A question that usually comes up when a septic company recommends that a client have a lift station installed is, “Why do I need this?” That’s a good question when you’re faced with an option that might cost thousands of dollars more than you were expecting.
Health department policies and water tables change over time, which means that the system that was put in previously may not be able to be put back in now. Unfamiliar words and phrases like “pert tests” and “spodic layers” may confuse you, so let’s simplify the functions of a lift station.
When Waste Water Needs Help to Flow in the Right Direction
A drain field is above and beyond the simplest mechanism in your septic system; however, you can’t push water into a container already filled without it overflowing.
You may have experienced this with a backup or a gurgling noise after a decent rain. In order for your drain field to accept more water, you need to build up your system above the ground (a taller container in the case of the analogy) for it to accept more water.
Once the system is raised up, you have the challenge of pumping water into a drain field that is now much higher than the septic tank. This is where a lift station comes in.
A lift station features several moving parts including a pump that controls the flow of liquids in your septic system. The pump is connected to several bladders that trip the pump to turn on and push water out of the lift station tank and into your drain field. The first bladder triggers the pump to run, and the second bladder triggers the alarm.
Lift Station Troubleshooting
An alarm going off shouldn’t concern you, as its sole purpose is to warn you that water levels are rising in your lift station tank above the normal activation level. This can happen in heavy rainfalls and even if the tank was not sealed properly the last time someone checked it.
Sometimes a lift station pump will fail, especially after many years of service. The alarm sounds to bring your attention to this before you experience a backup or service interruption in your home.
The largest lift-station maintenance task is a weekly check of the GFI to ensure that it hasn’t tripped since the last time you checked it. A GFI can trip during power outages, power surges and when something unusual is going on with the alarm or pump.
You can reset a flipped GFI. If the alarm goes off, simply put the alarm on silent and let the pump move the liquids from the tank. After five or so minutes, the water inside the tank should have fallen enough to silence the alarm light and sound.
Help for all Your Septic System Issues
Quality Septic Inc. provides lift station repair and inspection as well as complete service for septic tanks, drain fields and all septic system components.
Since 1994, we’ve been known for our fast, friendly service in Plant City FL, Brandon FL, Tampa Bay FL, Lutz FL, and Land O’ Lakes FL. Often imitated, never duplicated. Call the septic experts today at (813) 754-9891.