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Grinder Pumps & Lift Stations

B&K Systems Co. has been installing and servicing grinder pumps and lift stations for over a decade.

We have the knowledge, experience and equipment to install, start-up and maintain grinder pumps and lift stations of all sizes.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Grinder Pumps

What is a grinder pump? A grinder pump works like a household garbage disposal, but on a larger scale. It grinds up wastewater produced in your home (i.e. toilet use, shower, washing machine, etc.) and pumps it into the public sewer system.

How does it work? A grinder pump is placed in a tank (or well) that is buried in a convenient outdoor location on a homeowner’s property (grinder pump units can also be purchased for inside installation). The tank provides wastewater holding storage capacity. When water is used in the house, wastewater flows into the tank. When the wastewater in the tank reaches a pre-set level, the grinder pump automatically turns on, grinds the waste, and pumps it out of the tank via the homeowner’s on-site sewer service line and into the public sewer system. A grinder pump will normally run for one or two minutes and automatically turn off when the tank is emptied. The pump is powered by electricity and is connected to an alarm-control panel near your electric meter.

Why do some homes/businesses/subdivisions need grinder pumps? In most instances, wastewater flows by gravity from a home/business’ on-property sewer service line to a public sewer main where it travels to wastewater treatment plants. At the plants, the wastewater is cleaned, disinfected and safely returned to the environment. However, because of elevation, gravity may not work in all instances. In situations where a home/business/subdivisions sewer service line leaves the building at a lower elevation than the public sewer main, a grinder pump is sometimes used to grind and pump wastewater to the main. See diagram below illustrating typical grinder pump layout.
Grinder Pump Diagram

What can I do to protect my grinder pump? A properly maintained grinder pump should be able to handle wastewater from the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, etc. However, some chemicals and substances can adversely impact a grinder pump and may cause safety hazards. Please check the labels on all chemicals before using / disposing. Also, never pour the following items down drains or flush down toilets:

    • Grease (a byproduct of cooking that comes from meat fats, oils, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps, sauces and dairy products);
    • Explosive or flammable material;
    • Cat litter;
    • Aquarium gravel;
    • Strong chemicals or toxic, caustic or poisonous substances;
    • Degreasing solvents;
    • Diapers, feminine products, or cloth of any kind;
    • Fuel or lubricating oil, paint thinner of antifreeze;
    • Plastic objects;
    • Seafood shells;
    • Rocks or Soils;

These items can damage the grinder pump and its controls, cause blockages and backups and may create unsafe conditions in your lines and tank.
Note: Some wipe companies say "flush one at a time," some say "not for pump systems," some say "safe for sewers." Check with the grinder pump manufacturer for their recommendation. Even though a wipe company says their product can be flushed, chances are, they don't have a grinder pump. The wipes, if they don't dissolve in water or don't dissolve quickly, can collect in the basin. They will likely ball up in the tank, and then a massive "wipe ball" will get into the pump and jam it.

How do I properly maintain my grinder pump?  B&K Systems offers a preventive maintenance program to help proactively maintain the system. Ask one of our representatives for more information. Call 601-664-0333.
In addition to following the tips provided in question #4, please follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines provided in the owners manual. 
** Remember that your grinder pump is powered by electricity. In the event of a power outage, your pump will not work unless it is powered by a generator.

B & K Systems Co. | P.O. Box 403 | Brandon, MS 39043 | Phone: (601) 664-0333 | Admin Login
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