What Is a Macerator Pump & How Does a Macerator Work?
Macerator pumps grind up solid sewage. Macerated sewage can travel faster and more efficiently than solids. They are also useful at eliminating clogs and other messy drainage issues. These impressive aftermarket devices enable RV owners to pump their solid effluent through regular garden pipes.
Unlike firm sewage, the macerated slurry is not as impeded by gravitational forces and density differences as regular human waste. As such, a good product also help to eliminate otherwise prohibitive hazards, such as hilly landscaping and awkwardly positioned dump stations. Since these pumps grind sewage so well, they enable travelers to dump their RV sewage into private sewers and toilets.
What are the Benefits of Owning an RV Waste Pump
For many travelers, an aftermarket sewage elimination system is key to an enjoyable RV experience. An untimely solid waste issue can put a significant damper on your road trip. Typically, they are easy to install and operate. Most of them connect directly to RV batteries or generators. They use a nominal amount of energy to slice and dice through thick effluent products.
In doing so, they enable RV owners to overcome otherwise prohibitive obstacles, such as gravity-defying drainage systems and untraditional dump sites. Some macerator pumps even feature water hookups. These unique elements enable RV owners to flush out the stubborn leftovers in their gray and black waste tanks.
Types of RV Macerator Pumps
Portable RV Macerator Pump
A portable RV macerator is a small motorized device that attaches directly to the outlet on the bottom of an RV holding tank. A portable RV macerator pump typically connect directly to a vehicle battery. Users can attach an outlet or garden pipe to drain their solid and liquid effluent after it has been churned into sludge.
Permanent RV Macerator Pump
Permanent RV macerator pumps work the same way as the portable ones. However, they are typically hardwired. What’s more, they are not intended to be removed and reinstalled regularly. These elements function a lot like sink garbage disposals. Only, their job is to grind up human sewage and paper products rather than food scraps.
110-Volt Macerator Pump
Last but not least, 100-volt macerator pumps offer more power and efficiency. These systems tend to be pricier than portable and permanent macerators. However, they also speed up sewage removal.
Further Reading: Want to learn the basics of your RV water system? Then follow our handy guide.
Important Considerations When Buying an RV Sewage Pump
You need to consider all of your requirements before settling on a specific type of model. Some pumps are small and portable. Meanwhile, others are hefty and powerful. Some pumps can crush and dispose of solid sewage over long distances. Whereas, others struggle to defy gravity. Ask yourself how often you will use your macerator pump. Will you be dumping effluent in unconventional locations? Will your RV be parked downhill from dump stations? Take everything into consideration when choosing a product.
Ease of Use/Installation
Most consumers prefer pumps that are easy to install. What’s more, most pumps must be clamped onto the outlets of RV waste tanks. The power cords should be color-coded. The outlet should be compatible with a garden or drainage hose. The connections should be watertight and obvious. Make sure your pump also comes with a clear set of installation instructions.
Does it come with accessories, or do you need to buy them separately?
Some pumps include all the essential accessories, including couplings, hoses, and wires. However, other pumps do not include any additional accessories. Make sure that add-ons are durable and made to last. Check to see if a pump can be paired with a standard garden pipeline.
Some pumps can only be used with proprietary hoses. Accessories such as these are typically more challenging to access. Usually, these accessories can only be purchased online. If you have an issue, you cannot run to your local hardware store for a quick fix.
Pro-tip: Consider investing in a clear elbow hose attachment. This is a see-through piece of plastic piping that you can attach. Using such a device allows you to see when there is no more slurry exiting your black tank.
It’s never a good idea to cut corners when it comes to waste management. Still, there are macerator pumps for all budgets. Set clear expectations and do not exceed the limits of your budget. You should be able to find an adequate solution.
Pump strength is given in gallons per minute. A powerful pump system will save you time. The most powerful pump we came across was capable of dispersing 15 gallons of effluent in just a couple minutes. A powerful pump will help you defy gravity. If you’re constantly pumping uphill or around obstacles, a high pump rate is essential.
Best RV Macerator Pump FAQ
Q: How far can a macerator pump?
These devices can send (formerly solid) sewage as far as 150 feet. Of course, not all consumers want to store and handle a 150-foot outlet hose. Find a pump and hose pairing that meets your basic distance requirements.
Q: What kind of hose should I use for a macerator pump?
Most people prefer to use standard 1-inch garden hoses with their unit. Since macerator pumps turn solids into sludge, the effluent has no issue traveling down the narrow diameter of a garden hose. These hoses are also very easy to clean and store. However, a garden water pipe requires a threaded outlet. If your macerator pump demands a proprietary hose, so be it.
Q: How do I use an RV macerator pump?
