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  1. #1
    David W's Avatar
    David W Guest

    Default Inspector should have caught it?

    Hello,

    New to board. Have a question. I had a house remodeled (minor, added vinyl siding, a couple can lights, bath/shower fixture and tile for which we did not pull permits) , sold it. within 6 months we had a torrential rain and sump pump (which was redirected by contractor to drain down MAIN when he did the siding) backed up floor drain and got 5" of water in the finished basement. Now, I hate litigiousness as much as the rest of you, however, the new owner's dad is a lawyer and wants $10k from ME, not HIS inspector or the contractor, just ME.

    We/I would have happily fixed this had it come to our attention at the inspection time. My question is what is the inspector's responsibility in this matter? It seems pretty negligent on his part.

    All my future contacts will say "AS -IS" inspections welcome.......

    Thanks. Let the "un-permitted" beatings begin........

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    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    10K is a cheap lesson learned. pay the nice lawyer! get a permit and this might not happen.


  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by David W View Post
    Hello,

    New to board. Have a question. I had a house remodeled (minor, added vinyl siding, a couple can lights, bath/shower fixture and tile for which we did not pull permits) , sold it. within 6 months we had a torrential rain and sump pump (which was redirected by contractor to drain down MAIN when he did the siding) backed up floor drain and got 5" of water in the finished basement. Now, I hate litigiousness as much as the rest of you, however, the new owner's dad is a lawyer and wants $10k from ME, not HIS inspector or the contractor, just ME.

    We/I would have happily fixed this had it come to our attention at the inspection time. My question is what is the inspector's responsibility in this matter? It seems pretty negligent on his part.

    All my future contacts will say "AS -IS" inspections welcome.......

    Thanks. Let the "un-permitted" beatings begin........

    It's your house. Not the contractors or the inspectors but yours.

    Whether you know what to do about permits or not it is still your home and your responsibility. Inspectors fault????? Go after him?

    You had the plumbing done that should have been permitted and you did not get permits to insure it was done some what right.

    The buyer cannot go after the builder or contractor that did any of the work....but you can.

    10,000...............where did they get that figure. Get your own figures and make a settlement if your lawyer advises it. The inspector did not do the plumbing work or any of the work for that matter. Who knows....ask your lawyer...maybe you have no concerns here at all. If you sold the home pushing improvements and the improvements screwed up the home because they were un-permitted work......................kind of sounds like things are on you......disclosure....disclosure.....disclosure.


  4. #4
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by David W View Post
    Hello,

    New to board. Have a question. I had a house remodeled (minor, added vinyl siding, a couple can lights, bath/shower fixture and tile for which we did not pull permits) , sold it. within 6 months we had a torrential rain and sump pump (which was redirected by contractor to drain down MAIN when he did the siding) backed up floor drain and got 5" of water in the finished basement. Now, I hate litigiousness as much as the rest of you, however, the new owner's dad is a lawyer and wants $10k from ME, not HIS inspector or the contractor, just ME.

    We/I would have happily fixed this had it come to our attention at the inspection time. My question is what is the inspector's responsibility in this matter? It seems pretty negligent on his part.

    All my future contacts will say "AS -IS" inspections welcome.......

    Thanks. Let the "un-permitted" beatings begin........
    What does the red highlighted statement mean?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Two issues here:

    Should the inspector caught it? - Doubt it unless he was there during the torrential rain. Its very hard to judge the performance of drain system unless you can recreate a worst cases scenario. Typically we will see stains of when they don't perform and raise a flag but in newer construction the symptoms aren't present.

    Permits? Different localities have different requirements. It always make sense to get permits because you can be assured that the work met a minimal level of work. Contractors frequently put the responsibility to the owner for permits and wink-wink "don't worry about it". Life for them is easier without the building dept. inspector looking over their shoulder.

    If you weren't aware of the issue then you didn't have a responsibility to disclose...... However you would be liable if weren't truthful in the disclosure.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    I hang out on a few DIY sites.. It always irks me when contractors tell the poster how to do things to code, and the reply is "oh I am not getting permits and I do not need to follow codes."

    Codes are in place not to be a burden on you, they are there to help protect you, your family and your community.

    So what you are asking is should the home inspector realized you hired contractors that did not follow the codes and did not get permits? No the home inspector is not a mind reader, nor are they paid enough to do a detailed inspection of the drainage system or even the electrical system or even the plumbing system.

