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Routine Lift Station Maintenance

Our Lift Station Maintenance Process

Controls and Power: 

  1.   Document Model / Serial and voltage for control box and pumps
  2.   Monitor and test incoming voltage to ensure it's proper
  3.   Test manual and automatic auxiliary switches for proper operation
  4.   Test high level alarms for proper operation
  5.   Test breakers, fuses, contactors for proper operation
  6.   Monitor and test outgoing voltage to down-hole pumps to ensure proper operation
  7.   Test and adjust any program parameters for proper settings
  8.   Deliver full digital reporting, maintenance documentation or follow up recommendations or quotes as/if required.


  1.   Test and adjust floats for proper operation at desired levels
  2.   Test manual vs. automatic operation
  3.   Test any check-valves for proper operation
  4.   Test pump motor operation in regard to float vs manual operations
  5.   Check for foreign matter inside tank and remove as needed
  6.   Activate system and pump tank to lowest level
  7.   Pressure wash and clean interior of tank
  8.   Deliver full digital reporting, maintenance documentation or follow up recommendations or quotes as/if required.

When your sewer line isn’t elevated enough to gravity-drain wastewater into the public sewer lines, you’ll likely need a wastewater lift station.  A lift station pumps the wastewater from a lower elevation to a higher one, eliminating the need for you to either fix the elevation problem or install new equipment in a different location.

Wastewater lift stations are highly useful tools for “sunken” properties in the area, whether business or residential.  Here’s a look into lift stations and how to properly maintain them.

What is a lift station, and how does it work?

A lift station is comprised of a pump, valves and electrical equipment.  It’s connected to the electricity on your property (so if there is a power outage, you WILL need a generator to power the lift station).  Typically, a lift station is designed to be submersible in your other equipment, allowing you to seamlessly install the lift without having to carve out additional space for it.

In a typical plumbing installation, the lift wouldn’t be necessary because the system could use gravity to move the wastewater into the sewer lines.  However, when the property elevation is lower than the lines, you need extra power to move the wastewater along its way.

How to Maintain a Lift Station

Typically, your lift station should last upwards of 20 years, give or take — that is, if you properly maintain your equipment.  The more capacity your station has, the more often you will need to maintain and rebuild your lift station.

Your owner’s manual will have guidelines for basic maintenance and timing.  Some companies suggest performing basic maintenance (such as cleaning, lubricating moving parts and listening for issues) every month, while others unfortunately provide literally no guidance whatsoever.  Ultimately, you’ll have to decide how often it makes sense to check your lift station, depending on the volume of wastewater you see.  We've found that bi-annual or quarterly visits keep your lift stations monitored, online and operational with the best results. 

As you can imagine, residential stations need far less maintenance than commercial ones, particularly those in commercial kitchens at and other businesses where food and waste product go down the drain just as much as water.

This article has been shared by Direct Service, Construction and Design to specifically accommodate our intended clientele.  The intent of sharing this information is to better inform the public of these general topics, expand knowledge and safety for all and provide crucial information in regard to their MEP and building systems and/or assets. It is NOT our recommendation that any article recommendations or how-to scenarios be attempted by anyone other than a qualified or competent person.