Replacing a septic tank pump yourself

If one of the pumps in your septic system fails, your system will stop functioning properly and you will be quickly faced with a real messy situation (no pun intended). If your septic system’s alarm goes off, it could mean that anything from your grinder pump to your air pump could have failed, depending on what type of system you have.

If you want to replace the broken pump, you’ll first have to figure out which one has kicked the bucket. If you check your tank and notice that the solids are not being broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces, it’s most likely your grinder pump that has broken. A broken grinder pump will mean clogged lines that can result in a sewage backup or toilets that are slow to drain.

On the other hand, if you have an alternative system like an aerobic system, your air pump may have broken. Your air pump injects oxygen in the water of your tank to keep the tank filled with happy, healthy aerobic bacteria. If this breaks, your system will start to revert to an anaerobic system and break down.

You will need to first purchase the entire pump or the pump parts that need to be repaired. Gast pump parts are reliable and durable if you have a Gast pump, while many other manufacturers also supply replacement pumps or parts.

If it’s your grinder that has broken, it will most likely be located in the basement of your house connected to a drainpipe that flows into the septic tank. It will have electrical wiring coming out of it, which will need to be disconnected before you can install the replacement. As always, disable the electricity before working on any major electrical component.

Your air pump is located within your tank and will need to be fished out of your tank to be repaired or replaced. You will need to access your tank and pull up the pump to check it. Wear gloves and have a hose on hand for this part, since the pump will be dirty.

Finally, install the new pump and any related alarm system that may be required by your local codes to get your septic system back up and running.