    There is some towns around here where the building department will send through inspectors prior the the sale of the home to ensure things meet the local codes. I get hired many of times by the sellers to fix code violations on their homes from remodels that where done with out permits due to this town doing these type of inspections. The difference here is it is not a home inspector that knows a little bit of each area of the building codes, its a plumbing inspector, building inspector, an electrical inspector walking through these homes and writing up things they find.

    If you knew your contractor did something wrong, then I have to say you are liable for not making sure it was done right. You can go after your contractor but good luck if he is unlicensed and uninsured.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    What does the red highlighted statement mean?
    James I know what they say about assuming things. But I assume that he means instead of having the sump pump discharge outside like most codes require, he had it tied into the sewer system, which added to the flooding.

    The back up could of happened to a passable blockage in the buildings sewer system and the sump pump water was enough to cause a back up. Or the city sewer was overwhelmed and backed up which having the sump pump in the sewer would not made much of a difference. But a backwater valve should of been installed, if this was a known issue.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    ...
    It always make sense to get permits because you can be assured that the work met a minimal level of work....
    If only.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  9. #9
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    James I know what they say about assuming things. But I assume that he means instead of having the sump pump discharge outside like most codes require, he had it tied into the sewer system, which added to the flooding.

    The back up could of happened to a passable blockage in the buildings sewer system and the sump pump water was enough to cause a back up. Or the city sewer was overwhelmed and backed up which having the sump pump in the sewer would not made much of a difference. But a backwater valve should of been installed, if this was a known issue.
    That what I assumed also...sounds like to be the contractor and the person who hired him might be responsible...huh-ho!


  10. #10
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by David W View Post
    New to board.


    Welcome David.

    Quote Originally Posted by David W View Post
    ......and wants $10k from ME, not HIS inspector or the contractor, just ME.
    Was your remodeler licensed, and did he have insurance? This is something you should have made sure of, because then you could pass this right on to him and let his general liability (or him) pay.

    Did you have a contract? Even if you did not know you should have licensed contractors, even if you did not know you needed permits, surely you know you always need a contract, and if you have one then you are off the hook, if not..........

    Quote Originally Posted by David W View Post
    We/I would have happily fixed this had it come to our attention at the inspection time.
    Sounds like you are saying if you had caught us we would have fixed it, but since you didn't it is someone else's responsibility, not sure how far that will get you.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    If the sump is being discharged into the sewer system, I would think this would be in the inspection report and the buyer disregarded it.

    Around here it's not only against code to discharge the sump into the sewer system but it's also against many city ordinances and, if caught, you can be fined.

    At any rate if you can't get your hands on the inspection report you'll end up paying the buyer then suing your contractor.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    "sump pump (which was redirected by contractor to drain down MAIN when he did the siding) backed up floor drain and got 5" of water in the finished basement."

    How long have you been aware of this redirection of the drain? Why did it not appear on your disclosure? How was any home inspector going to see this?

    You should be talking to your own lawyer. A counter offer might be in order.

    Lawyers pick a high number, $10,000, to make it all worthwhile. If their case is weak, they'll take less.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    I'm not hearing enough details to know whether or not the condition is something the inspector should have seen. But aside from that, you hired somebody to do the work and allowed the work to be done without permits which makes this statement.........."My question is what is the inspector's responsibility in this matter? It seems pretty negligent on his part."........sound like you feel you had no responsibility in the matter and that the responsibility (ie - $$$) for poor or improper work can be transferred to somebody else because they inspected the property.

    Now even if permits had been pulled, there's no guarantee the work would have been done properly and the flooding issue would not have occurred. Did you do any research on the contractor you hired and get references?

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  14. #14
    Philip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    A Vinyl contractor redirected the sump discharge? There is something fishy about that. Why would someone re-doing the exterior of the home have anything to do with the sump? Yes, HIs should fill the sump with water and ensure it is working, and if not discharging to the exterior of the house then it is not correct, and I do not care what the codes say. To dump the sump into the main sewer is asking for disaster.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    In the City of Philadelphia, it is normal for everything (downspouts and sump pumps) to discharge into the main sanitary drain line. While the configuration is not allowed in most areas, the installation alone if done properly should not result in a backup or overflow of the sanitary drain system. Since it did overflow, it may be more indicative at the installation to the drain line being done poorly or an unseen problem inside the drain line.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by David W View Post
    Hello,

    New to board. Have a question. I had a house remodeled (minor, added vinyl siding, a couple can lights, bath/shower fixture and tile for which we did not pull permits) , sold it.
    So you cleaned it up, updated and flipped the house.

    within 6 months we had a torrential rain and sump pump (which was redirected by contractor to drain down MAIN when he did the siding) backed up floor drain and got 5" of water in the finished basement.
    OK, I'm a little lost with this statement. Are you saying that the sump pump failed and the floor drain backed up and flooded the basement? Or that the sump pump and drain was not installed properly and this is why the floor occurred?

