Informational Guide

Ejector Pump Vs Sump Pump

by Andrew

Having a good water supply in your home is essential, but it's also important to keep any excess water out of your home. Flooding, whether from a leak or rainwater, can cause serious damage to your home. This can be expensive to deal with if left unchecked, so it's vital to get the right defenses in place.  

Ejector pumps and sump pumps are both used to move water out of your home. However, they work very differently, and while there are some similarities, they operate to fulfill a completely different function. It's important to know the differences, and in this guide, we'll give the complete breakdown of ejector pumps vs. sump pumps so you can determine what you need. 

Ejector pumps are used to remove water and sewage from your home and pump them out through your drains.

They are necessary for any home with toilets, sinks, or laundry facilities located lower than the main sewage line as they need the pump action to push sewage out of your home. Not every home will need them, but if you have a toilet or any other appliance that means sewage is gathering below street level, you will benefit from one.  

Ejector pumps are installed at the base of your home, usually in your basement, just where a sump pump would be. 

ejector pump

They sit in a sump basin, and as water and sewage gather in your home, it will be triggered to switch on and pump it out. The key difference between an ejector pump and a sump pump is that an ejector pump needs to be connected to your septic tank and have a vent line to remove harmful gases from your home. Then, when the water and sewage reach a certain level, it will kick in and pump the waste up into your sewage system or sanitary tank, leaving your home safely.  

If you have a basement bathroom or any other kind of appliance that needs drainage in your basement, you will need an ejector pump to get rid of harmful sewage. Ejector pumps will also help remove floodwater but are primarily designed to remove water and sewage already within your home and won't work as well as a sump pump for groundwater flooding. 

Pros & Cons  

The Good  
  • Can Handle Water And Solids 
  • Vents Harmful Waste Gas 
  • Very Low Maintenance 
  • Connects Directly Into Sewer Line 
The Bad 
  • High Cost 
  • Not Suitable For High Water Volume 

Sump Pumps: How It Works & Why You Need It 

A sump pump is designed to deal with excess water coming into your home from outside. Usually, this is caused by flooding or particularly wet conditions, which cause the water table underneath your home to rise. Sump pumps are installed in the lowest part of your home in the basement or crawl space and connect to your drain line. Water will gather in a sump basin, and once it reaches a certain level, the pump will kick in, pumping the water safely away.  

Sump pumps are simpler than ejector pumps and only connect to your drain line so they can pump water straight out of your home. They prevent water from building up in the lower parts of your house, which can cause mold, mildew, and other damage to your home and belongings. There are two primary varieties of sump pump: pedestal sump pumps sit above your sump basin on the floor of your basement, whereas submersible sump basins sit underground and don't take up any floor space.  

Homeowners who live in wet climates, below sea level, or right on top of a high-water table will benefit from a sump pump. They can cost anywhere from $200 to $2000, but the investment upfront will help save you from some expensive repair work.  

sump-pump

Pros & Cons  

The Good  
  • Can Handle High Volumes Of Water 
  • Saves Money 
  • Self-Activating  
  • Safe Basement Storage 
The Bad 
  • Can't Handle sewage 
  • High Maintenance 

Sewage Ejector Pump Vs. Sump Pump: What's The Difference? 

Sump pumps are designed to deal with water coming from the ground, whereas ejector pumps are designed to deal with water from inside your home. Both can deal with water, but ejector pumps will handle solids and liquids so you can remove sewage and ensure your home stays clean and safe. To help you determine what you need, here are some of the key considerations, but remember, you may need a sump pump and an ejector pump because one does not necessarily replace the other: 

Weather Condition In Your Place 

The climate in your local area will determine the type of pump you need. For example, if you live in a wet area with heavy rainfall, then you're more likely to suffer from flooding in your home. An ejector pump will help to get some of the water out of your home, but you really need a sump pump installed to get a large volume of water out safely. 

Location Of The House 

The location of your house will determine whether you need a sump pump. If you live in a low-lying area or your house is below sea level, then you're more likely to suffer from flooding. Similarly, if your home is situated on top of a high water table, then you're more likely to suffer from groundwater swells. This means you'll need a sump pump to help deal with the water.  

Ejector pumps are really needed when your basement is below the main sewer line. If your house is located in an older area, then it’s likely that your basement is below the sewage line and that you need an ejector pump installed.  

Place In The House Where They Should Be Installed  

Ejector pumps need to be installed in the basement of your home below the sewage line. Sump pumps are typically installed in the same place but can sometimes be installed outside of your home. Sump pumps will work regardless of the depth of the basement, but ejector pumps are only needed if wastewater needs to be pumped up to your sewage system. If your basement is above the sewage line, then you won’t need an ejector pump. 

Presence of Sewage 

Sump pumps can deal with high volumes of water and some debris from the ground, but they aren't built to deal with sewage. Sewage needs to be pumped away differently, and your sump pump won't be connected to your septic tank to handle it properly. If you know there will be sewage in the water, then you need an ejector pump to keep your home clean and safe.  

water pipe

Maintenance & Installation 

The installation of sump pumps and ejector pumps is reasonably similar. They both sit in the lowest part of your home within sump basins and connect to your plumbing. Ejector pumps are more complicated to install as they need to connect to your septic tank and plumbing. You’ll be dealing with waste, so it's important the pump is installed correctly, or you could end up with unhygienic conditions. It's worth getting a professional to undertake or verify the work so you know the ejector pump is vented and drained correctly.  

Even though ejector pumps are more complicated to install, they are much easier to maintain. You won't need to do any work to keep it working correctly, whereas your sump pump will run continuously, and you will need regular check-ups to keep it functioning properly.  


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do I know if I have a sewage ejector pump? 

The easiest way to check if you have an ejector pump is to look at the number of pipes coming from the pump. If there is just one, then it's a sump pump, but if there are two, it's an ejector pump. 

How long do basement ejector pumps last? 

An ejector pump should last 7-10 years if properly maintained. Some modern models may last longer, but after 10 years, you'll start to notice more issues.  

What happens when an ejector pump fails? 

If your ejector pump fails, then waste will continue to accumulate in your home and eventually overflow into your home. This can cause bacteria to spread into your home and make the whole house smell.  

How much does it cost to replace an ejector pump? 

The ejector pump can be replaced yourself with a cost between $300 and $800. The installation costs are quite high, and plumbers can charge anywhere from $600 to $2500 for the work.  

Do all basements need a sump pump?  

Not every home will suffer from moisture rising into their basement, but it does impact millions of homes across the country. Without a sump pump, water can cause serious damage to your foundations which is expensive to repair. If you've ever suffered from flooding, a sump pump is a good investment. If you're not sure, you should speak to a professional to see if you could benefit from having one installed.  


Conclusion

Both ejector pumps and sump pumps are essential in a functional home. Sump pumps will protect your home from outside water coming in, and ejector pumps will protect your home from water and sewage from within. Without an ejector pump, your home can become unsanitary, and if you have a basement bathroom, you must have one installed.  

Hopefully, this article has helped explain the key differences between these pumps and helped you determine which you need in your home. 

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