result is always the same: a non-functioning pump, that doesn’t empty its storage tank, and an eventual overflow. Learn more about float switches and recognising the signs of failure here.

Power Failure

Another potential risk to your properties sewage system is a power failure. If your pump isn’t equipped with a backup battery, then that pump is going to be unusable during periods of times – for example when your property is without power.

This could be intensely problematic, and combined with a flooded basement in a storm situation could lead to a very messy and undesirable overflow situation.

If you are unsure that your sewage pump has a backup battery installed, then get in touch with our team of engineers. Not only will they be able to tell you if you need a backup battery installing on your sewage pump, but in most cases they can quickly and efficiently fit one to your sewage pump to safeguard you against failure in the future.

Malfunctioning Pump Motor

Finally, one of the biggest threats to the operation of any sewage pump is a malfunctioning pump motor. Realistically, there is a chance that a layman might be able to hear a malfunctioning pump motor – but it would be unrealistic to expect that same person to know how to fix the motor efficiently.

Contact A Specialist

Instead, be sure to have regular inspections from qualified professionals booked in to avoid you needing emergency sewage pump repairs. You can arrange a schedule with our technicians easily by calling 0800 019 9949 or contact us online by clicking the link down below.

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