Sump Pump VS Sewage Pump

Sump Pump VS Sewage Pump: 8 Differences [Complete Guide]

Last Updated on May 16, 2023

Water is integral to any daily routine, yet too much can cause significant issues, especially in flooding-prone areas. To combat this risk, sump pumps and sewage pumps are essential tools that serve a common purpose. However, there’s one key difference: their intended usage and water handling capacity.

The sump pump removes excess water from basements, crawl spaces, and other low-lying building areas. Meanwhile, sewage pumps can handle solid and liquid waste, including human waste and other heavy liquids.

Also, sump pumps are specifically designed to handle water only, whereas sewage pumps can take solid and liquid waste, including heavy liquids and small amounts of solids. This makes sewage pumps more powerful than sump pumps for handling multiple waste types.

Through this article, we will discuss the differences between sump pumps and sewage pumps. So if you are interested, continue reading to understand these two types of pumps better.

Sump Pump VS Sewage Pump: 8 Differences

What are the Differences Between a Sump Pump VS a Sewage Pump

When choosing a pump for your property’s drainage needs, knowing the differences between sewage and sump pumps is essential. Both these pumps have different abilities and are designed to handle different types of fluids. Knowing their differences can help you decide the best fit for your drainage needs.

The following are the key differences between these two:

The Intent of Use

Sump pumps and sewage pumps have different design purposes. Sump pumps remove excess water from your basements, crawl and narrow spaces, and other low-lying areas. The primary function of a sump pump is to protect your house from flood damage by directing water away from your house’s foundation.

Alternatively, sewage pumps are mainly designed to handle solid and liquid waste, as well as human waste and other liquids. Sewage pumps are commonly used for draining wastewater from septic tanks or municipal sewer systems.

Pump Construction

Another significant apparent difference between a sewage pump & a sump pump is the materials used in their construction. Sump pumps are often built with thermoplastic or cast iron materials, while sewage pumps feature sturdier cast iron or stainless steel construction.

One reason for the difference is that sewage pumps handle harsher conditions, such as solid waste, whereas sump pumps only deal with water. The stronger materials in sewage pumps enable them to handle the wear and tear caused by solid waste far better than sump pumps.

Handling Capabilities

Sump pumps and sewage ejector pumps have different handling capabilities. Sump pumps are designed to handle water only, making them ineffective at handling sewage or solid waste materials.

Conversely, sewage pumps can take care of solids and liquids, including heavy liquids. Sewage pumps have special impellers that can handle solid waste materials, ensuring your waste is properly disposed of without clogging the system.

Pump Capacity

Sump pumps and sewage pumps also differ in pump capacity. Sump pumps are typically smaller and have a lower capacity than sewage pumps, as they are designed to handle only relatively clean water. Sump pumps are available in various sizes, typically from ¼ to higher.

Conversely, a sewage pump is usually larger and more robust to handle heavier waste and solids. Sewage pumps are usually available in larger sizes, ranging from ½ to 3 HP. Large sewage pumps can move up to 600 gallons of wastewater per minute, while smaller pumps may handle up to 200 gallons per minute.

Pump Installation

Usually, sump pumps are installed in a shallow basin or pit, dug into the ground and located in an area prone to flooding. Conversely, sewage pumps are installed in a deeper basin, known as a sewage ejector pit, typically located on the basement floor or where sewage collects.

Sewage ejector pits have a more substantial and robust structure than the sump pit, mainly because of the hazardous nature of the materials that the sewage pump handles.

Operation Method

The operating principle behind sump pumps and sewage pumps differs significantly. Sump pumps require an impeller to move water out of low-lying areas, lifting it out and onto designated drainage areas.

Meanwhile, sewage pumps rely on gravity to move waste down through the plumbing system. There is no need for an impeller because the sewage flow is spontaneous due to the gravitational pull.

Pump Types

Sump pumps come in two types- Pedestal sump pumps and Submersible pumps. The main difference between these pumps is how they’re installed. Pedestal pumps are placed outside the sump basin, with their motor above the water. In contrast, submersible pumps are placed inside the sump basin and operate underwater.

We have meticulously reviewed the top rated pedestal sump pumps to identify and spotlight their most important features. Our aim is to empower our readers with essential information so they can confidently choose a pump that best meets their needs.

Our review scrutinized several features of pedestal sump pumps, such as horsepower, pumping capacity, durability, and more. The functionalities and the effectiveness of the components that make up a pedestal sump pump played a significant role in our evaluation.

