By Paul Renard
Do you know what an ejector pump is? I didn’t—until I heard a horrible clattering noise in my basement and went into a storage closet to find a wall plug melting.
If you live in a Lakeport home where the basement is below the level of the sewer line, you most likely have an ejector sump and an ejector pump. Water/waste from your basement bathroom plus water from your heating system’s condensate drain are fed into the ejector sump where they are ground and pumped up to the sewer line. If you don’t have one of these, then your home probably feeds directly into the sewer line via gravity. Because of its ability to grind, an ejector pump is different from a normal sump pump that collects ground water and just pumps it outdoors or into a floor drain.
Replacing an ejector pump is expensive (Snell Heating and Plumbing took care of this for me for about $1500) but important. If your ejector pump dies, you should unplug it, NOT use the basement bathroom, and temporarily disconnect the humidifier that’s part of your heating system—the humidifier unit should have a separate plug, and make sure to plug it back in after the ejector pump is replaced.
Since moving to Reston, I’ve learned so many new things!