Last week’s cold weather caused a small percentage of the 330 recently installed grinder pumps’ internal components to freeze up due to the rapid deep freeze and lack of snow cover.
The Town of Falmouth has published a solution (below and posted on the Town website to this potential problem working in conjunction with the manufacturer E/One and the vendor FR Mahony to address it in existing installed pumps and make adjustments to new gringer pumps as they are installed.
If your grinder pump froze and you incurred the cost of a plumber to fix it, please ask your plumber to bill the Town directly by contacting Wastewater Superintendent Amy Lowell at 508-457-2543 x2018 or email@example.com. If you have already paid your plumber, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the instructions for reimbursement.
See Cape Cod Times 1/10/18 article: Freezing Pumps a Grind for Some Falmouth Residents.
See Falmouth Enterprise article 1/12/18 Falmouth Residents Deal with Frozen Grinder Pumps.
From Amy Lowell:
Town of Falmouth MA, Little Pond Sewer Service Area Project
Resolution to Grinder Pump Unit Freezing Problem
During the extremely cold weather between approximately January 2 and January 8, freezing problems occurred with some of the residential grinder pump units in the Little Pond Sewer Service Area.
The resolution arrived at between the pump manufacturer E/One, the manufacturer’s representative FR Mahony, and the Town of Falmouth is as follows:
1. E/One and FR Mahony recommend the installation of custom insulation disks in the pump units to dramatically reduce the chance of the pump units freezing in the future.
2. The cost to buy the insulation disks, without mark-up, is $38 apiece. $38 x 700 pumps = $26,600.00
3. E/One, FR Mahony and the Town of Falmouth will split the cost of purchasing these insulation disks three ways (approximately $9,000 apiece); there will be no cost to the home owners.
4. FR Mahony will install the insulation disks in the approximately 330 grinder pump units that are already in the ground, at no cost to the Town or to home owners. Installation is very simple: the technician will unscrew the pump unit lid, place the insulation disk in the top compartment, and screw the lid back on. There will be no excavation, no interruption of service.
5. FR Mahony will begin installing the insulation disks next week.
6. Insulation disks will be supplied with the approximately 370 grinder pump units that have not yet been installed, to be inserted by the property owner’s sewer connection installation contractors during installation.
7. If a freezing problem arises with a pump installed under this E/One-Falmouth grinder pump contract from now on, (for example, in the time before the insulation disk is installed), FR Mahony service technicians will come to the site to address the issue at no cost to the homeowner or the Town.
A small number of property owners paid plumbers to defrost their pumps in the January 2-8 timeframe. Those property owners who did so will be reimbursed for that specific one-time cost.