Interior Plumbing

How Much Does a Sewage Ejector Pump Cost?

Homes with a basement bathroom or laundry room need a sewage ejector pump to direct wastewater to the sewer line. Sewage ejector pump cost ranges from $100 to $6,500, with many homeowners spending $2,500.
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Sewage Ejector Pump Cost
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Highlights

  • The average sewage ejector pump cost is $2,500, but a typical range is $100 to $6,500.
  • The cost to install a sewage ejector pump is largely based on the type of pump, the material and capacity, labor rates, maintenance and repairs, and other factors.
  • Installing a sewage ejector pump offers homeowners numerous benefits, from cost-effectiveness and efficiency to reduced flooding risk and improved sanitation.
  • There are DIY pumps available, but most homeowners opt for a professional installation with a more powerful pump that is properly installed; this can mitigate any mechanical failure that can contaminate a home with raw sewage.
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A fully functional and efficient plumbing system depends on a sewage ejector pump. This device, also known as a toilet ejector pump, is specifically designed to pump wastewater in a basement up to the main sewer line or septic system. Unlike sump pumps, which deal primarily with clear water or rainwater, sewage ejector pumps are specifically engineered to handle solid and liquid waste from toilets, sinks, showers, and other plumbing fixtures.

According to Angi, the average national sewage ejector pump cost ranges from $100 to $6,500, with many homeowners spending $2,500. The cost to install a sewage ejector pump may be influenced by the brand, model, and size of the pump. Factors such as the complexity of the installation and the condition of the existing system can also impact the price, since sump pump plumbing and sump pump replacement costs may be necessary.

Factors in Calculating Sewage Ejector Pump Cost

Sewage Ejector Pump Cost
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The cost to install a sewage ejector pump is determined primarily by the pump type, pump capacity and construction material, and local labor prices. The national average cost of $2,500 provides a good baseline, but local variations can significantly impact the final price. Factors contributing to the wide cost range include the specific needs of ejector pump basement plumbing, the extent of existing plumbing modifications, and the overall complexity of the installation process.

Pump Type

Different pump types come with distinct features and capabilities that cater to specific plumbing needs. There are a few different types of sewage ejector pumps, including battery-operated backup pumps, grinder pumps, sewage ejector pumps, and submersible sump pumps. A professional plumber can offer recommendations of the best type of pump for a home’s sewage or sump pump system.

The primary function of a sewage ejector pump is to push the wastewater to a higher level, where it can flow into the main sewer line or septic tank. This is critical when gravity alone isn’t sufficient to move sewage upward. The pump activates when the accumulated wastewater reaches a certain level in the basin and pushes the sewage from lower-level plumbing fixtures out of the home. Sewage ejector pumps are integral in preventing backups and maintaining proper sanitation.

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Pump Capacity and Construction Material

The pump capacity and material play an important role in sewage ejector pump installation cost. Higher-capacity pumps, capable of handling larger volumes of water and solids, generally come with a higher price tag. The required capacity depends on factors such as the number of fixtures connected to the pump and the anticipated flow rates. Investing in a pump with the appropriate capacity ensures efficient wastewater removal but may contribute to a higher upfront cost.

A pump’s capacity is usually measured by gallons per hour (GPH) and a maximum flow rate or horsepower. The sewer ejector pump needs to have the capacity and horsepower to force the wastewater and solids up to the elevation of the sewer line. It’s recommended that homeowners consult with a professional to determine the pump size that will work the best for their home. Most systems operate with ½ horsepower and 5,000 GPH maximum capacity, but that estimate applies to an average-size home of 2,385 square feet.

Pump CapacityAverage Cost (Materials Only)
3,000 gallons per hour$200 to $250
4,500 gallons per hour$300 to $350
5,400 gallons per hour$400 to $500
6,600 gallons per hour$800 to $850
7,200 gallons per hour$850 to $1,200
11,400 gallons per hour$1,500 to $2,000

The construction materials used in the manufacturing of the best sewage pumps can influence both the performance and cost. Pumps made from durable and corrosion-resistant materials, such as stainless steel and cast iron, are more expensive but provide longevity and reliability, reducing maintenance and replacement costs over time. Cheaper materials like plastic may result in a lower initial cost but could lead to increased maintenance or premature failure, potentially outweighing the initial savings. Another option that appeals to many homeowners is a blend of plastic and cast-iron materials for a cost-effective yet durable solution.