    Now, I hate litigiousness as much as the rest of you, however, the new owner's dad is a lawyer and wants $10k from ME, not HIS inspector or the contractor, just ME.
    Is this just a demand letter or has a lawsuit been filed and you have been served papers? If a sump pump failed the owners insurance should take care of the problem. This is part of the joys of ownership.

    We/I would have happily fixed this had it come to our attention at the inspection time. My question is what is the inspector's responsibility in this matter? It seems pretty negligent on his part.
    Could be, but was this a latent defect that was not known or visible to the inspector? If it is not visible then the inspector can not report it as a problem and the rest is up to the courts!

    All my future contacts will say "AS -IS" inspections welcome.......

    Thanks. Let the "un-permitted" beatings begin........
    Yes, if you should have had permit(s) for the work that was done then you might get thrown under the bus. Who knows, but you do know that the new owner has a free attorney and I bet you don't!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by David W View Post
    ...
    I had a house remodeled

    (minor, added vinyl siding, a couple can lights, bath/shower fixture and tile for which we did not pull permits) ,

    sold it. within 6 months we had a torrential rain and

    sump pump (which was redirected by contractor to drain down MAIN when he did the siding)

    backed up floor drain and got 5" of water in the finished basement.........
    The way I'm reading this, a bath/shower fixture was added to finished basement, which may have already included a prior half-bath (done with or without permit).

    The basement "sump" may actually be an ejector/grinder for the effluent from the bathroom.

    Anyway, if was a foundation sump still obviously wrong.

    Altering the plumbing system without a permit and inspection, and certainly with an unlicensed plumber or owner non-occupant, or in anticipation of resale is a major bad.

    Doesn't really matter what the HI did and did not "catch". His liability is limited. Yours as the prior owner/seller for non-disclosure is not so limited. You just admitted this illegal material defect was created/directed by yourself (even if by the hands of your "agent" "contractor") less than six months prior to the rain event, and obviously the closing took place before the flood.

    If you failed to disclose that you had just had all this unpermitted work done to the electrical (added can lights), plumbing (ADDED shower/bath, re-routed plumbing, combined drainage or not, etc.), and siding work (done to cover or hide what?) and permits and inspections were required by law or ordinance, then you have issues.

    Finally, you failed to indicate if the property was on municpal sewer or private treatment (i.e. septic, etc.). If private treatment system then even worse.

    Since you said the basement was finished, $10,000 sounds like a low ball number for R&R the better part of any of that, appliances, and disinfection from the sanitary waste and contamination to the area, not to mention the potential damage to the foundation, etc. If the drainage tile system and soil surrounding was contaminated with sewage it could cost many thousands more for decontamination.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    The purchaser undertook his due diligence by retaining an inspector. The onus therefore transfers to the inspector for finding these concerns unless of course during the inspection such conditions were not discoverable by visual observance. These would be latent defects.

    Absence of fraud on your part to negligently misrepresent the property the lawyer must prove you as owner/vendor acted to deceive him or conceal the problem(s). Therefore the onus is on the lawyer to prove otherwise. It is still caveat emptor for the lawyer in his purchase.

    Strictly from a Canadian Courts POV.

    First, a distinction must be drawn between patent defects and latent defects. Patent defects are those which are discoverable by inspection and ordinary vigilance on the part of the purchaser. A purchaser of a house who discovers patent defects after taking possession has no claim against the seller as the doctrine of caveat emptor or "buyer beware" applies.

    And from another court regarding a home inspection
    • Did the Purchasers Rely on any Misrepresentation?
    • [62] The legal principles regarding reliance by a purchaser when a home inspector is retained were dealt with in Hoy v Lozanovski [1987], 43 R.P.R. 296 (Ontario District Court) and were stated as follows:
    However, if the purchaser chooses to not rely on the vendor and requests inspections, including professional inspectors (i.e. Home Inspection Service) then reliance for completion of the deal (the waver in this case) is shifted to the inspector whom the purchaser has chosen. The purchaser has relied on the inspection report not the vendor's silence, to formulate his decision whether or not to complete the deal...
    Of course, as stated, if the vendor made representations to the purchaser or the purchaser's inspection that were fraudulent, then the responsibility for disclosing the latent defect would remain with the vendor...
    • [63] Absent fraudulent representations or concealment, when a professional home inspector's report is obtained then reliance has shifted to the home inspector.
    • [64] In this case, the purchasers obtained a home inspection report before waiving the condition. The report noted evidence of possible water problems and indicated that the type of repairs which have been effected and for which damages are claimed might be required.
    • [65] In view of obtaining an inspection report which indicates possible water problems any reliance the purchasers had made on the vendors statements on the VPIS document would have been transferred to the home inspector.

