Your sewer ejector pump is a vital component of your home's plumbing system. This pump rests in a covered receptacle or pit in your basement, and its job is to pump all of your waste and waste water out through the main sewer pipe to the public sewer system. If this pump fails, it can lead to sewage spills and backups -- so you really want to keep your eyes open for warning signs that often precede failure. Here are three such signs that indicate your sewer pump either needs to be replaced or repaired before it fails.
If you smell sewage when you walk into the basement, it could be because the pump is not completely emptying the sewage pit each time it turns on. Of course, there may also be a small leak in one of your sewage pipes, so take a look around for signs of a leak before assuming it is the pump. If you cannot find a leak, just call the plumber. They will be able to determine if the pump or a leak is to blame for the odor, and either ones needs to be fixed anyways!
Continuously Running Pump
The pump is meant to turn on when there is something to pump through your sewer lines, and then switch off again when the pit is empty. If it seems to be running continuously, that is a sign that the sensor is failing. Although it will keep emptying the pit and doing its job for the time being, you do need to have it repaired because the continuous running is very hard on it and will probably cause it to break down soon.
Fluid Not Being Ejected
If you hear the pump running, but the pit is not emptying, this is another sign that something is wrong. The pump may just be clogged, or it may no longer be drawing enough power to create enough suction to empty the pit. In either case, you should be careful to minimize your water use and the number of times you flush the toilet until you're able to have the pump repaired. Otherwise, you may come downstairs to discover a sewage spill pretty soon.
When your plumber arrives, they can take a look at the pump and tell you whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. Ejector pumps only cost a few hundred dollars, so if extensive repairs are made, you're generally best off just buying a new one. Contact a company, like Forrest Sewer Pump Service, for more help.