Ejector Pump Failure and What It Means

There’s a very simple reason why an ejector pump failure is more difficult to deal with than most sump pump failures. We’ll get into what that is, the difference between sump and ejector pumps, and what homes are likely to need these systems. But first things first…


An ejector pump is an in-home lift station that pumps sewage from a lower level up to the height of an existing municipal sewer line. Homes with basement bathrooms have these because their waste has to get up to the height where it can be whisked away by a benevolent coalition of underground mole people. From here, the waste can begin its journey away from your home. Check out the video below for a great illustration of how the mechanism of a lift station works. Spoiler alert: it turns out mole people aren’t actually involved. Even without them, however, it’s still pretty interesting to follow the whole underground journey your wastewater makes on its way to the water treatment plant!


Many people see an ejector pump and assume it’s just another sump pump. The ejector pump vs. sump pump question has been floating around for ages. But despite looking quite similar, ejector pumps and sump pumps actually do very different things.

As we’ve established, ejector pumps handle any raw sewage from the underground levels of a home. If you’re unfamiliar with what a sump pump looks like, just head down to pretty much anyone’s basement (ideally with their permission). When it comes to ejector pump vs. sump pump, the big difference is the type of water these systems manage. Ejector pumps handle the nasty stuff. Sump pumps are there to prevent flooding, so they make sure general water levels don’t get too high and manage them when they do.

For a handy sump pump maintenance checklist along with other simple DIY steps, check out these 5 DIY Home Preparation Steps for heading into a new season. Remember: a small amount of preemptive work can save you a giant headache (and/or a giant bill) after a plumbing problem strikes in the home.


Ejector pump problems are often the result of improper installation. It’s also possible that the tank is too small. In either case, if you see raw sewage leaking, don’t waste any time calling a trained professional. While we don’t service ejector pumps at Plumbing One, if you’re not sure who to call for this, we’ll be happy to point you in the direction of someone who can take care of it.

Due to the simple fact that ejector pumps are designed to handle raw sewage, they can be extremely hazardous in the event of a leak. Calling a trained professional is absolutely the correct decision in the event of an ejector pump failure.

Got ejector pump problems and can’t get ahold of Mario? Call Plumbing One!

If you experience ejector pump failure or just have a question or two about these systems, give us a call. Plumbing one does not work on ejector pumps ourselves, but we’ll be happy to connect you with local folks who do!

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A plumber working on the pipes on the underside of a bathroom sink.

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A plumber working on the pipes on the underside of a bathroom sink.