Type of Construction MaterialAverage Cost
Full cast iron$200 to $2,000
Plastic$150 to $500
Plastic and cast iron$200 to $700
Stainless steel$250 to $850

Labor

The rates charged by professionals for labor services can vary based on regional economic factors, the demand for plumbing services, and the cost of living in a particular area. Different regions have distinct economic conditions and standards of living, leading to variations in the hourly rates charged by plumbing professionals. Areas with a higher cost of living typically experience higher labor prices. Local building codes and regulations can impact the complexity of sewage ejector pump installations, influencing the amount of labor required for the project.

On average, homeowners can expect to pay from $50 to $200 per hour for labor. Most installations take around 10 hours to complete.

Additional Costs and Considerations

Beyond the direct sewage ejector pump installation costs and labor fees, there may be additional factors and considerations that could apply when homeowners try to calculate the total cost of installation. These can include maintenance and repairs, operating costs, and any additional services.

Maintenance and Repairs

Ongoing maintenance and the potential for repairs will contribute to the long-term cost of installing a sewage ejector pump. Regular maintenance is essential to keep the sewage ejector pump operating efficiently. This may include cleaning the pump, inspecting for wear and tear, and ensuring it’s working properly—all services that a qualified plumber can take care of with ease.

While routine maintenance costs are relatively manageable at about $100 to $150 per year, neglecting this task can lead to more significant issues over time. If a homeowner has a septic system, they will need to pump the septic tank every few years at a cost from $175 to $600. Sump pump costs and septic tank costs depend on soil permeability, house size, and type of waste breakdown system.

In the event of a malfunction or component failure, repair costs can add up quickly. The type of pump, quality of materials, and complexity of the system can influence the cost of repairs. Investing in a high-quality pump and staying proactive with maintenance can help mitigate the risk of unexpected repair expenses. Homeowners typically pay from $50 to $200 for a plumber to come and repair the ejector pump if it gets clogged with items that shouldn’t go down the drain.

Operating Costs

Operating costs are important to remember when homeowners are evaluating the overall cost of a sewage ejector pump system. More energy-efficient pumps may have higher upfront costs but can yield long-term savings by consuming less electricity over time. Running an ejector pump costs around $360 to $720 per year or $30 to $60 per month.

Additional Services and Add-Ons

Other services and common add-ons can influence the overall cost of a sewage ejector pump system or an entire basement project. It’s common for homeowners to get these additional projects completed at the same time as the sewage ejector pump installation since it’s more convenient to plan construction projects at the same time.

Additional Services and Add-OnsAverage Cost (Materials and Labor)
Backup pump installation$600 to $1,200
Basement refinishing$2,800 to $34,500
Plumbing inspection$100 to $1,375
Septic system installation$3,460 to $11,360
Septic tank pumping$175 to $600
Sewage Ejector Pump Cost
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Types of Sewage Ejector Pumps

When it comes to sewage ejector pumps, there are several types available on the market, and the cost can vary depending on the type. A professional plumber can help homeowners make sense of which option will provide easy maintenance and long-term reliability for their specific property.

Type of PumpAverage Cost (Materials and Labor)
Battery-operated backup pump$600 to $1,200
Grinder pump$1,000 to $6,500
Sewage ejector pump$100 to $6,500
Submersible sump pump$100 to $3,500

Battery-Operated Backup Pump

Battery-operated backup pumps serve as a reliable substitute option in case of power outages. While they may cost a bit more due to the added battery feature, they provide peace of mind and prevent potential damage to the property. In the event of water damage to a home, hiring one of the best water damage restoration services, such as ServiceMaster Restore or ServPro, can mitigate sewage backups or groundwater infiltration.

A backup pump averages $600 to $1,200, including installation. Since sewer ejector pumps and sump pumps don’t operate when the power goes out, many homeowners who live in areas that are prone to blackouts or strong storms often choose to install a battery-operated backup pump.

Grinder Pump

This type of pump is specifically designed to grind the solid waste into smaller particles before pumping it through the sewer line that sits much higher than the property. The advanced functionality of grinder pumps often makes them pricier than other options, at a cost of $1,000 to $6,500, including materials and labor. A grinder pump isn’t recommended for septic systems since it can grind the solid waste too much for the system to handle.

