Your Guide to Ejector Pumps and Pits in 2024

If you’re like most homeowners, you may not know a lot about ejector pumps and pits. And if you’re in need of one or the other, it’s important to understand what they are and how they work. This guide is meant to provide you with that information so that you can make the best decision for your home. Whether you’re looking to install a new ejector pump or pit, or just want to learn more about them, this guide has everything you need. So, keep reading to learn more!


What are ejector pumps and pit used for?

An ejector pit is very similar to a sump basin, it collects waste water from your plumbing fixtures (like a bathroom, clothes washer, or humidifier) that are below grade, as in below the point where the municipal sewer line exits your house. The pit collects wastewater and a pump is used when the water level gets high enough, at that point the raw sewage is pumped straight up to your main sewage output.

What is a Sewage Ejector Pump

A sewage ejector pump is a plumbing fixture used to move your waste water from below the main sewage output out of the home. The pit collects waste water from places below that output line, like in your basement or septic, and when the float switch triggers it tells the ejector pump to being pumping the water up to where it can meet with the main exit from your basement. A homeowner can easily take care of the ejector pump installation but if you have to make a new hole in your foundation you may want to call a professional to help.

How Does an Ejector Pump Work?

The concept of how this pump works is very similar to a sump pump, and they share a lot of the same core components. There is a pump at the bottom of a pit that is triggered to turn on by a float switch that will allow energy from your electrical system to reach the pump when the water level exceeds a certain height. When the water level rises the float switch will activate the pump that will push the water out of your ejector pit and out the sewage drain line of your basement.

When to install an ejector pump

You will need to have an sewage ejector pump installed anytime you have an appliance or plumbing drain that is lower than the main sewer line output from your house. All the normal drains in your home can use the force of gravity to pull the waste water down to the ground level where your sewer line is, but if your drain is below that you will need one of these sewage ejector pumps to get the water to move up to the drain line.

Replacing an ejector pit cover or basin lid

Replacing the lid on your ejector basin is just like replacing the lid on any sump pump. These pumps often use a very similar footprint and have the same number of pipes used. You will just want to measure the existing lid and make sure the replacement you get will fit to completely cover, and seal, the pit… especially if you have any raw sewage you are moving or want to prevent sewer gases from entering your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a sump pump and an ejector pump?

All ejector pumps are very similar to sump pumps except that it will discharge the water out to your main sewer line instead of to your yard. This is because it could be gray water that is being pumped through your plumbing especially if you have any basement bathrooms. These pumps are often built to be able to pass much larger debris particles, sometimes even up to 2″ solids whereas typical sump pumps are only meant to move water out.

Can I connect my washing machine to an ejector pump?

Yes you can connect your laundry appliances to your sewage ejector pump to have it pumped out to your main sewer line. This is very little difference from having your laundry waste water carried out to your sewer line from gravity versus when a pump is needed to get it up to reach your sewer line.

Can I use a sump pump for my ejector pit?

The installation of both pumps is very similar and as long as the water you are pushing out the ejector pit is clean water (from a humidifier) there is no reason a sump pump would not work. However, if you will be pushing wastewater from a bathroom or basement toilet then you will definitely want to consider getting an effluent pump or one that is certified to handle larger loads (hehehe).

How long to ejector pumps last?

While most sewage ejector pumps are designed to withstand at least 7-10 years of use, with some even lasting much longer than that. Occasionally problems do arise long before the end date for which they were made – especially in cases where maintenance isn’t done on a regular basis or if they’ve been run excessively hard for long periods of time.

Do I need a plumber to fix my ejector pump?

Handing these types of pumps and sump pumps is a very easy job for any home owner to handle on their own as long as they are okay with getting their hands dirty. Anytime sewage is involved or a septic tank though most people would prefer to call a service to have the unit serviced.


Now that you understand what an sewage ejector pump is and how it works and is used in homes, as well as the factors involved in sizing and locating a pit or ejector pump system, you can make an informed decision about whether this type of wastewater treatment is right for your property. Being a responsible homeowner is much easier when you understand the simple plumbing systems used to maintain your property. Please let us know if you have any questions, otherwise thanks for reading!



Bill is a DIY plumber, handyman, and homeowner with more than a decade of experience. He has replaced and repaired sump pumps, backup pumps, float switches, check valves, and many other things around his family home. An engineer and tinkerer at heart, he is always looking to see how things work and taking on new home projects that help him grow his skillsets. He is a husband and father of two boys, has a bachelors degree in Computer Engineer and minor in Mathematics and likes to make homebrew beer in his free time.

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