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How do I know if there’s a problem with the lift station?

Most lift stations are designed with an alarm mechanism to indicate when the pump is inoperable.  Other indicators may include odor, gurgling of pipes, backing up or overflowing of drains.

A bigger pump is a better pump, right?

The short answer is no.  A pump that is oversized for an application typically will not operate at the pump’s best efficiency point (BEP).  Not only does this lower efficiency and consume more power, but operating a pump in an inefficient manner will shorten the life of the pump motor and could potentially cause the motor to over-heat.

Do lift stations require maintenance?

As with any mechanical system, there’s a possibility for malfunctions and breakdowns to occur.  Proper maintenance will not prevent all breakdowns, however, proper maintenance can help avoid costly repairs.

Do lift stations need to be pumped out?

Lift stations do require pumping on occasion and, since no lift station is the same, it is always best to conduct routine maintenance and the technician can assess when a system needs to be pumped.

What is a “Grinder Pump”?

A grinder pump utilizes “grinding” blades (much like a garbage disposal) that grinds the solids into a slurry that will easily pass through piping.

What is the difference between a “Non-Clog” sewage pump and a Grinder Pump?

A non-clog pump is a pump that will “pass” a certain size solid, whereas a grinder pump grinds the solids into a slurry.

What size of a basin (tank) do I need?

The daily flow or amount of sewage needed to pump, the location of the influent line and the number of people being served by the lift station all constitute how a basin is sized.

How do I know how many gallons per minute (GPM) I need to pump?

GPM is calculated by the flow rate or number of people that will be served by the lift station. To size properly, we have to consider peak flow, number of people on the system and fixture count.

What is “Head Pressure”?

The static head of a pump is the maximum height (pressure) that it can deliver fluids.  Length of piping, type of pipe and diameter, elevation change and gallons per minute (GPM) are all important components in figuring head pressure.

What types of tanks are typically used for lift stations?

Concrete, steel, reinforced poly and FRP basin.

What is an FRP basin?

Fiberglass reinforced poly.

What is the difference in a “Simplex” and a “Duplex” lift station?

A simplex lift station has one pump and a duplex system has two pumps.

What are the benefits of having a duplex versus a simplex lift station?

Since a duplex lift station has two pumps, the second pump will act as a back-up pump if the first pump fails.  Additionally, with a duplex system, the two pumps share the work load.

How long should a pump work in a normal application before it needs to be replaced?

Depends.  As with any mechanical product, length of usage varies between pumps, pumping demands and level of maintenance.