Sewage Ejector Pump

Sewage ejector pumps are the go-to choice for most residential properties. They efficiently push sewage from lower elevations and require less maintenance than some other types of pumps. The cost of a sewage ejector pump averages $2,500, but the power, capacity, and overall quality determine the final cost. DIY pumps can cost as little as $100, but they’re not as reliable or powerful as other sewage ejector pumps, which can cost as much as $6,500.

Submersible Sump Pump

While not specifically designed for sewage, submersible sump pumps can handle small amounts of outside water from flooding a home. Sump pump installation is ideal for low-lying areas prone to flooding. The cost of sump pump installation can range from $100 to $3,500, but they may not be suitable for handling heavy-duty sewage. Asking plumbers who install sump pumps the right questions can help homeowners ensure a proper installation and avoid property damage.

Benefits of Choosing to Install or Replace a Sewage Ejector Pump

Installing a sewage ejector pump offers numerous benefits, including cost-effectiveness, efficiency, reduced flooding risk, versatility, improved sanitation, and low maintenance requirements.

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Cost-Effectiveness

While the initial investment of an ejector pump may seem substantial, the long-term benefits outweigh the upfront costs. A sewage ejector pump serves as a proactive measure to prevent potential plumbing issues, particularly sewage backups. By efficiently moving wastewater from lower-level areas in the home to the main sewer line, the pump minimizes the risk of costly repairs and property damage associated with sewage overflows.

An overloaded plumbing system can put a strain on pipes, leading to corrosion, leaks, and increased maintenance costs. When homeowners invest in a sewage ejector pump, the load on the plumbing system is significantly reduced. This means that the existing pipes, joints, and fixtures experience less stress, resulting in a longer lifespan and fewer repairs.

Efficiency

An ejector pump improves the overall speed of waste removal. In properties where gravity cannot naturally transport wastewater from lower to higher levels, a sewage ejector pump is an ideal choice. These pumps efficiently pump and discharge waste uphill, overcoming the limitations of gravity. This enhanced speed prevents waste from stagnating in pipelines and reduces the likelihood of blockages and foul odors.

Reduced Flooding Risk

The installation of a sewage ejector pump helps reduce the risk of raw sewage flooding in lower-elevation areas. Without an effective sewage ejector system, the accumulation of sewage in basements or lower-level spaces could lead to flooding, causing extensive property damage. By efficiently managing and redirecting sewage, the pump minimizes the potential for Category 3 blackwater overflow and contamination.

Versatility

These pumps are designed to handle a variety of plumbing configurations and applications, making them adaptable to various needs. Whether it’s ejecting waste from basements, handling solid waste efficiently, or accommodating different fixtures, sewage ejector pumps offer a versatile solution. Their flexibility allows them to integrate seamlessly into various plumbing setups, making them suitable for a range of residential properties in different locations.

Improved Sanitation

By efficiently managing and removing sewage from the lower level of a home, sewage ejector pumps contribute to a cleaner and more hygienic living environment. The prompt disposal of wastewater prevents the accumulation of sewage, reducing the risk of offensive odors and potential health hazards associated with stagnant or overflowing sewage. Raw sewage is considered a severe health risk that can expose humans to viruses, bacteria, and other toxic agents. Prioritizing the installation of a sewage pump that can handle the capacity of the home’s blackwater is critical.

Low Maintenance Requirements

With proper installation and routine maintenance, sewage ejector pumps typically operate with minimal upkeep. Regular cleaning and inspections by a pro are generally straightforward and contribute to the pump’s longevity. The low maintenance demands equate to reduced ongoing costs and hassle for homeowners.

Sewage Ejector Pump Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

By tackling a DIY installation of a sewage ejector pump, a homeowner can save on the expenses of hiring a professional, but there are potential risks of a DIY installation. An incorrect installation may result in system malfunctions, leaks, or even damage to the property. Homeowners would need to have a high level of expertise in plumbing or mechanical systems to ensure the kit is installed properly. It’s also worth noting that many DIY pumps can’t adequately handle the flow rates.

A professional licensed plumber or contractor brings years of experience and in-depth knowledge to the project. They will ensure that the sewage ejector pump is installed correctly to minimize any potential issues or damages that can risk the health of the home’s occupants due to raw sewage contamination. If a homeowner is unsure about their mechanical or plumbing abilities, it is highly recommended to hire a professional.

