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Question DetailsAsked on 11/3/2017

Labor on installing grind pump in septic tank piping to City pipe in electrical wiring labor only

Digging up and installing a grinder pump in septic tank piping Plumbing to City drain 30 ft distance and wiring up electrical box 2 grinding pump with backup warning light system

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If you mean to a city storm drain - don't - illegal plus will contaminate surface waters that the storm drain outlets to.

If you mean putting in a grinding lift pump to pump from the house piping (would usually be put in on the inlet piping to the tank or in the basement, cutting the septic tank and leach field out entirely), can vary a LOT - but assuming no substantial (say not over 5 feet or so) lift (elevation increase to high point in line) over that 30' run, probably on the order of a couple of thousand $ complete for a single-family home. Up to another $1000-2000 for the excavation for the pipeline if in soft bedrock or deep (say over typical 3-4 feet) because of deep winter frost penetration or to get gravity flow on part of it - can be up to double that for hard bedrock escavation for 30 feet.

Plus the city connection fee - which can run from maybe $500-1000 range at the low end to as much as tens of thousands if they are charging a hookup assessment to "join" the system as well as the physical hookup installation charge. Hookup assessments (which pay for your "share" of the overall system cost - basically like a "joining" fee) typically run in the couple thousand to $5000 range in small towns, but in some sprawling systems (California and Phoenix area has had some prime examples) has run as high as near $100,000. In other cases they charge per LF of frontage on the street - commonly $10-100/LF range. In some cases when a new sewer system is brought into an area all landowners which can be served by it have to pay the assessment immediately - in others only at actual time of hookup, commonly tied to a time limit of a decade or so or when your septic system fails or would otherwise need to be replaced/extended, so be sure to check on connection fees and hookup assessment if you are looking at abandoning a working septic system and have the choice of keeping it in use. [Personally, given the choice, I would stay with a gravity flow septic system over a pumped-to-city-sewer system, if that is your option].

This assumes you are talking a system pumping your sewage to a gravity-flow city sewer - if the city sewer is a low pressure system, or if you are talking a substantial rise from house to the city line, then commonly more in the range of $5,000-10,000 plus any added excavation cost or hookup assessment per above. The few residential high pressure systems (usually in hilly or close to river/ocean level areas) it can cost as much as $25,000-100,000 - though those are rare on the individual home side even if the public sewer itself may be high-pressure - generally they try to run the sewage into a gravity or low-pressure line to collect the sewage from a number of houses to a wet well, then the city system pumps that to the high-pressure system.

I have presumed you actually need a pumped sewage system - obviously the preference would be interior replumbing (if conditions and elevations allow) to exit to a gravity flow line to the city line, which might exit the house on a different side to get gravity flow to the city line. In some cases, this can readily be done, in others can be prohibitive. In some cases the above-ground drain stack (main drain line - 3" or 4" - in the house) is connected to a gravity flow sewer line to the street, and only any below-ground (basement) drain line is run through a sewage lift/grinder pump lifting from there to the upstairs piping, to then flow by gravity from there. Because of the maintenance issues and the total shutdown of household water use if a whole-house pump fails (or power goes out if you don't have backup power available), it is generally worth it (both for your convenience and peace of mind and also come house sale time) to get as much of the house (especially toilets and kitchen flows) as feasible on gravity flow if topography allows that - even if it means pipe excavation depths of 10-20 feet to achieve the gravity flow.

Of course, if you are down in a hole that cannot always be done. In that case I have seen cases where the septic tank was left in (or even one installed new) to act as a surge tank for the pump, which normally then pumps the tank nearly dry when it is running to leave maybe 500-1000 gallons of storage capacity during pump outages (so maybe 1-5 days for a normal house depending on family size). Can work well or poorly depending on pump protection against clogging - but if the tank is used as a surge tank it still needs regular tank pumping by a septic pumper, because the normal some hundreds to thousand or so $ grinder pump cannot handle large volumes of solids like accumulate in the bottom of the tank - if you want that you are talking in the quite a few thousands for the pump unit alone. And of course you need a tank fill level alarm.

Generally, this sort of modification from septic system to public sewer disposal not only should be designed by a Civil Engineering firm which routinely does septic system design just to be sure you get it right, but in most cases both the new pump/line and the septic system abandonment have to be designed by and certified as functional and correct by a civil engineer to get your septic operating permit closed out and the new city utility connection approved.

Oh - you asked about labor only - probably on the order of half for a straight grinder pump to pipe installation - more like 1/4 to 1/3 labor if installing a pressurized LPS sewer pump, because the pump itself is so expensive.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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