The average cost to install a pressurized sewer grinder pump is $2,000 to $4,000
A grinder pump isn’t exactly glamorous, but it is important for many households. This tool mashes sewage waste from your home to a fine slurry, which is transferred to a septic tank or central sewer system. If this sounds a lot like a garbage disposal, that’s because the processes are fairly similar.
The cost to hire a sewer system specialist to install a grinder pump and any associated components is $2,000 to $4,000, but many factors can affect the final cost you’ll pay.
Sewer Grinder Pump Cost Breakdown
Like many projects, grinder pump installation costs generally break down into two categories: materials and labor.
Types of Sewer Grinder Pumps
The biggest cost factor here will be the grinder pump itself. A brand new grinder pump starts at just $300, but these are more affordable models with plastic cutting blades. The price range for a conventional grinding pump is $1,000 to $2,500.
Generally speaking, there are two main kinds of grinder pumps, each with its preferred uses and cost ranges.
When it comes to standard household use, most grinder pumps use a centrifugal design. They are easy to operate, rarely break down, and use simple physics to move waste slurry to the desired location. These pumps will also make short work of cleaning products and anything else that would clog up a traditional sewage system.
The pump spins and grinds waste into a slurry, creating a natural momentum as it operates. This momentum translates to physical velocity. In other words, it shoots the slurry to a septic tank or central sewage system. Centrifugal pumps are typically less expensive than SPD pumps, costing $300 to $1,500.
Semi-Positive Displacement (SPD) Pumps
Semi-positive displacement grinder pumps are the other major player in the industry. SPD pumps are highly efficient and extremely powerful, making them suited for commercial and industrial applications. SPD pumps include a powerful motor and stainless steel blades that mash-up waste products into a fine slurry.
SPD pumps are usually vertical in design, and as they build up pressure from the operation, the slurry is sent vertically through the pump and out of the basin. For this reason, semi-positive displacement pumps are best when sewage has to travel a vertical distance of 90 feet or beyond. SPD pumps cost $2,000 to $2,500, though costs increase with commercial and industrial units.
There is also labor to consider, as some units will attach easily to pre-existing sewage systems. Others will need new lines, new pressure systems, and, in some cases, additions to the household power system.
Once you have purchased a unit, the installation will add another $500 to $1,500 to the overall cost. Installation mainly involves labor, including digging out an appropriate space for the grinder pump and any associated pressure-building connections.
A local plumber may also have to run some plumbing lines between the grinder pump and the rest of the sewage system. The average cost to install a sewer line ranges from $50 to $250 per linear foot.
What Factors Influence the Cost to Install a Sewer Grinder Pump?
Beyond the pump itself and labor, you may have to factor in some additional costs to get your final price.
Sewage Lift Pump
Not all grinder pumps are equal when it comes to their ability to lift and move waste. Your system may need a bit more “get up and go” to ensure the slurry arrives at its desired location as quickly and efficiently as possible. In this case, you’ll need a sewage lift pump that works in concert with the grinder pump.
A low-head lift pump starts at around $500 and increases to $1,000. Your preferred technician will look at your system and let you know if you can get by without an additional lift pump.
Household Power System
Grinder pumps are extremely powerful, obliterating even the toughest of hygiene and waste products. In other words, they use up a lot of power. High-powered grinder pumps use 1HP to 2HP of power, and your home system may not like this power draw.
Hiring an electrician near you to upgrade your household power system costs $1,000 to $3,000. If you live in an average-sized home, you can get by with a grinder pump that uses less power, somewhere in the one-half HP range. Talk to your sewer system specialist to find out if a low-powered grinder will suit your needs.
Monthly Energy Bills and Maintenance
Now here is some good news: Grinder pumps may have an insatiable hunger for power, but they also include sensors that allow the pump to operate only when filled to a predetermined threshold. Energy bills increase with a grinder pump, but only by around $30 because of this design.
Additionally, grinder pumps require minimal maintenance. Traditional septic systems need to be routinely pumped to clear out any lingering waste, but grinder pumps do this on their own. With regular use, you’ll have to hire a specialist to take a look at your grinder pump just once every eight to 10 years.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Sewer Grinder Pump Yourself?
As you might imagine, it’s not recommended that you install a grinder pump on your own. A qualified contractor will source the pump, acquire any necessary permits, excavate the ground for the pump and associated components, and run it to the rest of your sewage system. Additionally, the specialist will outsource any other work you may need, such as upgrading a power line.
Sewage system specialists cost $75 to $100 per hour, and installing a grinder pump takes anywhere from six to 10 hours of work. You’ll save money if you try and tackle this project on your own, but you may lose out in the long term if you miss a crucial element during the installation process. Things could also get quite messy as this is your home’s sewage system, after all.
FAQs About Installing a Grinder Pump
What are the pros of installing a grinder pump?
Any home that needs to pump sewage uphill over a long distance, say 10 to 30 feet, will benefit from a grinder pump, as waste slurry is easier to move than solid waste. The advantages of a grinder pump go beyond movement, as grinding up waste to a slurry will minimize the risk of something clogging up your entire sewage system.
How do I choose a reputable contractor to install a grinder pump?
A grinder pump is a major investment for homeowners and business owners alike. Protect this investment by choosing a reliable and reputable contractor to source the pump itself, install it, and outsource any additional work. Research local sewage system contractors ahead of time to ensure they have the appropriate insurance and licensing. You should also perform a fairly thorough online search to get a feel for the company’s professionalism. Read reviews by other customers and look them up via the Better Business Bureau.
Finally, give them a call to discuss the project. A good technician will be more than happy to get into specifics regarding both the installation process and the pricing.
What happens to a grinder pump during a power outage?
You should be fine. Most high-grade grinder pumps have a 24-hour holding capacity within the tank. You can continue to use the facilities so long as the power outage does not stretch into days. In a worst-case scenario, attach a generator to the grinder pump, providing it has sufficient electric capacity.
How long can you expect a grinder pump to last?
A well-made grinder pump should last 25 years, with maintenance required every eight to 10 years. If your toilets are backing up regularly or if you catch a foul odor emanating from the direction of the grinder pump, it may be time to have it professionally serviced.