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Commercial Sump Pump – Repair and Replacement

One of Szuter Treatment Systems many services is commercial lift pump repair and replacement service. Most commercial plants in areas without sewer accessibility including some with sewers use pumps to move the wastewater from the building to a point higher in elevation for the purpose of treatment and or disposal. Over time, the devices involved can fail as they do have a finite life expectancy.

The other day, I went to a site to address the failure of such a system. In this case, the failure caused a backup at a dog grooming and boarding business. They had first called a septic tank pumper who was able to empty the tanks and give them some capacity to continue to use the facilities.

The control panel had a total failure in which it failed to control the pumps. Alarm function also failed due to failure of control board power. This device uses a low voltage transformer with circuit board that also malfunctioned. Even though there was power to the panel, when I traced it through the board, it did not flow through the transformer.

Because of the age of the panel, a replacement board was not an option. I was able to find a replacement panel for this application through a few sources and as it turned out, my usual supplier had the best price. They always have provided me with top quality merchandise and this time they had it in stock and immediately shipped it.

Even though the panel enclosure was a little bit larger, mounting it was not too difficult. I did have to modify two of the mounting brackets, and shorten the supply conduit length. Within 90 minutes, I had installed and tested it. It worked perfectly. We had nice weather for the end of February. As sometimes necessary we worked on a Saturday, but this time we rewarded by a quick payment.

If you have or know of someone who has commercial property with one of these commercial sump pump systems, keep Szuter Treatment Systems in mind next time the red light comes on or you notice a problem with your wastewater flow.

What Occurs During an Inspection

Aerator Service

Don’t neglect your septic system. Even if it is not a local requirement, a septic inspection can head off costly future replacement or repair. During the inspection process, Szuter Treatment Systems will:

  • Locate any available installation and pumping records as well as records on any repairs that may have been done.
  • Inspect the condition of the septic and pump tank if applicable and report the structural condition and suggest when the pumping should be done by measuring the scum and sludge levels.
  • Inspect your secondary area for wet spots or other issues. If we find a problem that can be repaired during the visit we will not charge you a separate service call.
  • Check the flow from the building sewer line as well as the outflow and locate the system outlet if any to check for obstructions.
  • Record results, then fill out and file the necessary paperwork required by the county Health Department.

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Where Is My Spectic System?

Since septic systems perform essential functions underground and out of sight, it is not uncommon for a homeowner to not have any idea where the septic system is located. This is usually not an issue except for when it comes time to inspect or pump the tank!

The following techniques can be used by Szuter Treatment Systems to locate a septic tank if the homeowner does not already know where it is:

  • As Built Drawings. There are sometimes drawings that the local county health has on file from when the system was installed. They can be somewhat vague but provide some starting point. Systems installed before 1965 might not have any such record.
  • A previous owner may be contacted.
  • Newer tanks contain risers that rise visibly above the ground surface.
  • A thin metal rod can be inserted into the earth and used to probe a suspected area. It is important to do this gently and only in soft, wet soil to avoid damaging the tank and associated pipes. A shovel can also be used but it requires a bit more work.
  • A metal detector can be used if enough tank components are metal.
  • A camera with a locator can be placed in a cleanout to show distance and location of sewer line.
  • The greenest grass in a yard is often directly above the septic tank. Snow also melts faster above the tank than the rest of the yard.

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Septic Maintenance Tips

Szuter Treatment Systems recommends clients know about ways they can protect and ways that inadvertently damage their septic system. One thought about things you put down the sink: “If you wouldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it down the sink drain.”

  • Only bath tissue can be flushed down the toilet. Your tanks are holding tanks and the more stuff you put in them that doesn't break down, the quicker they will fill up and need pumped. Household chemicals such as gasoline, paint, medication, antifreeze and pesticides can damage bacteria in the septic system and should never be flushed or dumped down the sink. Detergents and bleach can enter the plumbing system in moderate amounts.
  • Trucks, cars and heavy equipment should not be driven on or near the drainfield. Their weight can unknowingly damage tanks and components.
  • When landscaping only grass should be planted above the septic tank and drainfield. Trees and shrubs can hinder servicing and roots can get into piping and cause trouble.
  • If any digging is required near the septic tank or field, it should be done by a competent installer with knowledge of its components and location.
  • Water infiltration can adversely affect your septic. Gutters, downspouts and surface drainage should be directed away from your system. An over-saturated drainfield can retard the water treatment process and cause plumbing fixtures to back up.
  • Remember every bit of water you put down the drain must go somewhere. Any household water waste should be avoided. Quite often a leaky toilet or fixture can cause an overload on your system. Taking shorter showers and not using a garbage disposal are ways to limit water use.
  • Spread out your laundry if possible. Doing all your laundry on the same day can put a stress on your system and shorten it’s life. If possible do it at least twice a week if you have alot to do.

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