Septic: From A to Z

2 Signs Your Home's Wastewater Pump Needs To Be Replaced

If your home is too far away from the city's main sewer line, you may have a wastewater pump installed that helps to carry the sewage water out to it. However, you may have started to notice the rancid smell of sewage in your home, making you wonder whether the pump is still doing its job. 

When you smell sewage and have already ruled out a problem with the sewage lines in your house, the pump may be having issues. Below are a couple of signs to look for when trying to determine whether your home's wastewater pump is going bad and should be replaced.

1. Pump Is No Longer Able to Fully Empty the Accumulated Wastewater in the Basin

One sign that the wastewater pump is going bad can be found by checking the basin. Normally, whenever the sewage reaches a predetermined level, the pump will kick on and send the contents out of the sewage pipe and into the city's main line.

However, if the basin is full but the pump is not working, there could be a couple of issues at play, the first of which is that the motor is going bad. The second is that there is not enough suction power to pull the wastewater into the sewage line. In either case, the pump will most likely need to be replaced.

2. Pump Runs Either Nonstop or Only for a Few Seconds Without Fully Pumping Out the Pit

Another sign that the pump is failing is when it either runs nonstop or has started short cycling without emptying the pit. In this case, the float switch may be in the wrong position or is going bad.

Try adjusting the float switch at a different level to see if the pump stops and starts correctly. If not, the switch may have gone bad. While the switch itself could be replaced, it is often an indicator of a larger issue with the motor, which would necessitate replacement.

When your home's wastewater pump is no longer able to empty the contents of its basin or pit, the motor may be going bad and not allowing enough suction power to build up. Or, the float switch may have failed, causing the pump to run continuously or short-cycle without fully pumping out the wastewater. In either case, you should contact a septic service in your area to have them look at the wastewater pump to see if it needs to be replaced.