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How to Save Money on Sewage Ejector Pump Cost

Sewage ejector pumps are essential for homes that have a basement bathroom or a below-grade plumbing system, but installing or replacing an ejector pump can be quite costly. Thankfully, there are several ways to save money on the installation cost.

Sewage Ejector Pump Cost
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  • Compare quotes. It’s always a good idea to obtain at least three quotes from reputable professionals to find a price that works with the homeowner’s budget.
  • DIY preparation. While DIY installation may not be recommended for everyone, performing prep tasks, such as clearing the installation area for easy access, can reduce labor time and costs.
  • Choose a cost-effective pump. Selecting a sewage ejector pump that meets a homeowner’s needs without unnecessary features can help keep the upfront costs down.
  • Consider a refurbished pump. Homeowners can ask a plumber about installing a refurbished or gently used pump, which may offer cost savings compared to brand-new models.
  • Look for rebates and incentives. Local rebates, coupons, or incentives related to sewage pump installations might be available online or in monthly advertising mailers. Some areas offer financial incentives for installing energy-efficient systems.
  • Bundle services. If additional plumbing work is needed, homeowners can consider bundling these services with the pump installation to potentially negotiate a better overall deal.
  • Optimize timing. Homeowners might be able to schedule the installation during off-peak seasons or times when plumbers may offer discounted rates due to lower demand.
  • Perform regular maintenance. Investing in routine maintenance to prevent future issues helps minimize the risk of costly repairs and prolong the lifespan of the pump.
  • Explore home warranty coverage. Homeowners may want to investigate the possibility of obtaining a home warranty that includes coverage for sewage ejector pump repairs or replacement. Some of the best home warranty plans for septic systems, such as those offered by Cinch Home Services and Choice Home Warranty, can help offset the costs associated with unexpected pump issues, providing financial protection for homeowners.

Questions to Ask About Sewage Ejector Pump Installation

To ensure a successful and trouble-free installation, it’s important to ask the right questions before, during, and after the job is done.

  • Will you provide references and examples of previous sewage ejector pump installations?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • What type and size of sewage ejector pump do I need for my home?
  • What are the overall costs involved, including the pump, installation, and any other plumbing work?
  • How long will the installation take?
  • Can I do anything to prepare the area before the installation?
  • Are there any local building codes that need to be followed or permits that are required?
  • Is there a need for any additional plumbing modifications or upgrades?
  • Where will the sewage ejector pump be located, and does it need any specialized features to protect against damage or flooding?
  • What maintenance procedures should I follow to ensure the longevity of the pump?
  • Are there any warranties or guarantees provided?
  • How can I leave a review of your work?

FAQs

Some of the most common concerns among homeowners who are planning to install a sewage ejector pump are the size of the pump that is needed for their home, the typical lifespan of a sewage ejector pump, the noise level of a working pump, installation placement, and venting. The answers to these concerns can help guide homeowners as they research sewage ejector pump costs.

Q. What is the minimum pipe size for a sewage ejector?

Typically, the minimum pipe diameter for a sewage ejector pump is 1.5 inches, but homeowners are advised to check with local building codes and requirements for precise pipe sizes.

Q. How long does a sewage ejector pump last?

On average, a home sewer ejector pump lasts between 5 and 10 years, and a commercial pump can last from 5 to 15 years. With professional installation, regular maintenance, and inspections, it’s possible that a sewage ejector pump can operate for 30 years.

Q. Are sewage ejector pumps noisy?

A sewage ejector pump can create sounds ranging from small vibrations to knocking, clanking, rattling, thudding, or banging sounds. These sounds can be normal or they can be caused by unsecured pipes or a check valve that opens and closes. Installing a quieter valve can be a solution, but making sure the pump is installed by a professional is also helpful.

Q. Can a sewage ejector pump be installed outside?

A sump pump or a sewage ejector pump can be installed outside, but if the home is in an area that experiences harsh, freezing winters, the pump will need to be installed below the freeze line. Discharge hoses will need to be wrapped with protective electrical heat tape, and the incoming water will need to be filtered so the pump doesn’t get clogged with debris.

Q. Does a sewage ejector need its own vent?

To vent the buildup of gases and odors, sewage ejector pumps need to be vented to the outside with piping attached to the basin. The vent pipe often connects to the home’s main vent stack where other types of pipes also connect to it. It’s recommended that homeowners check the local building codes and regulations to ensure the pump is vented properly.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, SSPMA