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What are Macerator Pumps?

Published on: 23/07/2018
Last Updated: 09/06/2022
Macerator Pumps

A Macerator Pump is a kind of pump connected to a toilet (or, in some cases, included in the toilet itself if you buy a macerator toilet) that grinds up solid waste so that it can be pumped against gravity more effectively. This system isn't used particularly often in the UK, but it can provide an efficient solution to a certain kind of problem.

When to Use Them?

Macerator Pumps

They are used in the home for basement bathrooms. They make solid waste liquid, so it's easier to pump the waste from below the ground into an existing sewage pipe or outlet. For bathrooms installed in a basement or cellar, this can be an affordable and easy solution to get waste out from under the ground.

Macerators can also be used in commercial and industrial properties, such as office blocks. Newer models can be connected to other plumbing fixtures, such as showers, baths, dishwashers and washing machines.

What are the Advantages?

The primary advantage of installing macerator pumps is convenience. If you're installing a new bathroom in a basement and there's no existing sewage outlet, you have 2 choices. You can either install a macerator or undergo more serious remodelling and extend the existing sewage outlet down into the basement. Extending the sewage system will be costly and troublesome, while installing a macerator pump is cheaper and a lot easier. Even if there is a sewage outlet in your below-ground bathroom, you might find that it's not enough to effectively clear the toilet. In such cases, macerators give you an easier method to make sure that your toilet flushes smoothly each time.

In terms of durability, the lifespan of a macerator pump depends on how much it’s used. More recent macerator pumps can last up to 15 years when used sparingly, while those used regularly may need replacing after 10 years. A macerator used daily – in your home, for example – should last for around 10 years. Macerator pumps installed in commercial properties, however, may need replacing every three to five years.

What are the Disadvantages?

You will find that your toilet will use more water with this type of pump for flushing. The pump will make a grinding noise every time you flush the toilet, which is likely to irritate some users. Older models have a reputation for being unreliable and for frequently breaking down. These two things are not quite as much of a concern these days due to advances in technology, but a macerator is not likely to be quite as reliable as a regular toilet with a normal sewage pipe connection. If you use the macerator regularly, you can expect the need to replace it within two to three years.

Having a macerator pump also means that you need a holding tank to contain waste before the liquid is pumped out. More recent models include tools that can help keep them clean, but they still require regular attention to function smoothly.

Sarabeth Asaff

Sarabeth Asaff
Sarabeth Asaff is a former kitchen and bathroom designer who now works as a home and garden industry writer and expert. She has a working knowledge of all areas of the home improvement industry, and specialises in functional design and material advice.