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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

The Job of a Sewage Pump and Why Some Homes Needs Them


We offer many different plumbing services to our customers, and if you look over them, you might see a few you don’t recognize or aren’t sure if they apply to your home. For example, we offer service to install, repair, and replace sewage pumps for our customers. What’s a sewage pump? Is it something your house has or needs?

If you have no idea what a sewage pump is, then it’s possible your house doesn’t have or need one. Many homes don’t need this device. For the homes that do need a sewage pump in Skokie, IL, however, they’re critical components of the plumbing system that need regular attention. 

Let’s get into what a sewage pump is, why they’re sometimes necessary, and whether you have one.

Working Against Gravity

You may not realize it, but gravity does much of the work in your home’s plumbing system. The pipes that carry wastewater through your house mostly work through the force of gravity. This applies to your sewer line: it slopes downward to carry the collected wastewater and solid waste away from your house and into the municipal sewer system (or to a septic tank, rare in our area). 

But not all homes are positioned in a way that a sewer line can be built to slope downward to the sewer main. If a home is lower than the sewer main, then the sewage needs to be pushed uphill through the sewer pipe. Providing this push is the job of the sewage pump. 

The most common reason in our area for sewer pumps is in homes that have basement bathrooms or laundry facilities. These basement drains are built lower than the sewer line and therefore need to be pumped upward. 

Does Your Home Have a Sewage Pump?

If you’ve read this far, you might still be unsure if your home has a sewage pump or not. Sewage pumps are usually built into the ground (submersible pumps) and aren’t necessarily easy to locate. The quickest way to locate one is to listen for it. Stand in the lowest level of your house (ground floor or basement) and have someone else in the home flush a toilet. If you have a sewage pump, you’ll hear it audibly turn on and its motor whir. 

You can look for the pump, which is easy to identify when you do find one: it’ll have a cover with two pipes coming out of the top (one for the sewage to exit and the other to allow the escape of sewer gas), and the cover should be clearly marked as a sewage pump. Don’t attempt to remove the cover, it’s there to contain odors!

If you have just discovered you have a sewage pump, then we strongly recommend you contact us to arrange for regular maintenance for it. These pumps need routine attention to prevent them from breaking down and causing drains to become backed up. We’ll inspect the pump and find out if it needs service or a general tune-up.

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!

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