    However, if it can be proven that there was fraud or an act of concealment by the seller with respect to the patent defect then caveat emptor has no application. The act of concealment by the seller must be such as to turn the defect from a patent one to a latent one. Latent defects are those defects which are not readily discoverable by the purchaser through a prudent inspection.

    Latent defects that go to "quality only" and not the structural integrity of the building are also subject to the rule of caveat emptor unless there has been active concealment by the seller. Latent defects that go to the structural integrity of the house, and that are known to the seller give rise to liability if they significantly effect the value of the property and the seller fails to disclose them. Silence respecting structural latent defects has been held to be an act of concealment. The rationale for the liability is this: had the latent defect been known to the purchaser, the purchaser would either not have bought the house or would have negotiated a price that would reflect the repair costs. There is the possibility that a seller will even be liable for latent structural defects not known to the seller, if the defect is so significant that the buyer can argue fundamental breach of contract. That is, the buyer did not get what was bargained for.

    I would take your matter to a lawyer along with this finding from the court and see what your lawyer has to say in regards to dealing with this matter. Just because the purchaser is a lawyer does not mean he is correct in seeking restitution from you. Its important to understand your rights.

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 07-27-2010 at 03:57 PM.

  19. #19
    David W's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Thanks for all your help so far. For those willing to provide additional input, here is the full story.

    I used an "all around" (suppose to be licensed and insured) contractor to vinyl side ( no permit needed), put windows in (no permit needed), gut (except for tub) and redo the only bath (installed new tile on floor and shower surround, bathtub faucet, new vanity and vanity faucet) on a ranch style home.

    When he was installing the siding, he suggested moving the sump pump evacuation tube because it was in a place you noticed right beside the front porch as you approach the home. He suggested to dump it down the main in the basement (5 ft away from the sump pump pit) I thought that did not sound right and said I wanted it done per code, but he insisted it was "done all the time."

    Now, I put the house on the market. I disclose the repairs that were done, and that I DID NOT PULL PERMITS for the repairs and that we never lived in the home and only owned it for 6 months. I get a contract on the house and it is inspected (by whom I don't know but the buyer's BROTHER is the buyers agent so I'm assuming someone he recommended, I represented myself). The inspector misses that the sump pump is routed directly to main (which is only 5 feet from sump pit and was NOT concealed except for the fact that a washer and dryer were located in front of SOME of the horizontal pipe leading to main. Also, it was inspected in March so Mr. HI did not test the air conditioner condenser, which my HVAC guy "forgot" to come back and hook to electricity and charge, so that is $500 of the damages the buyer wants reimbursement for. (I could have had my AC guy go and fix that had I known, he has done about 7 other homes for me).

    Come June 27th, we have 7 inches of rain in less than 24 hours, our cracked basement wall that was repaired with urethane foam holds well but after the sump pump runs for some time, the rain water appears to be backing up from the floor drain in the unfinished area of the basement and deposits 5" of water total in the basement which is finished.

    $4000 of the repairs is to Service Master for dryout (I should be in THAT business). Repairs needed are rebanding 12" of sheetrock throughout, retexture, retrimming, carpet, etc. $10k total.

    They had a plumber come out and snake the main (part of suit damages) and found the main to be restricted with tree roots which did not turn up on inspection (I don't think an inspector SHOULD catch this as it drained well enough during the time we owned it and it is only one bath).

    Now I talked with buyers dad, Mr. ATTY, he says Mr HI is not a registered business entity in Missouri for the last 2 years so he thinks he is "hanging in the wind" to collect from him, so it appears he is coming after me as I am the only one who appears to have any dough...... But he is willing to help me go after the contractor IF he has liability coverage. He is willing to settle with me for what his son is out-of-pocket for, $5k after his flood coverage.

