Septic tanks with gravity flow drainfields have been used for many years in areas not served by public sewers. Unfortunately, not all soil and site conditions are well suited for these conventional systems. To protect public health and water quality, alternative systems are often used in areas where conventional systems cannot assure safe sewage treatment.
The pump discharge pipe should have a union and valve for easy removal of the pump. A piece of nylon rope or other noncorrosive material should be attached to the pump for taking the pump in and out of the chamber.
If for any reason the effluent level inside the pump chamber reaches the alarm float (faulty pump, floats, circuit, excessive water use, or another problem), the alarm light and buzzer will start. By using water conservatively (avoid baths, showers, and clothes washing), the reserve storage in the pump chamber should allow you enough time to get the problem corrected. To silence the alarm, push the reset light on the alarm panel. Before calling for service or repair, check to see if the problem could be:
- A tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. The pump should have a separate circuit with its own breaker or fuse. If it's on a circuit with other equipment, that equipment can cause the breaker to trip.
- A pump or float switch power cord that has come unplugged. If electrical connections are the plug-in type, be sure switch and pump plugs are making good contact in the outlet.
- Control floats tangled by other parts in the chamber such as the electric power cord, lifting rope, or pump screen. Be sure floats operate freely in the chamber.
- Debris on floats and support cable that is causing the pump to switch off. Lift the floats out of the chamber and clean.
CAUTION: Always turn off the power supply at the circuit breaker and unplug all power cords before handling the pump or floats. Do not enter the pump chamber. Gases inside pump chambers are poisonous and the lack of air can be fatal. If the problem cannot be located with the above steps, call your pump service person or on-site system contractor for service or repair. The service or repair of pumps and other electrical equipment must be done by an experienced person.