Alternatively, sewage pumps come in ejector pumps and grinder pumps. Ejector pumps are used for pumping raw sewage and waste materials up to the plumbing system to the municipal sewer line. Grinder pumps are used for homes with septic tanks and work by grinding and pumping wastewater from the house to the septic tank.

Maintenance Requirements

Regarding maintenance requirements, sump pumps, and sewage pumps have different needs.

Sump pumps should be regularly maintained and inspected, particularly in flood-prone areas, to ensure proper function. The most common maintenance requirements include cleaning the sump basin, checking the electric supply, and replacing the battery.

As a counterpoint, sewage pumps require little maintenance, but significant, solid objects may cause blockages, reducing pump efficiency. Therefore, regular checks are required to ensure there is no clog.

Can you use a sump pump as a sewage pump?

Can you use a sump pump as a sewage pump

Using a sump pump as a sewage ejector pump is not recommended due to the different levels of waste that each pump is designed to handle. Sump pumps are mainly used to remove excess water from your basement or crawl space, while sewage pumps are intended to treat solid waste and other wastewater.

Using a sump pump as a sewage grinder pump will likely get clogged with solid waste, leading to damage and potentially expensive repair costs. In short, using a sewage pump when removing solid waste and water from your home is advisable.

Can a sewage ejector pump be used as a sump pump?

While a sewage pump is designed to handle solid waste and other wastewater, it can be used as a sump pump if your pit often fills with small debris and if your system can manage significant horsepower (HP) and gallons-per-hour (GPH) loss.

Installing a sewage pump in a sump pit may be a good choice if your basement or crawl space often experiences small debris, such as leaves, sticks, or dirt. But remember that a sewage pump may not be suitable for sump pits with larger pieces of debris and may require more maintenance than a traditional sump pump.

Also, installing a sewage pump for sump pit applications may require a higher electrical cost, so you should consult a professional before making this decision.

Do I need both: a sewage pump and a sump pump?

Do I need both a sewage pump and a sump pump

Both pumps in your home are recommended, as they serve different purposes. A sump pump is designed to keep your basement or crawl space dry by removing excess water, while a sewer pump can handle solid waste.

If you have a sump pit that often fills with water and small debris, a sump pump can remove the water, while a sewage pump can handle any solid waste that enters the system. Also, having both pumps can provide redundancy in case one pump fails or is overwhelmed by a sudden influx of water or waste.

Consult with a professional to determine the best pump system for your home and ensure proper installation and maintenance.

Why would a house have a dedicated sewage pump?

A dedicated sewage pump is essential for houses built in below-grade areas such as basements, crawlspaces, or low-lying properties that require homeowners to pump waste uphill to the main sewer line at street level.

These pumps help remove the sewage, wastewater, and solid waste from homes and dispose of them properly. This system ensures the efficient and safe removal of wastewater from homes while preventing sewage backup and damage to property.

Local building codes typically require installing sewage pumps, and failure to comply may lead to significant fines or penalties.

Is a sewage pump better than a sump pump for the basement?

Sewage and sump pumps serve different purposes, and which pump to install in a basement depends on a homeowner’s specific needs. While both pumps may look similar, sump pumps have different specifications and components that suit their purpose.

Therefore, installing a sump pump in the basement to prevent water from entering the house is more appropriate than installing a sewage pump.

How many years does a sewage pump last?

How many years does a sewage pump last

The lifespan of a sewage pump depends on its usage, maintenance, and quality of installation. For residential sewage pumps, the lifespan ranges from 5 to 7 years, while for commercial pumps, it ranges from 5 to 15 years.

Regular maintenance is crucial to prolonging the lifespan of the sewage pump. Maintenance should include regular cleaning, checking for clogs, monitoring the pump’s motor, and ensuring the float switch works properly.

Protect Your Home From Flooding: Choose the Right Pump Carefully

Sump pumps and sewage pumps are two crucial types of equipment for any homeowner. While both are designed to pump fluids, they are made to handle different types of waste. Whether you require a sump pump or a sewage pump depends on the type of substance you need to remove from your property.

A sump pump is designed only to handle water and can help prevent flooding in your home. Meanwhile, a sewage pump can handle solids and liquids essential for moving wastewater out of your property. With this information, you can now make a more informed decision when choosing the right pump for your needs.

By understanding the differences between sump and sewage pumps, you can decide to keep your property dry and healthy.

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