month I would like to discuss sump pumps. With all the rain
the last month or so here in the Mid-Atlantic area many
of us are much more aware of sump pumps lately.
Typical battery backup pump suspended by the piping
above the primary pump. The foundation drain inlet
to the sump is visible at the left.
Home Inspection Standards of Practice hardly mention sump
pumps. Some indicate we should note the location, that's
it. My interpretation, particularly in a house with a basement,
is that the sump pump is a critical part of the foundation
drainage system and should be mentioned in the report. This
includes location of the sump (sometimes called a crock)
and pump, as well as client direction to check them for
proper operation periodically. I usually do not remove the
sump cover, although lately I am doing that more, particularly
in new homes as I often find there is no pump in the sump.
Seems kind of critical to me to have a pump if there is
a sump installed to attract the water. Not to mention that
the 2003 IRC requires a sump pump in a house with a basement
built in an area with other than group one (well draining)
try to locate the pump discharge termination. My opinion
is the farther from the house the better, anything less
than twenty feet I recommend extending to prevent recycling
of the water.
Typical pump location with battery
and charger/control assembly.
of you may find dewatering sump pumps not located in basements.
Many times when I was inspecting in Southern California
I would find sump pumps in the yard or in pits. These pumps
should be identified to the client with a recommendation
to inspect for operation periodically.
the basement is finished, or I see storage or critical equipment
in the basement, I strongly recommend a back up battery
style pump. Once a pump fails, or even if the house loses
power for a short period of time, the basement could flood
causing a myriad of mechanical and potentially health problems.
Speaking of electrical, if I find sump pumps plugged into
GFCI protected receptacles I recommend the pump be supplied
with power independent of the GFCI protected circuit. Motors
tend to create surges that can trip GFCI devices at very
talk next month,
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