Understanding the Plumbing System
When it comes to plumbing in your home, there are pipes, pumps, and valves involved, whether you see them or not. They each have specific jobs and purposes.
- Pipes: Move water and waste
- Valve: Drain or stop water and waste
- Pumps: Help both the pipes and valve do their jobs
There are different types of pumps for homes. What do water pumps do? It depends on where they are installed and what types of pumps are installed. They move waste out. They bring water in. They keep the water levels in your home safe so there isn’t a flood, but you get the water when you need it.
What are the different types of pumps for a home?
A residential property will typically have these two types of pumps:
- A Sewage Pump: In most homes, the plumbing fixtures are installed at a higher height than the main sewer line, allowing wastewater to flow from the various areas of a home (bathrooms, laundry room, kitchen) to the sewer line.
Some homes have space constraints and require a sewage pump to be installed when a bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen is below the main sewer line. Because the wastewater must travel uphill against gravity, a sewage pump is one of many types of pumps that chops and grinds up solid sewage so that it can flow through the sewage lines easily.
- A Water Pump: A water pump’s purpose is to control the water levels and the water pressure. This is one of the types of pumps that push water uphill. In some areas, there are lift station types of pumps that transport waste and water through steep inclines, both up and down, often requiring a water pressure booster pump.
What is a sump pump?
A sump pump is one of the different types of pumps in a home. It moves water from a low area, like a basement, outside of the house. It is installed in a constructed, carved hole below the main surface of the basement, referred to as a basin. The valves of the sump pump detect when the water level or water pressure is rising, which causes the sump pump to automatically start pumping out any excess water through an effluent line to a designated area.
What is a grinder pump?
One of the other types of pumps used in some homes is the grinder pump. It consists of an alarm panel, a tank, and a pump, which has a float that works as a sensing device. This waste management device pumps sanitary sewage from the home to the municipal sewage system when the household plumbing is below the main sewer level and doesn’t have any downhill slope.
This includes any room with showers, sinks, toilets, dishwasher, or washing machine. The wastewater and solid waste pass through the grinder pump and all solid materials are chopped and ground, allowing it all to pass through to the sewer system.
Regular maintenance and cleaning are needed on these types of pumps due to grease build-up. Left unattended, the grease can build up and cause the pump to fail. Any home with a grinder pump should not ever flush diapers, cat litter, grease, paint, or any type of grease or oil.
What pump gives the best water pressure?
A booster pump is used to boost the water pressure and improves the water flow rate. These types of pumps work like a fan, but instead of blades that increase air movement, they have an internal impeller that increases water flow and pressure.
Is a water pressure booster pump necessary?
Not in all houses! Water booster pumps are required when the code requirements for water flow and water pressure at individual plumbing fixtures are not met. These types of pumps should not be installed until all other possible factors have been eliminated.
Before The Well Runs Dry
As we have discussed here, there are several different types of pumps for a house to have proper operating plumbing. So, is a broken water pump an emergency? Absolutely! These types of pumps are essential to ensuring there is a clean, steady source of fresh water coming into your home and that wastewater is being dispersed to a safe area.
Most types of pumps for water last up to 15 years, some less, some longer. Your maintenance routine is key in that factor. So, how do you know when to get water pump repair? Here are five indications that you have water pump problems in your home:
- No water coming into the house
- Water pressure has a sudden decrease
- Air is sputtering out of the faucets
- Water is coming out dirty
- Water pump is running non-stop
If you’re experiencing any of these issues and you’ve checked all the standard possible problems, call a plumber that works with different types of pumps immediately. The longer it is malfunctioning, the more unsafe water you could have coming into your home or the contaminated wastewater is backing up.