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Liberty Pumps ASCENTII-ESW 1/2 HP Macerating Toilet Review and Saniaccess 2 Comparison

If you’d like to add a bathroom to your basement or simply do some remodeling to an existing but non-functional half or full bath, you’re probably going to need a sewage pump (either an ejector pump or a grinder pump, depending on your specific needs). However, depending on your plumbing needs, you might also be able to get away with a macerating toilet system. A standalone sewage pump will allow you to pump sewage to much greater heights, at much greater pressures, and to much farther distances while processing larger solids and more wastewater. However, you’ll also spend significantly more on one, both to buy it and to install it–not to mention the additional time necessary for the installation. And if you’re adding a bathroom or working on a remodeling project or addition, you’ll be spending enough money already.

A macerating pump, in contrast, can potentially be installed without breaking up concrete floors or tearing into your foundation and walls. To put it simply, it’s a faster, cheaper, and more convenient job for either you or your plumber, which means more money left in your bank account. While you can buy a macerator pump independently and connect it to most toilets, we typically recommend buying a macerating pump and toilet system simultaneously to eliminate compatibility issues. We recently reviewed the Saniflo Saniaccess 2 Upflush macerator pump and toilet kit; today we’re going to look at a similar system, the Liberty Pumps Ascent II ESW 1/2 HP Macerating Toilet. It’s similarly priced and similarly featured, but is different enough to be worth considering carefully. Our full review is below, and you can buy the ASCENTII-ESW here.

Key Features of the Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet (60 Second Summary)

The Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet is basically a toilet connected to a miniature sewage grinder pump. Engineered for indoor use in remodeling projects such as basement toilet or bathroom additions as well as for business environments in commercial buildings, the system can pump sewage to existing sewer lines up to 25 feet vertically and 150 feet horizontally. The pump has a 1/2 horsepower, 115 volt motor that runs on 60 Hz AC while drawing 7.9 amps. The thermally protected motor turns at 3,450 RPM and includes an automatic reset feature. The power cord is 8 feet long and the pump can handle fluids up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

While shutoff doesn’t occur until a maximum head of 36 feet, the usable maximum head through a 1 inch pipe is 25 feet, presuming the lateral discharge is 150 feet. The ASCENTII-ESW is the macerator and elongated toilet; the complete system with a round front toilet is the ASCENTII-RSW. The ASCENTII-ESW weighs 121 pounds. The macerator unit by itself, the ASCENTII-MUW weighs 22 pounds.

Per Liberty Pumps, the system also accepts additional bathtub, shower, and sink connections, allowing you to form a full bathroom in any environment. This is achieved through a pair of auxiliary inlets; the macerator can use 1-1/2″ or 2″ pipe. It also includes a built in alarm and a 9 volt battery backup, as well as LEDs to provide power status, alarm condition, and alarm battery condition. The discharge and vent connectors can be oriented vertically or horizontally for varying pipe connections. The discharge is 1″ and includes a check valve; it can be adapted down to 3/4.” The vent is 1-1/2.” The toilet is ADA compliant and is a high efficiency toilet that uses 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf). It includes an insulated tank.

The system includes the standard 3 year warranty from Liberty Pumps.

Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet and Saniflo Saniaccess 2 Comparison

On the surface, the Ascent II and Saniaccess 2 systems are similar; they’re both systems integrating macerating pumps and toilets for residential and commercial applications where sewage can’t be gravity drained into a sewer line. The Ascent II, however, has a number of on paper advantages. the max usable head is much greater at 25 ft vs 15 feet; it also includes an alarm and battery backup to the alarm on the macerating pump. It’s also explicitly described by Liberty Pumps as capable of draining bathtubs and showers in addition to toilets and sinks while the Saniaccess 2 only mentions toilets and sinks. It also includes a high efficiency toilet.

That said, when it comes to reliability, we’d put our money on the Saniaccess 2. It consistently has stronger reviews from clients and appears to have greater long term reliability and a more thorough design. We’ll go into this in the next section.

Our Long and Short Term Experiences Installing and Using the Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet

The amount of work it takes to install the Ascent II will vary with your plumbing experience and plumbing environment. If you have prior experience either with sewage pump installation or macerating toilets, there aren’t any surprises here. If not, you’ll want to consider hiring a professional.

The basic installation steps involve connecting the pump to the toilet, connecting the toilet tank to a water inlet, connecting the pump to both a discharge pipe and vent system, and finally powering it up. We recommend a Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) circuit. While the process will be easier if your plumbing is roughed in, the overall installation is rather straightforward, and you’ll be able to plumb a variety of fixtures into the unit, including sinks, bath tubs, and showers. When working, it’s a bit louder than a regular toilet but not significantly louder. Every now and then you might need to double flush to get everything out of the bowl.

