Here’s a little breakdown of the difference between a sump pump and an ejector pump and how each is used.
Despite looking very similar and performing the same basic functions, a sump pump and an ejector pump perform the same action very differently. Homeowners are often confused by what the difference is, and why you need one or the other. Sump pumps have been used in homes for a long time, but the ejector pump still leaves people perplexed. Here, I will try to explain these items of a home water management system.
A Sump Pump,
Is a water pump located in the basement. It is small and submersible, and it sits in a sump basin, which is set into the ground. The sump basin connects to a drain tile system, where water collected by the drainage system will flow to the sump basin. Groundwater is often collected into the basin, and helps to keep your basement dry. If the pump malfunctions or there is a sudden large rush of water, the basement will flood, but there are battery-operated back-up systems often available and used in conjunction to ensure dry conditions.
The sump basin holds the accumulating water until it rises to a certain height, high enough to activate the float switch on the sump pump. It will then pump the water out of the basin onto the lawn through strategic piping. It often arrives at a storm sewer, dry well, or other dispersal devices.
Because they both look nearly identical and perform the same tasks, people often confuse sump pumps and ejector pumps, and wonder why an ejector pump would even be necessary. Like the former, it is installed in a basin which is set into the ground. However, it does not utilize the drain tile systems to collect groundwater. Instead, it collects water from floor drains, such as excess water from a washing machine, sink, or even waste water from a bathroom, depending on the home and the quality of its systems.
An Ejector Pump,
Is used to handle this type of water, it has a sealed lid on the basin, and a vent pipe to discharge gases. If the ejector pump will not come into contact with waste water, it will look the same minus the vent. An ejector pump is connected to a sanitary sewage line through a discharge pipe, very much like a home’s plumbing systems.
If an ejector pump malfunctions, it will flood, but not nearly as heavily as if a sump pump fails. However, because this is tainted sewage water, it could create a health hazard if exposed to the dirty water and it must be cleaned up after properly.
If you would like to locate where the ejector pump is located in your home, simply turn on the tap or flush your lower-level toilets. It should activate the pump.
Ejector pumps are also often installed by plumbers, while sump pumps are often installed by basement waterproofing professionals, who offer a variety of long-lasting pumps and who are knowledgeable in basement water removal.
Another difference is the size of the discharge line. Ejector pumps system will always have a 2" discharge pipe while the sump pump systems are 1-1/2 discharge line most of the time. Another good way to determine by the type of lid that is sealing the pit. Ejector pumps will always have a sealed lip to prevent sewer smell, while sump pump system have an open lid that usually have condensate lines draining into.