In most cases, you can connect your macerator pump directly to your RV waste tank. After that, connect a drainage hose. Finally, press the power button. Make sure that the drainage hose is fed directly into a dump station, toilet, or another suitable sewage system. The sewage will be churned into a slurry and sent down the hose. Let the pump run through a complete cycle. Turn it off when the effluent ceases to exit the drainage hose.
Q: How do I maintain my RV macerator pump?
Experts recommend using toilet cleaner and macerator descaler to remove solids from macerator pumps. Of course, regular household vinegar is an excellent alternative. Insert the cleaning fluids into your RV toilet and flush the contents. Turn your pump on for a couple of seconds. Allow the chemicals to enter the pump. Allow the chemicals to loosen the stuck-on dirt and grime. In a few hours, add some water to the waste tank. Turn the pump on again. Then, allow it to run through a complete cycle.
Best RV Macerator Pumps: Reviewed & Rated
SewerFlo 12v Quick Release RV Macerator Pump
SewerFlo’s offering transforms solid effluent into a fast-moving slurry. This 12v macerator pump has a 1-inch garden hose adapter. A 3-inch sewer fitting sits between the pump and the RV connection. This incredible device is capable of discharging sewage from quite a distance. As such, you will have no trouble dumping sewage into private sewers and awkwardly placed dump tanks.
Do you find yourself carrying your own sewage? The SewerFlo minimizes the time it takes to pump a full sewage tank. What’s more, the connection hookup does a phenomenal job of eliminating obstructions. All you need is a power source, such as a standard electrical outlet or generator, and a small garden hose. The SewerFlo eliminates guesswork and messes. Since the pump has a self-priming thermally protected engine, it never gets hot or smokey.
Many customers have said they installed a clear connector (also known as a clear elbow) to the intake valve of the SewerFlo pump. This enables you to see the flow rate of the ground-up slurry. While solid sewage and toilet paper are ground up easily, baby wipes and other solid products may cause the pump to jam. Of course, this is to be expected. You can speed things along by adding water to your black tank. If you want a pump that will enable you to eliminate waste at nearly every campsite, check out the SewerFlo. This device exceeded our highest expectations!
- Self-priming motor with an intermittent duty cycle
- Thermal Protection
- Standard 1-inch inlet
- Can be attached and removed with ease
- Long-distance dumping
- Not suitable for everyday use
- Won’t macerate wipes and feminine hygiene products
Bottom-Line: The SewerFlo RV macerator pump will empty your black and gray water tanks in a matter of minutes.
Flojet 18555-000A Portable 13 GPM RV Macerator Pump
Best RV Macerator Pump for Flow Rate
We were impressed by the speed in which the Flojet Maceration Pump could turn solid waste into a fast-traveling slurry. The Flojet is proven to empty a 30-gallon tank in just a couple of minutes. It also allows for the utmost versatility. If you do not have access to a conventional dumping station, you can use the Flojet to send waste into a residential sewer cleanout, a portable “blue-boy” wagon, or a traditional septic tank. We were in awe of how efficiently this pump diced up waste and tissue. It doesn’t matter if you are parked at the bottom of a hill or an odd angle. The Flojet will discharge your waste far faster than a gravity-fed elimination system.
We did notice that the impellers were capable of jamming. If you find yourself coping with a stuck pump, you should be able to loosen the impeller blades with a standard screwdriver. While it may be tempting to test the limits of this powerful macerator, it is important to remember that it is not a garbage disposal. When the pump is up and running, it can send sewage 20 feet. This pump fulfills its purpose with excellence. It’s the type of unit you use over an extended period.
- Discharge port can be fitted with a standard garden pipe
- Self-priming engine
- Hooks onto a 3-inch slip-on hose
- Can loosen a jammed impeller with a screwdriver
- Housing is susceptible to cracks
Bottom-Line: The Flojet 18550000A 13 GPM RV Macerator Pump will empty a 30-gallon holding tank in just a few minutes.
Zerone Macerator Pump
Best Budget Option
If you do not have a lot of money left in your RV budget, the Zerone RV Macerator Pump is an affordable waste solution. First off, this incredible unit has a reliable casing. It is made from engineered plastic, stainless steel, and copper. The engine is also well-protected. It will not exceed safe current levels or temperatures. As such, you can expect the unit to hold up through several years of regular use.
The impeller is also very powerful. It makes quick work of solid waste and paper tissues. You can even use the Zerone for garbage disposal. The unit is small and easy to install. It hooks directly onto the 3-inch outlet on the bottom of an RV waste tank. The 12-volt engine can be power by a vehicle battery or a small generator.
The outlet can be fitted with a standard garden hose. As such, you will have no trouble draining waste from a low-lying or oddly situated area. Zerone advertises their pump for use in campers, ships, and residential kitchens. As such, you may see fit to employ it in a variety of circumstances.
- Made of high-quality, long-lasting materials
- Overcurrent and overheat protection
- Remove impurities by grinding them into a fast-moving slurry
- Easy to install and troubleshoot
- Will jam if large hard objects run through it
Bottom-Line: The Zerone is an affordable and efficient solution to RV waste removal.
