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How a Submersible Septic Pump Works

Water, as well as the waste material from a home, must flow down hill. Generally, in home septic systems or a municipal system where the elevation of the entrance pipe is higher than the homes waste pipe, a pumping system must be employed. Typically, the waste material flows to a central location. This location can be in the form of a septic tank or a smaller collection basin. In a common home waste septic system, a drain field is built and the waste water is evenly flowed into the "leech" field. This allows the water to be treated by slowly working its way back into the water table of the earth. In a municipal water system, the home's waste piping is generally higher than the entrance to the main collection drains of a city waste system. This allows the material to drain or flow naturally into the collection pipe of the city. If in either of these cases the home's waste system piping is lower than the septic tank's leech field or the municipal waste system, a submersible pump must be used to raise the level of the waste water products.

Water Flows Downhill

Water, as well as the waste material from a home, must flow down hill. Generally, in home septic systems or a municipal system where the elevation of the entrance pipe is higher than the homes waste pipe, a pumping system must be employed. Typically, the waste material flows to a central location. This location can be in the form of a septic tank or a smaller collection basin. In a common home waste septic system, a drain field is built and the waste water is evenly flowed into the "leech" field. This allows the water to be treated by slowly working its way back into the water table of the earth. In a municipal water system, the home's waste piping is generally higher than the entrance to the main collection drains of a city waste system. This allows the material to drain or flow naturally into the collection pipe of the city. If in either of these cases the home's waste system piping is lower than the septic tank's leech field or the municipal waste system, a submersible pump must be used to raise the level of the waste water products.

Float-Level Switches

When a submersible pump is used, it must be controlled automatically or else the pump will run continuously, thus lessening its useful life. Generally, a submersible septic pump will utilize two float switches. One float switch will activate, or "turn on" the pump when the level inside the collection box reaches a certain high level. Another separate float switch will deactivate, or "turn off" the pump when the waste water level reaches a low point in the basin. This separate "on" and "off" action of the dual switches ensures a proper operation of the pump so it will not burn out due to overuse. Some pumping systems may also employ a third float switch that will activate under a high-level alarm condition. This can also signal a pump's failure as the basin may reach such a level as to overflow its contents.

Water or Solids

There are generally two types of septic submersible pump styles. One type of pump will only be effective on pure water transfer. This type of pump may clog and fail when attempting to transfer certain solids and heavy particles. The other type of septic pump, which is more typically used, has impellers that can actually chew up solids, like a garbage disposal does, and move the contents without failure. In combination with the pump's impellers, there may be a set of stainless steel knives that will cut up heavier solids prior to the material entering the pumping chamber. While these types of pumps are typically more expensive, they almost guarantee a longer operational life and higher pumping efficiency. In a home septic system where a drain or leech field is used, solids cannot enter the field as the large particles will clog the perforated pipe and make the field ineffective. Generally, on home systems that must use a submersible septic pump, the main collection tank will have an overflow box in which the pump is contained. When the box fills with water, the pump is then activated by the use of the float switches. Most septic pumps that are connected to a municipality will have only a central collection basin and the pump will move all waste items flowing from the home.