Best Effluent Pumps

Dealing with graywater is unpleasant but necessary. While most homes are lucky to have gravity help them, some will need an effluent pump to get rid of it. 

In this article, I’ll share with you the best effluent pumps you can use for your homes. They’ve been chosen based on how fast they can pump, how well they’re made, and how great they are to use.

Liberty Pumps 253 Liberty Pumps 280 Franklin Electric C1

Best overall choice

Best for medium head

Best for high head

50 GPM or 21'

68 GPM or 37'

20 GPM at 100'

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Editor Rating: 4.6

Editor Rating: 4.6

The Best Effluent Pumps in 2020

Best overall choice

Liberty has been gaining ground recently for its well-built pumps and rightly so. It offers highly reliable pumps for every application at reasonable prices. The Liberty 253 effluent pump is a prime example of it. Not only does it pack the best set of features you can hope for in an effluent pump, it’s super cheap to boot.

The pump has a maximum head of 21’ and a flow of 50 GPM. Offering very high efficiency, it’s one you don’t want to miss if you’re looking for a low head effluent pump for your STEP system, basement bathroom, or remote drain.

A more powerful effluent pump

For a pump with a bit more power than the 253, Liberty offers the 280 series with ½ HP motors perfect for midrange applications. This sturdy cast-iron pump will serve you well whether you’re using it for septic systems, liquid waste transfer, or as a sump pump. It can move fluids with ¾” solids at a maximum rate of 68 GPM or up to 37’ of head.

The Liberty 280 has the perfect balance of performance, reliability, and efficiency. It’s available with or without the wide angle float switch for automatic or manual operation.

Best for high head applications

The C1 effluent pump from Franklin Electric is specially made for high-pressure pumping of filtered effluent. This unit, in particular, can easily deliver 20 GPM of water at 100’ of head. That’s an impressive feat, one that can really help if your STEP system discharges to a drain field or sewer main that’s quite some distance away.

The whole assembly sits inside a robust stainless steel housing that facilitates plenty of heat exchange and resists corrosion. It’s highly optimized to increase performance and efficiency to ensure the best operation. I also really like the bottom suction design that allows the pump to have as much fluid drawdown as possible.

Buyer's Guide

1. Build Quality

The best effluent pumps must have a sturdy build quality that can withstand damage over time. Dealing with effluent and sewage is an unpleasant business and should be done with the most reliable equipment possible so you only have to do it once.

Every part of a heavy-duty effluent pump must be resistant to corrosion and build-up while being strong enough to resist impact and erosion. It should last for years of stress-free operation.

2. Capacity

It’s important to know how powerful you need the pump to be. Failure to do so can cause an overload of the system. Sizing the pump correctly will depend on how high and how far you’re pumping, the pipe fittings, and the amount of graywater generated in your home.

Rule of thumb in determining the generated amount assumes two people per bedroom that use the shower, bath, laundry, sink, and toilet. Another method is to count how many fixture units there are in your home.

3. Switch

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4. Installation

In choosing an effluent pump, you must consider the weight, dimensions, cord length, discharge connection, and even the user’s manual when choosing. These factors affect how easy it will be to install the pump.

What is an effluent pump?

An effluent pump, sometimes called a septic tank pump, is used to move graywater with small solids up to ¾” in diameter. These are typically used in septic tanks, remote drains, and basement bathrooms not containing sewage.

How does it work?

An effluent pump uses a motor to rotate an impeller. The impeller pushes the water and sends it into a spiral inside a casing that leads to a pipe. All that energy is used to move the water to the outlet where the water can be safely discharged.

What is an effluent pump used for?

Septic tank effluent pumping (STEP) systems

Homes that don’t have access to the public septic system usually rely on septic tanks. Wastewater is sent to these tanks to be treated and settled. After some time, the sludge will settle to the bottom while the lighter scum will float to the top.

The effluent in the middle is drained out by gravity or an effluent pump to a drain field where impurities and pathogens are further eliminated.

Basement bathroom or sinks

Water from sinks and bathrooms in the basement can’t be disposed of with gravity. An effluent pump in such cases acts like a sump pump gathering all the graywater in a pit before pumping it out of the house.

Sump pump alternative

Sump pumps are mainly used for dewatering applications in a building. In some cases, however, people prefer to use effluent pumps since they have a better solid handling capacity compared to a sump pump. This means it won’t easily clog in case of small debris up to ½” in diameter. 

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