Septic Aerator Motors: Functions & Servicing

If you have an aerobic septic system installed on your property, one of the key components you can’t do without is the aerator motor.

Like the name suggests, septic aerator motors help in pumping air into a wastewater holding chamber in your septic tank.

The purpose of introducing air into a septic tank is to help create a favorable environment for the growth of bacteria. In turn, such bacteria help in the breakdown of wastewater, thus making it environmentally harmless and ready for soil filtration and absorption.

Without this piece of equipment, (septic aerator motor), hardly anything can be done to treat wastewater in an aerobic septic system.

About Septic Aerator Motor

Aerobic digestion of wastewater takes place in the presence of air or oxygen. This air is supplied by an aerator motor attached to a blower unit. Collectively, both the aerator motor and blower unit are known as the septic aerator.

The septic aerator delivers air at high pressure to the septic chamber. For this aerator motor to function, it needs to be connected to a source of power. Electricity is a fundamental requirement as it helps power this septic system component.

Lots of things have to be considered before installing a septic aerator motor. First, the power rating is very important. You’ll need to determine if it’s the right capacity for your septic system.

For instance, a septic aerator motor with a power rating of about ½ horsepower will consume about 80 to 90 kilowatts of electricity each month. This adds up to your total utility costs.

How A Septic Aerator Motor Works

Understanding the workings of the septic aerator motor is central to our discussion. Most septic aerator motors are timed. In other words, these come with timers that are set to supply adequate air needed for the proper breakdown of sewage.

The timer settings on a septic aerator motor always correlate with the volume of sewage being treated each day. A lot of calculation goes into this action. Anything short of attaining the ideal timing only serves to undersupply air.

Air shortage in a septic tank only serves to affect the presence of digestive bacteria in the tank.

Remember, these bacteria need sufficient oxygen to thrive. So, don’t be surprised when you begin to perceive an offensive odor coming from your tank.

Such an odor is a clear sign that conditions (relating to the air supply) aren’t optimal. While it’s true that an underperforming septic aerator motor affects septic tank bacterial action, an oversupply of air will also affect it.

When the septic aerator motor is left for too long to pump, it leads to an oversupply of oxygen. This situation negatively impacts the breakdown of wastewater in the sense that excess bacterial digestion results.

This situation causes solids to become too light.

Instead of settling down to the bottom of the tank as sludge, such solids will accompany effluent when discharged.

Both scenarios are undesirable and need to be properly addressed. To do this, the septic tank aerator will need to be timed according to the volume of wastewater coming in.

  • Wastewater Volume & Aerator Timing

The volume of wastewater a tank receives largely depends on the number of people in the house.

This connection helps in estimating the time required for the septic tank aerator motor to remain on. The higher the volume of wastewater generated each day, the longer the septic aerator motor is left on.

To be clearer, it will be necessary to illustrate how wastewater volume affects septic tank aerator timing. A household with 1 to 2 people won’t generate so much wastewater.

As such, an aerator should be allowed to run for about 12 hours each day.

Households with more occupants such as 3 to 4 people will generate more wastewater than those with lesser occupants. Therefore, an aerator should be timed to run between 12 to 18 hours every day.

This should provide just enough air for bacteria to thrive in an aerobic septic tank.

Logically, homes with 5 to 6 occupants should generate more wastewater. This means more air supply is required to breakdown such wastewater. A septic aerator should be timed to operate between 18 to 22 hours every day.

Some homes have more than 7 occupants living under the same roof. Due to the high number of occupants, aerobic sewage treatment is done a bit differently.

In other words, an aerator does not need to be timed in such situations as it needs to be left perpetually on to keep up with aerobic bacterial action.

All of the above scenarios except the last (households with 7 plus people) will require not putting off the aerator motor for longer than 4 hours at any given time.

  • How About A Situation Where Everyone Travels?

When going on a vacation, it’s important to ensure the septic aerator motor is left on. Why so? Because the breakdown process of wastewater needs to be sustained.

However, the timer will need to be adjusted since only a few people or no one at all will stay behind.

A minimum of 6 to 8 hours per day should help sustain aerobic bacterial action when out on vacation. Scheduled servicing of your septic aerator motor will be necessary.

This will involve inspection and replacement of parts, repair or replace the aerator with a new one based on the findings of an assessment.

Who’ll Service My Septic Aerator?

Septic system equipment manufacturers have made things a lot easier for users of their products.

For instance, most aerobic septic system aerators come with a service company name attached. You only need to take a look to find out who’s responsible for fixing any issues arising.

It’s possible not to find the contact address of a service provider on the aerator. In such situations, you might want to contact the product vendor for assistance on who to call for maintenance services.

As discussed so far, septic aerator motors perform a crucial role in the maintenance of digestive equilibrium within a tank. With proper functions, this electronic device helps create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.

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