Sewage pumps: selection, installation and maintenance of a sololift

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A pressurized wastewater system is not such a rare occurrence. Sometimes it is worth spending money on a sewer pump if changing the configuration of the drain risers is technically impossible or difficult to implement. We will tell you about sololifts and everything you need to know for their trouble-free operation..

Sewage pumps: selection, installation and maintenance of a sololift

Principle of operation and purpose

The sewage pump has a centrifugal mechanism for pumping waste masses to feed them to the discharge point, which is located significantly above the installation level. Sololift is just the name of a certain series of pumps under the Grundfos trademark, although any internal sewage pumps are often called this way, in which there is an analogy with the Jacuzzi brand.

Fecal pump with grinder

In the classic version, the sololift is installed as part of a hidden toilet installation and serves as the main receiving unit for drains. The connection of secondary outlets with a diameter of 50 mm to the pump is also possible by means of additional branch pipes located at the bottom. The inlet lines of the sewage system can be performed by technical means for free-flow sewage, but the outlet part must necessarily have a sealed package due to the presence of overpressure in the system.

Toilet sololift

Inside the sololift there is a pump with a separator drum and a pair of knives for crushing coarse waste. The work is based on the same principle as in the kitchen disposer. The control of the pump is taken over by the automatic start unit, which is triggered depending on the filling of the internal tank. Many may be scared off by the device’s volatility, but they use it, for the most part, in situations that are frankly hopeless. And the issue of power supply can be quite simply solved with the simplest UPS, since the consumption of the pump is very modest.

Sewage pump device

Selection and scope

There are not many types of pumps and the vast majority of them are represented by a Western manufacturer. In addition to the two versions mentioned by Grundfos Sololift, the products of Lowara, SFA, DAB and WILO companies are also quite common, all are reliable European manufacturers of domestic pumping equipment. It does not do without cheaper analogs, the Chinese manufacturer Unipump offers similar products almost a third cheaper than the original ones, but their reliability remains in question, primarily due to the low prevalence.

Sololift Grundfos

The products of SFA and Grundfos, as can be understood from the price category, belong to the flagships of the industry: here there is a long warranty period and an advanced service system. Other brands have a technically simpler device and do their job well too..

The main purpose for such equipment is toilets in the basement floors and in all kinds of basements. But not only: sewage pumping stations can be useful even in those conditions where it is not possible to direct wastewater by gravity. This is both a great distance from the drain pit or septic tank, and the high location of the discharge point in apartments where it is planned to insert a drain siphon into the floor.

Installing a sololift in the basement 1 – sewer riser; 2 – sololift; 3 – plumbing connected to the sewerage; 4 – the height of the effluent rise is 4-6 m; 5 – septic tank (drain pit)

Most of the sololifts help to transport the waste masses over a distance of 50–70 meters, while lifting them to a height of 4–6 meters. The main pleasant feature of using such pumps is that the appearance of large fragments is excluded in the discharged wastewater, therefore, a small assortment of pipes is quite suitable for the drainage line, and not necessarily sewer pipes.

Noise issue

The simpler the pumping station is, the lower the noise level produced by it during operation. The presence of additional knives in the grinder, as well as the category of pump power itself, have the most direct effect on the noise level.

Sololift under the sink

SFA, WILO and similar devices are distinguished by the simplest device; most Chinese products also demonstrate low noise levels. Unfortunately, manufacturers do not provide any constructive means to ensure silent operation, but this is understandable: the basement is considered to be technical.

In light of the latter, the installation location is very important. Typically, the sewer station is located behind a false wall. In this case, the simplest soundproofing will be enough, but the question arises with the difficulty of maintenance and the need for an inspection hatch.

The sewage pump is installed behind a false wall

Choosing a location for installation

The design of the body of most sewage pumps is quite attractive and their open installation is quite justified. In this case, it remains only to correctly direct and hide the pipe connections..

Sololift under the shower

Although it is customary to install sololifts right behind the toilet, this is not a mandatory requirement. An arbitrarily complex sewerage network with a natural gravitational drain can be located before the pump. Due to the fact that the work of the station is completely autonomous, its installation is possible at a distance from the bathroom, for example, in a technical pit. The only prerequisite is an acceptable temperature and humidity range.

An example of installing a sololift at a distance from the toilet

Installation and inclusion in the communications system at home

The inlet for all sewage pumps has the same format – a gusset for a 110 mm pipe or a toilet outlet with a depth of 50–70 mm. In a general sense, the sololift plays the role of a receiving sewer cross.

Outgoing connections are usually connected with a threaded union. The pipe diameters are different – from 32 to 50 mm. The part of the system closest to the pump should, as far as possible, run vertically and minimize the level difference as much as possible. In other words, the section of the drain pipes following the vertical section must allow the gravitational movement of the liquid. The vertical segment is assembled from PVC pipes with their gluing with “welding” chemistry to achieve pressure tightness.

Sololift connection

The rest of the system can be mounted on virtually any pipe to which a set of transition joints can be matched. The last straight fragment of the system, it usually has the greatest length, it is recommended to perform HDPE with a pipe of the appropriate diameter and SDR for the most tight joining.

The pump is electrically connected with a standard “Euro plug” to a 220 V network. The device does not require either protective grounding or differential protection, the machine is selected according to the engine power.

The nuances of servicing sewage pumps

In their work, sololifts are a little whimsical and do not require constant attention. This is most true for expensive European devices: you pay money to avoid weekly cleaning of the filter drum..

But there are also features of operation. Despite the presence of a shredder, the presence of even toilet paper (and flush sleeves) in the flush can cause the masses to stick to the knives and cause engine failure due to overload. Other kinds of problems can arise if drains from a bath, washing machine and dishwasher are included in the sololift. Deposition of soap, grease and food debris can cause the above problems, the same applies to hair.

Sololift cleaning

Periodic cleaning of the pump is inevitable, although very simple. The top cover must be removed, after draining the vertical part of the riser, in which the drains are blocked by a check valve. To facilitate the task, the pump can be pre-flushed by passing 30-50 liters of clean water through it. It is enough to immerse the pump drum in a large bucket of warm soapy water and rub it a little with a toilet brush: from smooth plastic and stainless steel, most deposits are cleaned off very easily.

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