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SEPTIC SYSTEMS, HOME BUYERS GUIDE to
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SEWAGE CONTAMINATION in buildings
SEWAGE CONTAMINANTS in FRUIT / VEGETABLES
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWAGE LEVELS in SEPTIC TANKS
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SEWAGE PATHOGENS in SEPTIC SLUDGE
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SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
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SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TOILETS, DON'T FLUSH LIST
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes alarm systems used on septic pumps, grinder pumps, and septic tank pumping stations and pumping systems. This article series explains the differences between Sump Pumps, Sewage Ejector Pumps, Septic Grinder Pumps, Sewage Pumping Stations, & Septic Pump Alarms.
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Use & Operation of Single septic pump alarm system details
Use & Operation of Duplex septic pump alarm system details
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about septic system or grinder pump alarms
Question: why is the septic alarm going off in our new home?
What happens with a new home less then 6 months old and the alarm keeps going off? - Carol 8/18/11
Carol, septic pump alarm systems operate on a sensor or float control that monitors wastewater level in the septic tank or pumping chamber. The idea is that if the level rises above some point, the alarm warns the homeowners that the single pump has failed to start, or if it's a duplex pump system (two pumps) that the first pump didn't work and the second pump has started (the backup pump is doing all the work).
Question: Our septic alarm gose off if the system loses power.
Checked all the floats, everything working fine. Pump ok, high level alarm ok, Q: the alarm goes off if the power goes off to the system. It has never done this before. If I turn off the breaker, and back on, the alarm sounds until I silence and reset. - Mike 10/13/11
Mike in the past when we heard about alarm sounding problems the problem was usually traced to a float that had slipped out of position. As you've checked the floats and wastewater levels I'm afraid it sounds as if there may be as shorted wire. The float is basically a switch that closes to sound the alarm. So I'd check the float switch or the actual wiring. If you use an ohmmeter and see zero resistance across the wires that are supposed to trigger the alarm, the wires are probably shorted or the switch is stuck.
Also check for a battery-backup alarm system that is intended to warn of loss of power - basically we can't keep using a septic grinder pump very long if there is no electrical power. The usage time buffer depends on the size of the holding tank.
Thanks. I will disc. the float wires and troubleshoot from there.
Sounds right, Mike. In fact if you can disconnect the wires at both ends that's another way to check for a short between them enroute.
Question: why does a grinder pump alarm go off on a seldom used system?
What are the most common causes a pump tank alarm would go off? My grinder pump is only 4 yrs old and we are still building, so it does not get that much use,. C.S. 8/5/12
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem with a sewage pump such as a defective check valve or a running toilet that keeps filling the reservoir tank.
That said, the grinder pump alarm sounds when the level in the reservoir reaches a level that in turn signifies that the primary pump is not working, or in a single-pump system, that the pump is working and the level of wastewater has reached the level at which the alarm will sound.
So check your plumbing system for:
Questions & answers or comments about warning alarms on septic tanks and septic pump systems
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