Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Pressure Sewer System?
- About the E/One Grinder Pump
- Grinder Pump Use, Troubleshooting and Repair/Service
- Power Outages
- Where to Buy an E/One Grinder Pump
What is a Pressure Sewer System?
Q: What is a pressure sewer system?
A: A pressure sewer system uses small-diameter pipes and grinder pumps, which are often installed at each home. The grinder pump station collects all of the wastewater from the home and grinds it into slurry. The wastewater is then pumped to a larger sewer main or directly to a wastewater treatment plant. Learn more about pressure sewer systems and their benefits in our Overview section.
About the E/One Grinder Pump
Q: What is a grinder pump?
A: A grinder pump is a component of a sewer system. It grinds up the solids in wastewater and transports it to some type of treatment (pressure sewer, gravity sewer or septic/onsite treatment system) through small-diameter pipe.
Q: Is this a replacement for a septic tank or other onsite treatment?
A: No, this is a collection and transportation device; it will not take the place of treatment. The sewage needs to be pumped to a sewer line or some form of treatment.
Q: How does the grinder pump work?
A: The grinder pump station receives all of the wastewater from the home (from toilets, sinks, dishwasher, washing machine, etc) via gravity and collects it in a tank, usually buried in the yard, or sometimes in the basement of a home. When wastewater in the tank reaches a certain level, the pump turns on automatically and pumps the wastewater to the sewer main. The pump will turn off automatically.
Q: How noisy is the grinder pump?
A: With an outdoor unit buried in the ground, you will not hear it at all if you’re 10 or 15 feet away. If you’re standing on top of it, it sounds like your washing machine when it’s running — just a hum (69 dB at 6 feet).
Q: How long will the pump operate each day?
A: Typical operation is a total of 10 to 30 minutes per day for single-family residential homes. It is designed to turn on several times throughout the day (20 to 40 times for a single-family home), for 1 to 2 minutes each time. This will vary with water usage — the more water you use, the more often the pump will turn on.
Q: What is the average yearly electrical cost to operate a grinder pump servicing the typical single-family home?
A: A typical single family home uses approximately 250 gallons of water per day. The E/One pump for this home will consume about 200 KWh of electricity per year. Check your utility bill for the cost per kilowatt hour in your area. For example, if you pay 11 cents per kilowatt hour: $0.11 KWh x 120 KWh = $13.00 per year cost of electricity to operate the E/One pump.
Grinder Pump Use, Troubleshooting and Repair/Service
Q: Am I limited to what I can flush or pour down the drain?
A: The only items that should be going down your drains are water, regular toilet paper, and human waste. The following items should not be introduced into the grinder pump station (or any sewer system); they can damage or cause premature problems (parts wearing out) with your pump, or build up in the tank and block your pump from working properly.
- Take care not to dump large amounts of grease, paint, strong chemicals, and avoid putting sand, kitty litter, etc. down your drain.
- Feminine products and personal/cleaning wipes (even if they're marked "flushable") should be disposed of in a garbage can, not flushed.
Refer to our Grinder Pump Owners Guide for more information about what not to flush.
Q: Why is my alarm going off?
A: The alarm on your grinder pump station will sound when the wastewater in the tank reaches a certain level.
- A nuisance alarm may occur if a large inrush of water overwhelms the pump temporarily and water rises above the pump's alarm level, such as emptying a whirlpool tub. Once the pump "catches up," the alarm turns off by itself and does not turn on again. Frequent nuisance alarms may indicate that the pump is having trouble "keeping up" and needs service.
- A nuisance alarm may also occur after a power outage. This is normal because the water could be above the pump’s alarm level and the pump needs a few minutes to pump down the tank to a normal level. If the alarm doesn't turn off, call or service.
- An actual alarm will occur if the pump has stopped working and wastewater in the tank rises above the pump's alarm level. Discontinue water use to avoid causing a backup or overflow. Never silence the alarm and continue using water if your pump is not working; you will cause a backup or overflow and possibly damage the pump.
Q: What should I do if the alarm goes off?
A: If the alarm turns off after a few minutes and does not turn on again, the grinder pump should be OK. Check regularly to ensure that the grinder pump is operating and the alarm is not on.
If the alarm turns on and off repeatedly or turns on and stays on, you should call an authorized service center for service. Discontinue water use to avoid causing a backup or overflow. Look on your alarm panel for a service sticker with a phone number. If no service sticker is on the panel, call our Service Link (USA) at 1-866-539-9803 to find a service center near you.
Q: Who do I call for service and repair?
A: E/One recommends that you call an E/One authorized distributor or service center for repair. Technicians are trained by Environment One and knowledgeable about our pumps. First, look on your alarm panel for a service sticker with a phone number. If no service sticker is on the panel, call our Service Link (USA) at 1-866-539-9803 to find a service center near you.
Q: How do I contact E/One’s service department?
A: If you have questions about grinder pump service, call us at 518-346-6161, or send an email to email@example.com
Q: What if the power goes out?
A: Limit your water usage as much as possible. The tank has extra storage capacity and should be adequate because you are not using the dishwasher, washing machine, etc. When the power comes on again, the alarm may go off for a short time – this is normal because the water could be above the pump’s alarm level and the pump needs a few minutes to pump down the tank to a normal level. If the alarm does not turn off, call for service.
The best way to handle power outages is using an alarm panel that is equipped with a Remote Sentry Module and a generator receptacle. The Remote Sentry is a remote alarm with a buzzer & LED that indicates a high water alarm, even if the power is out, when it is connected to the Remote Sentry Contacts in the panel. So, the home owner can use the water until the Remote Sentry indicates that the tank is full, then plug a 6500W generator into the receptacle on the panel, the pump turns on, pumps down the tank, and they can continue to use water.
Q: What are the requirements for a generator?
A: E/One recommends a good quality, 6500-watt generator for starting the pump.
Where to Buy an E/One Grinder Pump
Q: Where can I buy an E/One grinder pump or replacement parts?
A: E/One sells its grinder pumps through a network of distributors. Use our Distributor Locator to find the distributor in your area. We do not sell direct.