The main problems with the Ascent II have to do with its engineering; as noted earlier, the Ascent II appears to potentially suffer from a poor design involving the conduction of the effluent through the electrical probes of the control unit in the macerator. In simple English, poop pushes around the electrical parts, potentially leading to malfunctioning and early failure of the control unit. This doesn’t always happen, but it happens more often than we’d like to hear about it.

It’s also worth noting that the warranty is voided if a range of artificial waste products (e.g., feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads) are flushed down the toilet.

Troubleshooting and Installation Tips to Get Your Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet Working Sooner

The main issues to watch out for with the Ascent II include circuit board failure in the control unit. Clients have also reported problems with constantly activating alarms. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any workarounds for control unit malfunctions besides replacing the unit, which can fail again if the initial issue (exposed circuitry) is still present. The toilet itself is likely to last a long time; toilets are very simple and reliable technology and rarely fail. The vulnerabilities in the macerating pump, however, are much more significant. Generally, if you don’t have any issues in the first year, you’ll probably be fine for additional years. However, if you start having problems within this time-frame, it’s likely you’ll continue to have them unless you replace the entire macerating unit.

A frequently-tried and often successful tip is to flush the unit several times to clear the alarm system; this isn’t a long term solution but it can temporarily clear waste and calm the alarm for anywhere from several days to weeks.

Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet Pros, Cons, and Value Comparison

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a way to add a bathroom or toilet to your below-grade basement, you’ll either have to put in a sewage pump or pair a toilet with a macerating pump and run any additional fixtures through the pump. If you choose the former option and choose a suitable sewage pump, it’ll be powerful enough to handle any residential or commercial application. However, you’ll pay for it through purchase and installation costs. A macerating pump and toilet kit like the Ascent II can get you there for much less money under the right circumstances, but it comes with potential reliability issues. Unless you have a specific need for the Ascent II, we’d recommend the Saniaccess 2 instead. It costs the same but has a much better reputation.

You can buy the Liberty Pumps Ascent II Macerating Toilet here on Amazon. You can buy the Saniflo Saniaccess 2 Macerator Pump and Toilet here.

If you find our work at PumpThatSump helpful, you can support our relentless reviewing of every sump pump on the market by shopping via our Amazon link for whatever you need to make your house a home. Despite being self-employed, we promise not to spend it all on health insurance.

Liberty Pumps P382LE41 Pro380 Sewage Pump System Review and P382LE51 Comparison

If you have a septic tank, a toilet in the basement, or any other kind of below-grade sewage system, you’re not going to be able to take advantage of a gravity drain line, and you’re going to need a sewage pump. There are a lot of options out there to consider for homeowners, landlords, and small business owners, and each promises the sea and sky. But we’ve learned that going cheap often means frequent, fast, and not at all cheap failures to clean up and pay for (often during emergency billing hours). We prefer jobs done quickly and for the long term, which is why we frequently only recommend either sewage ejector pumps installed via pre-assembled systems or direct upgrades to sewage grinder pumps. In fact, many licensed plumbers will only install pre-assembled systems simply because the reliability of individual pumps in a patchwork of pipes, floats, and basins simply can’t compare. And a good grinder will beat even the best pre-assembled ejector system.

That said, you might not need a sewage grinder pump like the Liberty Pumps PRG101A for your home, rental, or business. If you’ve got family, tenants, customers, or employees who only flush toilet paper and human waste, you’ll be just fine with an ejector pump. But to get as many years as possible out of a sewage ejector pump, you’ll want something pre-assembled like the Liberty Pumps P382LE51 or its slightly less powerful sibling, the Liberty Pumps P382LE41 Simplex Sewage System. It’s just as easy to set up, just as reliable, and just a little cheaper. Our full review is below, and you can buy it here.

Key Features of the Liberty Pumps P382LE41 Simplex Sewage System (60 Second Summary)

The Liberty Pumps P382LE41 is a pre-assembled residential sewage ejector package with a shallow system design. It can also be used in light business settings. Powered by the LE41A sewage pump, it delivers 4/10 horsepower and has an adjusted maximum flow rate of 7,640 gallons per hour (124 gallons per minute) with a max head of 19 feet. It includes the standard Liberty Pumps3 year warranty and is 24 inches tall with a base diameter of 24-3/8 inches and a widest diameter of 27-5/8 inches. The system arrives fully assembled weighing 60 pounds.

The P382LE41, like other members of the Pro380 series, is optimized for installation in difficult soil environments due to requiring shallower burial than Pro370 series systems. It can pass solids up to 2 inches in diameter and uses 115 volts single phase AC at 12 amps at full load and 22.5 locked rotor amps. Thermal overload protection shuts the motor down at 221F and the motor will pump liquids at up to 140F. The pump uses an automatic mechanical wide angle float and a 2 inch FNPT discharge.

