Re: ejector pump
Posted by Dean Smith on January 04, 2002 at 13:11:58:
In response to Re: ejector pump
: My pipes bang and make a lot of noise only when we use the bathroom in the basement.
: I also believe my ejector pump is on it's last leg.
: It won't shut off on it's own, and I think I smell something burning like electrical wires.
: Is the banging in the pipes due to the ejector pump, and what would you recommend I replace it with?
: I purchased a 1/2 hsp Flotec, model # FPSE3601A. Will this be adaquate?
: I plan on doing it myself, so is there anything I should be aware of, or tools I may need?
: Also, are there any accessories I should buy now, such as gaskets, or anything else?

: Thanks,

: Mike

I did the exact same thing last year, so here's my non-pro DIYer tips (I asked a LOT of questions from pros & this site though!). The key is to do it right so you don't have to go in again for a LONG time! I was paranoid about the smell being too bad so I turned the pump off & flushed a gallon or so of bleach & let it sit for a while before opening. Plumbers might be laughing, but it worked for me!

Flotec is OK, but I did a lot of digging to find the best pump there is. Good ones START at about $300. The better brands include Zoeller, Grundfos, Hydromatic & Goulds. After much research, I thought the Goulds 3886 was the best for me. It's commercial quality (it's rated for CONTINUIOUS use-it could be running 24 hrs. a day with no burnout!) everything is metal, it has the best seals in the industry, the company is a world leader in super heavy duty pumping equpt. and it weighs 67 lbs., so it won't "walk" or vibrate around in the pit. I tracked down a Goulds distributor in the commercial yellow pages and got it with a switch for $400(all these pumps except Zoeller are hard to find at most plumbing supply stores, much less hardware stores-go online to find a dealer!). Switches are just as important as the pump, (that's probably what's wrong with your system!) For ejector pumps, a good "wide-angle" float switch (with a mercury switch inside the floating foam ball) is better than a pressure switch or a float-on-a-rod switch (many Zoellers have these) because they are less likely to get gummed up with toilet paper or solids.. Sometimes they're built into the pump, but many are seperate units so you can change the switch without changing the pump. I went that route & got a Conery switch, check them out @

REPLACE YOUR CHECK VALVE WHEN YOU DO THIS JOB!! The white PVC valves w/compression fittings (about $30) seem sturdier than the rubber/screw clamp ones like you use on sump pumps. Make sure you have a shutoff ball valve installed above this valve so you can change everything without getting backflow (you might have one already-I didn't).

Get silicone caulk to reseal the lid when you're done, but you might want to wait a day or two before you use it. Float switches are adjustable so you want to make sure it's going on & off when it should before sealing the pit, and those levels change a bit after it cycled a lot & the switch wire "breaks in" (you can tape or clamp the switch on to the pipe or use a weight on the switch wire to control this). Lastly, make sure all the pipes are rigidly secured along the ceiling or wherever else they run. I was getting a lot of "thunking" when the valve shut until I resecured up the pipes so they didn't move!

That's all I have! It's not a bad job, but you're absolutely right about having everything ready before you start. Good luck!

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