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Ejector Pump vs. Sump Pump: What's the Difference

Jan 25, 2022

Your home’s plumbing is an incredibly intricate and complex system. If you find yourself confused about what the various aspects of your plumbing do, then know that you’re not alone. Owning a home is a constant learning adventure, so figuring out something like the sump pump and ejector pump difference is just part of the process.


If you want to know how a sump pump works or you are debating ejector pump vs. sump pump, then don’t worry… it’s really not that complicated. If you’re looking into a sump pump vs. ejector pit, know they have a few key operation differences and both help your home in unique ways.

Ejector Pump vs. Sump Pump: How Do They Work?

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

The sump pump installed in your basement or crawlspace is designed to keep your home protected against infiltrating water. When it rains or groundwater swells around your home, it might get into your basement or crawlspace and cause water damage. A sump pump sits above or inside a sump basin on the lowest level of your home, extending at least two feet below floor level.


As groundwater creeps into the basement through the foundation of the home, the water collects in the sump pit. Once the water reaches a certain level in the basin, it triggers the sump pump to turn on. The sump pump removes water from the basement, sending it through a drain line away from the home, protecting the home’s foundation.

How Does an Ejector Pump Work?

An ejector pump (or an ejector pit) is a critical aspect of your home’s plumbing. It’s installed in the basement of your home and manages wastewater coming from toilets and greywater from sinks and other appliances on the lowest level of your home. The ejector pit moves sewage to your home’s main sewer line, and then out of your home—either to a municipal sewer or an individual septic tank. Unlike a sump pump, an ejector pump is covered with a lid and a vent pipe to properly vent sewer gasses.

Sump Pump and Ejector Pump Difference

The main sump pump vs ejector pit difference is that the former transfers groundwater away from the home while the latter transfers wastewater into a sewer line. A sump pump keeps your basement protected against flooding during storms or against groundwater leaking in. An ejector pump transfers wastewater out of your home’s lowest level.


Maintenance is also different for sump pumps and ejector pits. Should a sump pump malfunction, then you may end up with a basement flooded with water so it’s important to keep it properly maintained (or replaced if necessary). Sump pumps require regular maintenance to ensure they are operational. Cleaning the pump and basin helps ensure it doesn’t get clogged or broken, which helps protect your basement from flooding.


An ejector pump doesn’t require a lot of maintenance to remain operational. On occasion, it’s recommended to check the pit for any clogs or caught toilet paper. Debris trapped on the float is the biggest reason for ejector pump failure. In addition, if the lid of your ejector pit is broken or cracked in any way, then you need to get it replaced as soon as possible. The sewer gasses collecting inside the ejector pit present a health hazard to your home if they can escape.


The final difference between sump pumps and ejector pits is how necessary they are. Sump pumps are only necessary for homes where flooding is likely in the basement or crawl space. This can be due to heavy rainfall or homes at a high water table. An ejector pump is needed for any home with bathrooms or water-consuming appliances that are installed on the lowest level of a home. The wastewater on the lower floor can’t use gravity to flow out so it needs the pump to get out of the home.

Call in the Plumbing Experts

Now that you know the differences between an ejector pump vs sump pump, you’re better able to keep your home maintained. Whether you need to repair the sump pump or ejector pump in your home or are looking for help with your plumbing maintenance in general, CroppMetcalfe has a full team of expert plumbers ready to help you out. We’re available for scheduled maintenance visits and emergency repairs. Contact us today to schedule your plumbing service.



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