The P382LE41 tops out at 7,680 GPH at zero feet (slightly less than the standalone LE41A), which drops to 5,760 GPH at 10 feet and shuts off at the max head of 19 feet. The system includes the QuickTree float design, which permits access, removal, and replacement of the float switch from a vertical seal in the basin without impacting the pump or plumbing. The pump is fixed within a 41 gallon polyethylene basin with a capacity 40% larger than that in 18 inch x 30 inch basins, which reduces on/off cycles in both the pump and switch, increasing the lifespan of both. The P382LE41 ships fully assembled and includes a plastic transparent cover to protect the top from rough-in and masonry work.

How Does the Liberty Pumps P382LE41 Compare to the Liberty Pumps P372LE51 and PRG101A?

The main differences between the P382LE41 and 51 are in power, pumping speeds, max head, and price. The PE382LE51 is stronger (.5 hp vs .4 hp), faster (8,400 GPH vs 7,680 GPH), pumps to a higher head (24 feet vs 19 feet), and costs somewhat more. In practical use, most of these differences will be negligible except for the max head, which will only be noticeable if you’re pushing either pump close to its limits. Reliability is the same between both pumps; you can expect up to 20 years of functionality.

The core difference between the P382LE41 and the PRG101A is that the latter is a grinder pump rather than just an ejector pump, which means it will be able to handle a wide range of difficult solids that would simply jam or damage the LE41A inside the P382LE41. If you can’t afford downtime or pump damage due to the potential of people flushing towels, rags, feminine hygiene products, and other things that shouldn’t be flushed but frequently are, save your money and move directly to the PRG101A. It’ll additionally provide a much stronger motor (1 hp vs .4 hp) and more than twice the max head at 50 feet compared to 19 feet.

Our Short and Long Term Experiences Installing and Using the Liberty Pumps P382LE41 Sewage Package

Installing the P382LE41 is essentially identical to the process for the P372LE51, P382LE51, and P372LE41; just follow the instructions, take your time (about 7 hours), and make sure you have extra tubing, check valves, ball valves, and couplings handy. As with most sewage ejector pump installations, you simply run a main line in (e.g., a 2 inch or 3 inch line) and run a 2 inch discharge and 2 inch vent out. The float arrives pre-set in an optimal position in the basin. The main complaint we frequently come across is that the pump is often out of place in the enclosure upon arrival. In some cases, it was mildly connected, while in others it was placing pressure on the riser pipe or on the basin lead seal. Don’t be afraid to call customer service if anything arrives broken on arrival.

Noise-wise, the system isn’t silent, but it’s more than quiet enough to forget it’s running while you’re in the basement once the euphoria of a successful installation wears off. In terms of reliability, it’s about as reliable as the P382LE51, which is as reliable as the P372LE51, which you can expect up to 20 years of problem-free functionality from due to the life-extending properties of the basin and integration of the parts in the enclosure. The part most likely to fail over time is the switch, and as noted earlier, that can be pulled without doing anything significant to the pump or anything whatsoever to the plumbing.

Troubleshooting and Installation Tips to Get Your Liberty Pumps P382LE41 Working Sooner

If connecting the P382LE41 to existing plumbing, make sure there aren’t any blockages in your existing pipes, or you might have a messy surprise the first time you run it. Similarly, don’t forget that you’re going to need both a ball valve and a check valve; the check valve will go on your discharge to prevent back flow and the ball valve and a few unions will help you remove the lid in case you need to inspect or service the pump.

Liberty Pumps P382LE41 Simplex Sewage System Pros, Cons, and Value Comparison

In conclusion, if you don’t need quite as much power as what you’d get from the P382LE51 but love the convenience, quick installation, and reliability of the pre-assembled approach, the P382LE41 is an excellent choice for a bit less money. It’s durable, relatively simple to install, and provides no-nonsense functionality for years while not needing constant supervision. Our main recommendation would be to consider the PRG101A if you absolutely can’t afford any downtime or if you will install the sewage pump in an environment where clothing, feminine hygiene products, towels, rags, wipes, or other difficult solids are likely to be flushed down the toilet. If this doesn’t describe your operating environment and you don’t need quite as much head or speed as that offered by the P382LE51, the P382LE41 will work just fine.

You can buy the Liberty Pumps P382LE41 here on Amazon. You can buy the Liberty Pumps P382LE51 here. You can buy the Liberty Pumps PRG101A here.  You can buy a good wet / dry vacuum here. You can buy a silent 2 inch  check valve here. You can buy a 2 inch brass ball valve here.

If you find our work at PumpThatSump helpful, you can support our relentless reviewing of every sump pump on the market by shopping via our Amazon link for whatever you need to make your house a home. Despite being self-employed, we promise not to spend it all on health insurance.