Macerator pumps offer the potential for installations where gravity drainage is not an option, presenting new opportunities for installers. John Jarmulowicz, technical manager at Saniflo, talks us through some important guidelines.
Saniflo is one of the most widely recognised brands in the UK plumbing market, thanks to its range of macerator pumps that allow domestic and commercial customers to install WC and washing facilities almost anywhere – even if not located in proximity to a soil stack and drainage facilities.
Saniflo UK was set up in 1979 with a single macerator pump. Today it has a range of over 50 products including macerators, pumps, condensing units, shower cubicles and a range of products designed for inclusive bathing including baths, showers and trays. The original Saniflo unit proved to be immensely popular and has enabled thousands of customers to install an extra WC into lofts, cupboards, basements, attics and other previously inaccessible areas.
Today the macerator pumps are complemented by a whole host of Saniflo solutions, including pumps for grey water applications in kitchens, bars, laundries and classrooms, and condensing pumps for domestic and commercial boilers and air conditioning units. Our non-macerator pumps can be found in a multitude of different and unusual applications in both domestic and commercial environments, including a ski slope at a recuperation centre for soldiers, a spa and sauna in a country hotel and chemistry labs in a university, to name a few, while our renowned macerator pumps are providing black waste discharge solutions bathrooms up and down the UK.
Creating usable spaces in unconventional spaces is Saniflo’s speciality. Whether it is a loft or basement conversion, an en-suite or a cloakroom in a storage cupboard, there is a range of products that provide solutions for projects – large or small – where gravity drainage is not an option. To ensure a seamless installation, just follow the rules:
‘The original Saniflo unit has enabled thousands of customers to install an extra WC into lofts, cupboards, basements, attics and other previously inaccessible areas’
Insider tip: Saniflo units can almost always be obscured from sight, but it’s important that there is good access at all times, so they should only be hidden by panels or boxing that is removable.
Ensure that discharge pipework is copper or rigid solvent weld plastic, not ‘pushfit’. Always allow a one per cent fall on horizontal runs to ensure that the waste left in the pipework can run off after the pumping stops.
When a vertical lift is needed it should be as close to the start of the run as is practically possible and from the highest point there must be a minimum one per cent fall all the way to the soil and vent stack or drain. This will ensure optimum efficiency of the pump.
Bends should be smooth/long radius. This is particularly important for 22/23mm pipe to avoid the possibility of blockages while pipes entering the macerator should have a gravity fall of three per cent to aid smooth transition of waste from pipe to pump.
In situations where the pipework falls significantly below the unit, such as a lower floor, it is necessary to fit an air admittance valve at the highest point capable of withstanding 10psi pressure. Alternatively you should increase pipe size coming down to ‘break’ the syphon.
When connecting multiple units each macerator discharge pipe should run separately to the soil pipe. If wastes are combined it can only be into a larger pipe that is on a gravity fall.
Macerators should always be positioned behind, not under, the toilet for safe operation. Many closed coupled WC suites do not have the space between the WC pan spigot and the wall so it might be necessary to batten the cistern off the wall to make room for the macerator. To avoid this it is possible to specify a slim unit that will sit comfortably behind most closed coupled WCs.
The control unit, being digital and wireless, can be fitted up to 10 metres from the digital valve, so you have added flexibility in the installation options for the controller. Add the batteries and simply fit the control unit to the wall using the backplate. The installation is now complete; your work here is done.
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