    It has also come to my attention that the city may have problems with man-hole covers popping when flooding in this area occurs

    My situations-

    -I disclosed everything in writing,
    -BUYER chose inspector who should have had errors/omissions/liability ins
    -He did not ask for OR purchase home warranty coverage by his decision
    -Act of God
    -How can I disclose something that did not happen WHILE I owned the house (I owned it over the fall/winter so no significant rain after repairs were completed)

    I know this is not a LAWYER site but this is my case.....

    Thanks again for your help. I enjoy reading your answers and am here to learn what to watch out for when dealing with contractors and how to do things "right," while still turning a profit....hopefully.


  20. #20
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    One thing you just said was that you new the sump to the main drain was just not right. You also know that the permits were not pulled and at the least should have been for the plumbing. It also sounds like you do this for a living and should and did know better.

    I think I would settle for the 5000 or let him go to the contractor if there is insurance. If not take the five grand offer. It is better than ten by a long shot and the whole possible court thing and or you getting a lawyer will cost you big time.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Now I talked with buyers dad, Mr. ATTY, he says Mr HI is not a registered business entity in Missouri for the last 2 years so he thinks he is "hanging in the wind" to collect from him, so it appears he is coming after me as I am the only one who appears to have any dough...... But he is willing to help me go after the contractor IF he has liability coverage. He is willing to settle with me for what his son is out-of-pocket for, $5k after his flood coverage.
    That is the purchasers problem, being a lawyer he is held to a higher standard at ensuring he is retaining professionals.

    I also believe it would be a conflict for the lawyer to sue you/seek damages then turn around and represent you in suit of the contractor.

    Acts of God cannot be warranted and nor can they be predetermined by a inspection in which case was latent given the drain issue.
    The purchaser didn't really do his due diligence and hired a non home inspector who has no credentials.

    The permit issue is a moot point in my opinion.

    It would behoove you to speak to your own lawyer as how to proceed.

    Now I can see you having to pay for the A/C hook up that should have been done anyway.


  22. #22
    David W's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    I have never heard of a seller going after an inspector for something missed, but I guess stranger things have happened. Good luck.
    I'm not trying to go after the "HI." I believe that was the buyer's responsibility and if he relied on his real estate agent (who was his brother) for the referral OF the HI, there could be conflict of interest?????


  23. #23
    David W's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    The back up could of happened to a passable blockage in the buildings sewer system and the sump pump water was enough to cause a back up. Or the city sewer was overwhelmed and backed up which having the sump pump in the sewer would not made much of a difference. But a backwater valve should of been installed, if this was a known issue.[/quote]

    That is what I believe may have happened. In this particular area of town, I know some ppl in the past have had issues with the city sewer being overwhelmed and backing up into basements. The prior owner had not lived in the home for 13 years and lives out-of-town so no real disclosures were made to us other than "it is trashed by renters and needs work." Since we owned the home for a short period, I cannot attest to whether the house needs a backwater valve or not.

    Thanks for your answers. I am still new to this "game" and trying to learn the ins and outs of how to do things right.


  24. #24
    David W's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    So you cleaned it up, updated and flipped the house.



    OK, I'm a little lost with this statement. Are you saying that the sump pump failed and the floor drain backed up and flooded the basement? Or that the sump pump and drain was not installed properly and this is why the floor occurred?


    Is this just a demand letter or has a lawsuit been filed and you have been served papers? If a sump pump failed the owners insurance should take care of the problem. This is part of the joys of ownership.


    Could be, but was this a latent defect that was not known or visible to the inspector? If it is not visible then the inspector can not report it as a problem and the rest is up to the courts!


    Yes, if you should have had permit(s) for the work that was done then you might get thrown under the bus. Who knows, but you do know that the new owner has a free attorney and I bet you don't!
    #1 Yep

    #2 The sump pump worked correctly, however it appears that due to some tree root blockage in the main line so it was not able to handle the water flow and backed up into the basement floor drain. However, this area of town has been known to have municipal water drainage problems ie, have had to bolt down manhole covers in some areas to keep them from popping off.

    #3 It is a "demand" letter however they do SEEM to be willing to work with us to avoid the hassles of litigation. Their insurance is covering $5k for "flooding," they want me to cover the rest.

    #4 The sump pump line was a patent defect that was clearly visible except that a washer and dryer was in front of SOME of the horizontal line running from the sump pit to the main line. Now the tree root blockage was a latent issue we never had issue with. Either of these problems I would have happily repaired had they been pointed out on the inspection rpt ( I don't expect the HI to have caught the tree issue as I understand the limits of the inspectors). Cost of repairs about $200 not an argument here.

