Do you know much about your sewer pump? If you are like most homeowners on Vancouver Island, there is a good chance that the answer is ‘no’. Knowing how to properly care for your sewer pump can help it last for many years, and it can reduce the need for inconvenient and expensive repairs. 

Your first question may be ‘how long do sewer pumps last?’. This largely depends on the type of pump that you have. If you don’t have a septic tank, you likely have a sewage pump that simply ejects water and solids from your basement plumbing system. These pumps are connected to your home’s internal plumbing, and should be maintained by a licensed plumber. If you have an elevated leach field, or a septic tank, you have an effluent pump. Effluent pumps are often called ‘lift pumps’, and they sit inside the septic tank chamber where they pump greywater to the leach field. 

Effluent pumps are durable and can last upwards of 10-15 years if they are maintained properly. Depending on how hard the pump has to work and how frequently the tank fills, your pump could last more or less time. If your pump stops working, our advice is to replace any pumps that are nearing their end of life rather than try to repair them. 

If your effluent pump fails, you need to have it serviced right away. Since the elevated leach field is higher than the inlet pipe on the septic tank, sewage is able to travel back into your basement while the pump is not working. There should be a check valve attached to your septic system that will prevent this from happening immediately, but after a while your tank will eventually become full and back up. This situation can quickly become an emergency if you are left unaware. Luckily, effluent pumps come with a build in alarm that will warn you if the pump stops working. If you hear this alarm and suspect that there might be an issue with your effluent pump, give us a call to get your septic pump repaired as soon as possible! 

One of the most common problems that we see with effluent pumps is not the pump itself, but the sensors attached to it. The pump chamber contains high-water and low-water sensors which cycle the pump on and off, and these sensors sometimes wear out before the pump itself. Our technicians will usually check these first as it is much less expensive to replace these floats than the entire pump.

Ready to make the most of your septic system and keep it in top shape for longer? Contact us today to chat about our routine septic tank servicing in Victoria and throughout Vancouver Island.

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