Clean Dump CDTO Twist-On Portable Macerator System
Best Portable Macerator Pump
The Clean Dump CDTO Twist-On Portable Macerator System is a powerful portable product that comes with all the essentials. You get a 20-foot power cord, battery clips, and a 10-foot dumping hose. This powerful little pump can be installed without tools.
When installed properly, this system will chew up solid waste and transfer it over a 150-foot distance. It will eliminate issues caused by hilly terrains and the absence of conventional dump stations. You can also use the pump to clean out your tanks after a long trip.
We love that we can call upon this pump at any given moment. You don’t have to commit to a permanent macerator system. With the Clean Dump, you can cease making plans that center around waste removal. After one run through the Clean Dump, the contents of your holding tanks will be ready for a residential sewer system.
- Pumps as far as 150 feet
- Does not require gravity and can pump uphill
- Does not demand a conventional dump station
- Full kit
- Comes with a 20-foot power cord and battery aligator clips
- Must be used with a Clean Dump extension hose
- Hose included but only 10 feet
Bottom-Line: If you only plan on using your product on a part-time basis, check out the Clean Dump CDTO Twist-On Portable Macerator System.
Amarine Made 12-Volt 45 LPM RV Mount Macerator Waste Water Pump
Best Macerator Pump for Marine Applications
If you’re new to macerator pumps, the installation process may seem daunting. Fortunately, the Amarine Made Waste Water Pump makes waste removal easy. This powerful unit connects directly to the outlet on an RV waste system. It can also be used on a boat. The power cords can be clipped directly to a vehicle battery. A 1 1/4-inch garden or drainage hose can be attached to the outlet.
You do not need how-to books or tools to get the Amarine system up and running. A lengthy outlet hose will enable you to drain raw sewage in a variety of complicated settings. It doesn’t matter if your RV is parked at the bottom of a hill or around a corner. The Amarine conjures up enough power to turn solid waste and tissue into wet mush. That mush has no chance of defying the pull of the Amarine’s engine.
No RV owner should have to avoid a campsite because its dump station doesn’t meet their basic requirements. This inexpensive unit will give you the freedom to park where ever you want. You may finally be able to check off those remote camping spots on the bottom of your bucket list.
- Self-priming engine
- RV discharge mount
- Intermittent duty cycle
- 12 volts, 60 amps of power
- Outlet does not fit a standard garden pipe
- May need to purchase aftermarket parts
Bottom-Line: This 12v macerator pump eliminates the hassles involved in empty waste tanks on RVs and boats.
Jabsco 18590 Series Macerator Pump
Longest Duty Cycle
You are in good hands with the Jabsco 18590 Series. This powerful unit snaps right onto an RV outlet. The pump is quite powerful, sending waste products several feet without the help of gravity. Our only qualm is that the Jabsco does not have a threaded outlet. As such, you will need to make a few small improvements if you want to connect a garden pipe. Still, the add-ons are well worth it when you consider how much time you will be saving. This unit can empty 180 gallons of solid waste in one 15-minute cycle.
The plastic casing is quite durable. You can set this pump and forget it. It is worth noting that older Jabsco models were known to leak. However, the company has remedied this issue. The Jabsco 18590 Series offers nothing but excellence.
- Self-priming engine offers a 15-minute duty cycle
- Dry-Run Protection
- Stainless steel shaft won’t break during jams
- Suitable for fish box and livewell receptacles
- Empties a standard 15-gallon tank in less than 3 minutes
- Does not have a threaded outlet
- Some reported leaks
Bottom-Line: The Jabsco 18590 Series enables you to empty up to 180- gallons of solid waste in less than 15 minutes.
Clean Dump CDPU Permanently Installed Macerator System
Best Permanent Solution
If you travel often, you’re better off installing a permanent macerator system. The Clean Dump CDPU Permanently Installed Macerator System is an excellent packaged deal. It comes with a powerful pump, outlet and inlet fittings, and couplings.
This device will chomp up solids before sending them down a wide drainage hose. The pump can feed slurry 150 feet uphill. It does not rely on gravity or sloped landscaping. You can set up shop almost anywhere.
This pump does not require gravity. Both the impeller and shaft are made from durable stainless steel. They do not jam or stall easily. While some of the attachments are made from cheap plastic, you still save money and confusion by opting for the packaged deal.
- Pumps uphill and does not require gravity
- Can pump 10 feet into the distance
- Stainless steel shaft & impeller blade design
- No surprise messes
- Includes all the essential accessories
- Challenging to disconnect
- Accessories are subpar
Bottom-Line: The Clean Dump CDPU Permanently Installed Macerator System is a permanent solution for RV waste removal issues.
Last update on 2021-05-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API