What is a grinder pump?

A grinder pump is a device which grinds up wastewater produced at your home (toilet use, shower, washing machine, garbage disposal, etc.) and pumps it under pressure into the public sewer system. In areas where it is impossible to install gravity sewage lines, grinder pumps are an economical solution. However, a grinder pump system does require that the homeowner take a more active role than required for a property served by a gravity system.

How does a grinder pump work?

A grinder pump is placed in a tank (or well) that is buried in a convenient outdoor location on a homeowner’s property. Wastewater generated in the house is piped into the tank. When it reaches a certain level in the tank, the grinder pump automatically turns on, grinds the waste, and pumps it thru the sewer outlet lines on the homeowner’s property to the public sewer system. A grinder pump will normally run just a few minutes and then automatically shut off when the tank is emptied to a res-set level. The grinder pump is powered by electricity and is connected to a control panel. If there is a power failure, the pump won’t operate. There is some storage capacity in the tank, but water usage should be limited until power is restored.

Who is responsible for the grinder pump?

Almost all grinder pumps are on private property and are, therefore, the responsibility of the property owner; as are the sewer service lines located thereon. The wastewater treatment authority’s responsibility begins after the property line in the public right of way.

Why do I need to have a professional look after my grinder pump?

Grinder pump units are electro-mechanical devices that must function within certain parameters to assure proper service. Grinder Pump Systems, LLC. has technicians that know those parameters and have been properly trained to check them for compliance. They have the knowledge, tools, and experience to keep your system in proper working order.

Due to buildup of materials in the well and/or the pump, cleaning should be done regularly. If not done, pressure switch floats can become fouled, which could cause the pump not to turn off or come on, perhaps leading to expensive repairs. Grinder Pump Systems, LLC. offers Preventative Maintenance Agreements to provide cleaning and system check services once per year.

What do I do if the alarm sounds?

If there is a grinder pump failure, the tank will become too full. An alarm horn and light located in the alarm box will automatically turn on. In the case of an alarm, you should immediately do the following:

  • Discontinue water use to prevent overflows
  • Turn off the alarm by depressing the silence button on the alarm box. The light will stay on.
  • Wait 15 minutes before taking further action. Sometimes high water usage will cause the alarm to come on. This situation is self-correcting and the light will go out by itself.
  • If the alarm light is still on after 15 minutes, PLEASE CALL US AT (928) 368-3167. Never attempt to open the tank cover or the electrical panel box. Electrical shock or damage to the system may occur.

What can I do to protect my grinder pump?

A properly maintained grinder pump should be able to handle wastewater from the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, etc. However, some chemicals and substances can adversely affect a grinder pump and may cause safety hazards. Please check the labels on all chemicals before using/disposing in your wastewater.

What items will adversely affect my grinder pump?

NEVER put the following items down drains or flush down toilets:

  • Grease – This is a byproduct of cooking that comes from meat fats, oils, shortening, butter margarine, food scraps, sauces, and dairy products.
  • Explosive or flammable materials
  • Dental floss
  • Kitty litter
  • Aquarium gravel or sand
  • Strong chemicals or toxic, caustic, or poisonous substances
  • Degreasing solvents
  • Diapers, feminine products, or cloth of any kind
  • Baby wipes
  • Sanitary (flushable) wipes
  • Fuel or lubricating oil, paint thinner, or antifreeze
  • Plastic objects
  • Seafood shells
  • Glass or metal
  • Rocks

What other things should I know about my grinder pump?

Cables are buried under the ground between the control panel and the grinder well. Proper caution must be observed for any digging in the area. It operates on 230Volts so be very careful.

There are breather vents in the well lid or under the lid that must remain open and free of debris. Air must displace the liquid when the pump lowers the well level.

All grinder pump units should be set so that the ground slopes away from the tank to prevent water entering from the top. Ground water is very bad for your pump.

What should I do when I go on vacation or leave the premises for an extended period of time?

If away from home for more than 7 days, use the following to minimize any stagnating odors. Fill a bathtub, then drain. The grinder pump will run until the tank is empty and then shut off. This cleans the pump and leaves the tank with a minimum amount of clean water. Always leave the electrical power on.