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Sewer Pumps: Repairing Vs Replacing

A good sewer pump should give you many years of effective and reliable service. However, as with any piece of mechanical equipment, there is always the potential for things to break down.

If your sewer pump does develop a problem, especially if it’s getting towards the end of its expected lifespan, you could well be faced with the problem of whether to get it repaired or whether to cut your losses and get a brand new pump instead.

In this article, we’re going to examine this thorny issue to help you decide when it’s better to repair or replace your sewer pump.

Man worker holding pipe, providing sewer cleaning service outdoor. Sewage pumping machine is unclogging blocked manhole


What is a sewer pump? 

Most sewage systems rely on the forces of gravity to transport their waste from one location to another – for instance, from the toilets and waste water outlets in your home to the mains sewage system. However, in some properties, sewage is washed into a tank located at a lower level than the mains sewer system. This means that a sewer pump is required to pump the sewage uphill and into the mains sewage system.


Common signs a sewage pump needs repairing or replacing

In most cases, the signs that you’ve got a problem with your sewer pump are likely to make themselves known pretty quickly. That’s because the most likely result will be a strong and unpleasant smell. In practical terms, that’s going to be because your pump isn’t doing its main job of clearing the sewage out of the tank and into the mains, allowing both the waste water and the smell to linger around your property.

Of course, a bad smell isn’t the only thing you need to be alert for. If your sewer pump is making more noise than it should – things like banging and vibrations being the most likely sounds – then that is also probably a sign that your pump is on the way out.

If you don’t have a keen sense of smell, then your toilet backing up (because the waste water has nowhere to go) or maybe leaks from the pump or any attached pipes are more visible signs that you have a problem that needs dealing with sooner rather than later.

Finally, the pump not starting or not stopping once it has got going are further things that need rapid investigation. 


How often should you replace a sewage pump?

You should generally be able to expect to get up to fifteen years out of a heavy-duty sewer pump that’s been made for commercial premises. Residential pumps usually have a shorter working life of about five to seven years.

Your pump will last considerably longer if you have it regularly serviced by trained professionals. Pump station maintenance from Need a Tanker will ensure parts are cleaned and checked for any potential problems, so that if there is a developing issue it can be dealt with before it becomes a more costly and troublesome breakdown.


What should I do if my sewage pump has a problem?

Given the potential smells and mess that could result from a major problem, you’re always best to get in an expert to assess the situation as soon as possible. They’ll then be able to make an informed decision as to the best way to proceed based on what they discover.

Whether that will mean repair or full replacement will depend on a number of things, including:

  • The likely cost of any repair

If your sewer pump repair is going to be expensive, the most sensible course of action could well be to just have a new pump installed. While it doesn’t always apply, a good general rule of thumb is that if the cost of a repair is going to be more than half that of a full replacement, then it’s not worth getting it fixed.

  • How old the pump is

As we mentioned, sewer pumps do have a limited lifespan, so if yours develops a problem at a time when you’re likely to be thinking of getting it replaced anyway, then the sensible thing to do is to bring that replacement forward.

  • Whether the engineer spots further developing problems

While the engineer is inspecting the cause of your reported issue, he or she will give your pump a more general examination to check other components and working parts. If there are other signs of wear and tear that suggest further work is likely to be needed sooner rather than later, then that’s another indication that the time may well have come to stop throwing good money after bad and go for a full replacement instead.


Here at Need a Tanker, we can repair and replace sewer pumps nationwide. Our engineers are always available to make a rapid visit when you report a problem, and we’ll give you honest advice as to the best way to proceed.

If you want to know more about our sewer pump and pump station services, or to book a visit from one of our experienced engineers, please get in touch with us today.

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