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Old 12-14-2015, 07:52 AM   #1
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Rainwater in Ejector Pump


Sorry my story is long and my ignorance on ejector pumps will explain a lot of my choice in my story. I have a sump pump and ejector pump in basement but no bathroom. Utility room is upstairs and goes to septic from there. Occasionally I heard the ejector pump but didn't think anything about it. A couple years ago got water in basement and had a bad float switch replaced on sump pump by an electrician (different story in itself). Apparently the ejector pump was pumping overflow because the sump pump wasn't working and the ejector pump burned out and thus, flooded basement. There is a drain in the floor in that room and I assumed the water was getting to the ejector pump via that but that's not confirmed. Everything was going OK and, for other reasons, I had plumbers over. I told him the story and he said if I was never going to put a bathroom in the basement he could replace the burnt ejector pump with a regular sump pump. This to save money and the pump would prevent basement from flooding again so I agreed. Lately we've had a lot of rain and I heard the ejector pump going on, pumping into my septic. Called the plumbers and the sump pump was bad so I had a new one put in. Since then, both have been pumping water out. I'm concerned about the water going into my septic from the ejector pump and why/how is that water getting into the ejector pump. I initially thought it was getting there through the drain in the floor but I don't have standing water in the basement for it to get to that drain. I'm ticked at the plumbers for not following through with the problem... just replacing the broken sump pump. I wanted to get some information before I either call them back or find a new plumber. Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:14 AM   #2
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The ejector pump and holding tank should be sealed, with no connection to the sump pump pit. It is permissible for a floor drain to be connected to a subfloor trap and then connected to the ejector holding tank, but it is not designed to take large amounts of water. When you have a sump pump it is preferable for a floor drain to be connected to the sump pump pit.

It is not proper to substitute a regular sump pump for an ejector pump but you can dig a second sump pump pit and install a second sump pump there if the natural volume of ground water is too great for one sump pump.

It is not proper to direct the sump pump outlet to a septic tank. It is not proper to direct rain water to a septic tank.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:46 AM   #3
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Allen, thank you for your response. The old ejector pump was replaced with a sump pump because of the difference of costs in the pumps. Because there is no bathroom or any waste water originating in the basement, it made sense to me at that time. I understand now that there shouldn't be anything pumping out of the ejector pit if there is nothing with waste water hooked up in the basement. Sadly I've learned one lesson and wasted money on the extra pump. Even though it's wrong, it did save my basement from flooding when the 'real' sump pump burned out recently.
My concern now is why the ejector pit is still filling with rain water? They are both working but I don't believe the two pumps are connected. Last week, the plumber said the ground was saturated and, because my sump pump burned out, the water was flowing into the ejector pit. If that's so, doesn't there need to be a crack or hole in the pit that shouldn't be there? I'm concerned about all that water going into my septic and need to get this fixed. I came here to get some information before I contact either the plumber I had or get a new one.
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:20 PM   #4
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:22 PM   #5
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Since you already put a sump pump in the ejector pit, all you need to do now is redirect the ejector pit outlet to the outside well away from the house (no longer to the septic tank). The outlet pipes of the two pumps should not be tied together unless both have check valves so neither pump can fill the other's pit if the other pump stopped first.

The ejector pit with unsealed brick sides or having a crack in it is not fit to be an ejector pit (it would be redefined as a cesspool) but could become another sump pump pit. Now, it will not make a good sump pump pit unless it does let water in from the surrounding soil easily.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-14-2015 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:08 PM   #6
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Thanks again for responding, Allen. Your answer does make me feel better $ wise. The ejector pit is emptying out more often than the sump so I'd say the water is coming in easily. I would guess it would be an easier job and less costly to redirect the piping from the septic to the outside instead of repairs I was thinking needed to happen. I'm upset that the plumber didn't suggest that to me so I'll be looking for another to do the work you suggested. Your responses are very much appreciated. I feel a bit smarter...
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:29 PM   #7
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The ejector pit is probably tied to the floor drain for the furnace. If it is that is considered a sanitary waste and should go to your septic. It sounds like someone drilled holes in your ejector pit to allow storm water to enter it. Or someone not to bright ran a footer drain into the ejector pit. Or the ejector pit is cracked. You will need to find out why the storm water is getting into it and stop that water from entering it.

In some localities and under the IPC code authority a floor drain is considered a sanitary waste and that is why you have that ejector pit commonly called a sanitary sump here.

1104.3 Floor drains. Floor drains shall not be connected to a storm drain.

Using a sump pump for the floor drain would be a standard install here if that was all it was handling. But using a sump pump does not make it code legal to go to your storm water.

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Old 12-14-2015, 07:27 PM   #8
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Given International Plumbing Code 1104.3 regarding floor drains, the floor drain really cannot continue to go to a non-watertight ejector pit that takes on ground water (and lets the floor drain water out into the surrounding soil during weeks when the soil is dry).

Perhaps the ground water is getting in via a broken horizontal pipe connecting the floor drain to the ejector pit. If the ground water cannot be kept out then it is also possible to reroute the floor drain to a new, freshly dug and watertight, ejector pit with the old ejector pit repurposed as a regular sump pump pit as you have done.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:04 AM   #9
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I guess I have a big problem here. The furnace isn't connected to the floor drain, nothing is. I've lived in this house for 13 years and didn't have an issue until about three years ago when the float went bad on the sump pump. Apparently that's when the ejector pump started filling (somehow) and the motor burnt out and popped a fuse. That's when the electrician came into the picture. Had him scheduled for other things but we came across the water on his way to the fuse box. He changed the bad float for me and put the ejector on it's own fuse. Everything was fine, the sump pump was doing it's job. Between then and now, I had plumber over for different issue but told him the story. That's when he changed the burnt out ejector pump for a regular sump pump about two year ago. I can't say for sure when the ejector pump started filling again because I don't use the basement often but went down about two weeks ago and heard it go on and the water went through the pipes to the septic. Plumber came out, replaced bad sump pump and said everything should be OK now. This is where I'm at now. The sump pump is working and the 'ejector' sump pump has slowed down and only occasionally pumping the water out. I guess I'll call to get evaluations and estimates on what repairs should be done. I do thank you both for educating me a bit on what my problem is. At least I can listen to what they want to do and make a more educated choice this time.
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Old 12-15-2015, 05:53 PM   #10
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It is probably leaking through the seal where the waste pipe enters the ejector pump.. If you can get the water level lower with your sump pump you may be able to reseal it with 100% silicon caulking.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:42 AM   #11
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Thanks Ghostmaker (interesting name!) I will keep all of these in mind when asking for estimates. I thought I had a good plumber, now off to figure out a new one. That may be the hardest part of the repair. I'll try to remember to post the outcome here. Thanks again and have a good holiday.
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:04 PM   #12
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Who ever you hire make sure rooter is not in the company name.
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:39 PM   #13
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I have a plumber coming in the morning. I think he actually knows what my problem is... he finished my story for me while I was talking. He said he would probably redirect the pipes out of the ejector pit to connect with the sump pump pipe and have separate check valves. I'm feeling pretty good about this one. Actually this fix was one of Allen's suggestions so I'm glad something is matching up. We'll see if that's what he goes with when he looks at it in the morning.
Their name doesn't have rooter in it
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