    #5 I understand the permit issue, however these SEEMED to be such minor repairs, swapping a faucet, changing a switched outlet to a couple can lights so I figured why permit these THEN I get burned by something I never would have guessed NEEDED a permit. I TOLD the contractor to run it outside the house on the other side of the porch.... Just got burned by poor contractor!


  25. #25
    David W's Avatar
    David W Guest

    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    Any home connected to a sewer system should have a backflow prevention valve. (notice the period)...

    This was a 50 year old home. Is that applicable to then or on newer construction? Per code for newer stuff? Just for my information.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Sounds like one for the courts.

    The inspector should have called out the sump discharging to the sewer. (which he may have done, we don't know)

    The buyer should have had a sewer lateral inspection done.

    You should not have allowed the contractor to discharge the sump into the sewer.

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    It would be advantageous to get a copy of the report.

    What is the bylaw pertaining to discharge of of sump into municipal sewers DW?


  28. #28
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  29. #29
    David W's Avatar
    David W Guest

    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?


    WOW, that is great. However this house was in Kansas City, MO. But, it gives me some hope that maybe there is a similar statute on the Missouri side of the state line.

    THAT'S why I asked "all y'all." I don't have time, right now, to dissect this code, but it appears to apply to overflow that would deteriorate CITY infrastructure. The contractor redirected so it would not flow over the PROPERTIES front walk way. But it gives me something to check into before I cut a check!!!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH and I will check with KCMO statutes for similar ruling.


  30. #30
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    The best I can tell from reading the ordinance they are referring to a storm sewer being permissible and not a sanitary sewer. From reading your post you have been referring to a sanitary sewer I believe. There is a big difference in what is allowed into a storm sewer vs a sanitary sewer.


  31. #31
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    It is just a bad idea to dump the sump into the sewer line, and a law making it mandatory is crazy. I bet no one from the sewage treatment plant was at that meeting. The proper way to treat this problem is to move the sump where it can discharge without wetting the sidewalks or streets. You should have listened to the alarm bells going off in your head.


  32. #32
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    David, do not let that give you any hope. They are saying you can get a certificate to install the sump pump discharge into the storm sewer system. It does not allow you to discharge your sump pump into the sanitary sewer system. No where in that document does it say you can discharge the sump pump in the sanitary sewer system.

    Also the fact you did this with out a permit or approval from the city, you are still in the wrong.


  33. #33
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    I reread the ordinance. Dumping into the storm sewer makes sense.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    #2 The sump pump worked correctly, however it appears that due to some tree root blockage in the main line so it was not able to handle the water flow and backed up into the basement floor drain. However, this area of town has been known to have municipal water drainage problems ie, have had to bolt down manhole covers in some areas to keep them from popping off.

    So the house in question could have had basement flooding prior to your purchase and renovations? Did neighbouring homes have flooded basements as a result of this torrential rain?


  35. #35
    David W's Avatar
    David W Guest

    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    #2 The sump pump worked correctly, however it appears that due to some tree root blockage in the main line so it was not able to handle the water flow and backed up into the basement floor drain. However, this area of town has been known to have municipal water drainage problems ie, have had to bolt down manhole covers in some areas to keep them from popping off.

    So the house in question could have had basement flooding prior to your purchase and renovations? Did neighbouring homes have flooded basements as a result of this torrential rain?

    Yes it could have had issues prior that were unknown to us since we did not inhabit the property or own it long enough to know. I do not know at this point if neighbors had problems. However I plan to check on it.


  36. #36
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    By any chance is this house at the bottom of the hill compared to the other houses in the neighborhood?


  37. #37
    David W's Avatar
    David W Guest

    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    By any chance is this house at the bottom of the hill compared to the other houses in the neighborhood?
    It is not AT the very bottom but it is near the bottom of a hill on approximately the plane as a nearby creek but not within a flood plane. When it rains there is a LOT of water in this creek. I would guesstimate the normal differential between creek and house to be 15ft of elevation. When we performed basement repairs, we corrected the grading so that rain water from uphill runs parallel to the house about 10-12 feet away from the house.


  38. #38
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    The reason I was asking about the hill is that could be why the man hole covers are coming off. Being at the bottom of a hill creates a lot more problems than being on the top of the hill. If you had been on the top of the hill your problem would probably have never happened.


  39. #39
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Inspector should have caught it?

    Manhole covers coming off is the Storm Sewer, not the sanitary sewer. If the city is plumbed correctly the only pipe running into the storm sewer might come from a downspout discharge which the contractor might have tied in to, but I doubt that. The contractor dumped gray water into the sanitary sewer.


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