Grinder pumps are definitely not something I see very often but if you encounter one when you are looking for a home here is information that might be helpful…..

So first, what is a Grinder Pump?  A grinder pump is a device that transports household wastewater from things like the toilet, bathtub, washing machine, dish washer, etc. to a central sewer system or septic tank. The waste water flows from the home’s pipes into the grinder pump’s holding tank. Once the wastewater inside the tank reaches a specific level, the pump turns on and grinds the waste into a fine slurry.  The slurry is then pumped to the sewer system or septic tank. Grinder pumps can be installed in the basement or in the yard.

Typically, Grinder Pumps do not require a lot of maintenance as long as you use common sense in what you are flushing down your toilet and putting in your kitchen sink disposal.  They have an average life span of about 8 – 10 years although some can fail in as little as 5 years or last as long as 20 years.  The average cost of a new pump can range from $2000 - $5000 depending on where the pump is located and how far the pump is from the public sewer connection.  Although unlike your septic system there is no required county inspection or service it is a good idea to have it inspected every year or 2 to be sure it is working properly.  (Better safe than sorry – a sewage backup is obviously NO FUN!)

When buying a house with a grinder pump your home inspector should check basic functionality of the pump.  That it turns on, and most importantly has a working "high water level" detector. It certainly would be a good idea to ask the homeowner when the grinder pump was installed or the last time it was inspected.


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