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SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSTALL REPAIR
SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE
SEPTIC FAILURE SIGNS
SEPTIC INSPECTION & TEST GUIDE
SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
SEPTIC SUPPLIES & PARTS
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
SEPTIC SYSTEMS, HOME BUYERS GUIDE to
SEPTIC SYSTEM SAFETY WARNINGS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes the reasons & methods for installing duplex versions of septic pumps, septic sump pumps, sewage ejector Pumps, septic grinder pumps, & pumps in sewage pumping stations. Advice is given for septic tank effluent or sewage pump selection and use.
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Septic pumps used for pumping air in aeration systems and septic pumps used to move effluent in a drip dispersion system are discussed under the appropriate septic system type which are outlined at SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES. This duplex septic pump article is part of our series: Inspecting, Testing, & Maintaining Residential Septic Systems an online book on septic systems
.There are two common pump-pair or duplex septic grinder pump system setups. Either of these is found at municipal lift stations and similar installations.
1. Alternating septic pumps: two septic pumps alternate, taking turns running - I prefer this method as you are spreading the wear over two pumps and you'll know when one fails and have a chance to repair it.
2. Reserve septic backup design: the backup septic pump never runs unless the primary septic pump has failed or is overloaded. A simple installation provides a pump control float switch that turns on the backup pump only when effluent or sewage in the pumping chamber reaches a level above that normally handled by the primary septic pump.
This approach provides both pump backup and the ability to handle surges in sewage loads on the system.
Handling surge loads on the septic system: A duplex septic pump system in which the second pump can come on as effluent level rises in the pumping chamber handles either unusual flows into the system (uncommon) or the case where the 1st pump is broken. I don't like this setup as much as we're never testing pump #2 until the very day it's absolutely needed.
Septic Pump controls for two-pump duplexed septic systems are produced by several manufacturers including Anchor Scientific, Aquawarx (control panels), B/W Controls, Orenco, Rhombus, SJ Electro, and CSI.
Reliability requirements define when a duplex sewage grinder pump or septic pump system is appropriate
Wile single grinder pump systems are often installed to support an extra basement bathroom, where a sewage pump is handling an entire home or larger facility, duplex septic pumping systems (shown in the photo at the top of this page) are preferable for their greater reliability. There are two principal advantages of a two-pump septic system:
(Remember that in a power outage your pump system will not work unless you've provided backup power.)
Inspecting Duplex Septic Pump Systems
Additional details about the installation of sewage grinder or septic pumps and how to inspect them can be found at Sewage Ejector Pump Grinder Pump . Beyond those suggestions, when inspecting a duplex septic pump system, remember to assure that both pumps are in working condition and that the switch between them is functioning. Simply turn off power to one pump to confirm that the second one will operate, and vice versa.
Duplex Septic Pump System Alarms
A duplex septic pump system is installed where septic and plumbing system reliability are very important. That same requirement makes it important for the building occupants or maintenance staff to know if one of the pumps has failed, so that a repair can be ordered before both pumps stop working.
A duplex septic pump alarm system accomplishes this function and can also diagnose the system by indicating which pump has stopped operating.
Here is a photo of a typical alarm system for a duplex sewage grinder pump installation.
We discuss septic system alarms in more detail at Septic Pump Alarm Systems
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