Grey water is the name given to dirty wastewater that may contain some solids in it which you would certainly not want to drink. When you flush your toilet or run a dishwasher all of the water that is emptied would typically run out of your house and to your town's sewer system. If you do not have a sewer system available to drain this greywater to then it will be pumped into your septic tank. An effluent pump can used to lift this “greywater” up and out of your septic tank in case you need to drain it for maintenance.
Choosing a Pump Housing Material
Effluent pumps come in a variety of different housing materials depending on your preference. The most common being stainless steel and brass, but there's also cast iron available for those who want more durability or thermoplastics if you're looking to save space! You could also look at thermoplastic pumps if you want your equipment to be lightweight and portable.
Cast iron is a durable, heavy duty material that can withstand high levels of use. It's perfect for commercial or industrial settings but also preferred in residential environments where you need your equipment to last as long as possible – like home owners who don't want their effluent pump going out on them during an emergency situation! Thermoplastic pumps are lighter but still have enough durability to be a solid choice.
How to Size your Pump
The size of the pump you need to get will typically depend on the distance from the pump you would like to discharge the grey water, and how high up it needs to be pumped. All pumps have a different flow rated depending on how must distance they must move water vertically, a pump that pushes water vertically 10 feet can push 60 gallons per minute, but that same pump when pushing water vertically up 20 feet might only be able to do 20 gallons per minute.
If you are simply replacing a pump then you do not need to look any further than the size of the pump you are replacing. If the previous pump was sufficient for the job that means it was chosen for a reason, and you certainly would not want to go with a smaller horse power pump. You could opt to choose a larger pump, but you'd be spending extra money on it likely and it would take more power to run so you might end up paying more in electricity as well over the long haul.
If you happen to be replacing a pump very shortly after it was installed (within the first few months) and you are certain it was installed correctly and was not defective, it could be a sign that the previous pump is underpowered and you may want to consider getting a larger one.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an effluent pumps and a sewage pump?
Both of these pumps are meant for pumping grey water that contains minimal solids, but the main difference is that effluent pumps are designed to only handle solids up to 1/2″ in diameter. This is different from a sewage pump which are typically rated to handle solids with up to a 2″ diameter.
What are the advantages of a submersible pump for septic tank?
Submersible pumps are great for septic tanks because they have a sealed and watertight design that prevents liquids from entering the mechanical parts inside the unit. They are convenient to use and energy efficient and can easily handle solids. They also do not need to be primed before operating, meaning less time you have to keep your hands in yucky greywater.
What’s the difference between a sump pump and a sewage pump?
The main difference between the two is a sump pump is designed to only work with mostly clean water and liquids, whereas a sewage pump can handle raw waste like from your washroom which might include some solids in the water. Most sewage pumps can handle solids up to 2″ in size, and are typically much larger and require more current. Because of this bigger demand for power it can be harder to run a sewage pump off a battery, but it's very common to have a sump pump wired to a battery.
What’s the best sump pump brand for the septic tank?
There are hundreds of brands manufacturing sump pumps, but only a handful have been trusted time after time. Zoeller, Wayne, Little Giant, and Superior Pump are some of the top companies that offer a variety of different models in various categories and price points for you to choose from.
For pumping grey water out of your septic tank we highly recommend using a sewage pump because your tank will likely contain solids up to 2″ diameter, and most other pumps are not rated to handle solids of this size. Sewage pumps are designed to be extremely efficient at moving water using little electricity, and the materials used on these pumps can typically last a very long time. Using a submersible sump pump like the Zoeller Waste-Mate 267-001 Sewage Pump in your septic tank is the best way to remove the grey water.